Struggling with basic daily activities

lovak

Confident
Three years ago I crashed hard, and since then I'm not working anymore. My stress tolerance is about zero (I am familiar with the ptsd cup theory). What I'm struggling with, besides 'obvious' traumarelated issues as flashbacks, dissociation and physical symptoms, is basic dayly tasks.
I'm talking about eating, brushing my teeth, showering, taking meds... the most basic self care. I have a housecleaner because I couldn't do that anymore either. When someone I love really needs something (my husband or cats, basically), I always take care of it. I get extra tired after that, but I manage.
I have been working at this for the past three years, and I can't seem to get back in some basic routine, it's like I completely lost my autopilot. Doing extra things for my recovery like walking or mindfullness seems like an impossible task when lunchtime has passed and I havent eaten or gotten dressed. So I am AGAIN getting admitted for clinical treatment to get 'the basics' in order, because trauma treatment is nearly impossible and a crisis is lurking around every goddamn corner.

Now my question: Is this relatable? Why does it feel so impossible to care for myself? I don't think I have a negative self image, I don't think that I'm not worth it, but it seems the most logical explanation. I just can't get myself to do stuff.
Does anyone have an explanation for this, and point my in the right direction to get one step further? After three years I'm starting to feel pretty hopeless.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I relate. Everything is difficult to do. I blank in the middle of my gestures. And same, if someone else is involved, especially if it’s urgent, I can cross an ocean. But to put on a pair of socks… I don’t know if it will take 1 minute or 2 hours. I don’t have bad self image neither. But I’m tired not being functioning.

Are you treated for depression as well?
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
I relate too. From a recent trauma I can't seem to get my brain involved without having a meltdown. My home looks like a hoarder lives here and I don't care. I do care really but can't seem to do the most simple thing to get started.

I know a lot of mine is depression, but like you, I can't find my reset button.

Hope you get some help and come back and share with us. Thank you for sharing something that many of us relate to.
 

lovak

Confident
I have episodes of depression, but despite everything Im quite positive as a person. Glad to find some recognition!

I sometimes wonder if this isnt a mild form of depression instead of the complete indifference or despair I feel when I have a depressive episode, or if its just too much stress on my body?

It's so tiring. And frankly, humiliating.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
It could be many things. Some are working against each other. Possibly get a good health check up to make sure it's not anything physical contributing.

I feel like we all pretty much have these times of 'just can't' even tho we don't hate ourselves or have low self-worth. Just a PTSD thing? Who knows. But I do know it causes me confusion and even further depression.

The old 'just get up and do it' doesn't work with this, whatever it is. I just have to hope I keep trying and eventually something will shift. If you do find an answer for yourself please share it. It may be something we haven't tried or considered.

We aren't bad people, we have just hit a plateau of sorts and can't seem to navigate out of it.
 

Friday

Moderator
Now my question: Is this relatable?
Super relatable.

When I’m doing badly?

- I can’t think my way out of a wet paper sack. Anything that has a number of steps to it, will get f*cked up, AND will take a metric shitton of energy in order to accomplish f*cking it up. Which makes even contemplating it an exhausting no-go // why-the-f*ck-bother // whole-lotta-NOPE!-ain’t-happening.

- I can’t make decisions unless they’re life or death. Those? Are easy In order to make decisions about normal stuff? I have to rise the level of importance up TO life-or-death, which is simply unsustainable for a number of reasons. ((I have a couple old posts here where I talk about making decisions, & here, that I talked about why my wardrobe looks like 2 people are using it. It’s all about removing as many decisions from my daily life as possible. Because, yeah, under stress my “autopilot” breaks. LOVE your use of that term!))

Something I really miss about the military is how all the nonsense is decided for you... and everything you need is provided. All that leaves is what you want, to do for yourself, as you please.

You might also get a kick outta this, which is something I wrote in the middle of that headspace, looking back on how the f*ck did I manage the last time I got this way??? Oh. I guess I didn’t. Right. https://www.myptsd.com/threads/skylines.47563/post-776596
 
Last edited:

Recovery4Me

MyPTSD Pro
When someone I love really needs something (my husband or cats, basically), I always take care of it. I get extra tired after that, but I manage

Maybe, consider finding something you love/like/ thought about in joy and do it for you. I had a lot of resistance on doing it for myself : mega. I literally gave those authors of such superfluous crap 🤨… a nasty to do. But then, it worked. 🤫 It really worked and I escaped my own head.

I am still exhausted at times so I take cat naps - after gardening, playing, grooming or walking my pup, crocheting blankets for the Grandchildren, touching base with friends through email, FaceBook Garden Clubs, sitting among nature, sneaking up on the mirror to see what could use a little help, or maybe just reading a good book to escape my own mind.

May you find something that gives you joy inside your heart - just for you. After all if we are to be exhausted…it might be nice to have it be so from a fun time.
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
Can completely relate. Mine really started in 2016 and got worse. Now it has leveled off to just doing the minimal. Even the things I love, like gardening, just peters out for me. I can hardly start a project and I sure can't finish one. I care about things....but...then I get to exhausted and dont care anymore. Now with covid my behavior does not look as strange to others. I stay in pajamas for days. I wake up at 1 or 2 pm, brush my teeth in an hour or 2. Tell myself to shower or wash a load of clothes, but do this for 2-3 days before I actually do these things. I know there is depression. Yet it seems like anti depressants just dont work anymore and I refuse to add a second one. Nothing really excites me except seeing my kids and grand baby. Thats not real often though. I just dont understand it. I feel lazy. All my life I have never been a lazy person.
 

fern

Confident
@lovak Is it relatable? Absolutely, as you can see from this thread. What you are describing is spot on to an experience I have been going through as well- unable to care for myself. I was usually able to pull it together so to speak for work, just keep it together for those hours, and just be completely wiped out when I was done with work-mode, and not have energy to give to my partner, home life, my self, etc.
It's gotten to the point where I can't go to work.

I think self compassion is vital in situations like these. We are doing the best we can.
 

lovak

Confident
@ladee I get bloodwork done every year, and have been to my GP with this a couple of times, it's psychological (which bums me out honestly, because there's no easy fix). Yes, people always say 'Just do it', or that they don't understand because they don't even think about the stuff I often can't do. I do think about it, but can't get myself to actually do it.

@Friday Thank you for your posts and links. They got me thinking, took me a while to get through all that.
Number 1: I suffered from neglect as a kid. My parents didn't really teach me or encourage me to take care of myself. Brushing my teeth has always been an issue. I remember my brother often smelled after not showering for a week. I didn't really get that stuff right from the beginning. Only because I was on my own, I pushed myself through the motions for years untill finally crashing again. I guess caring for mhyself isn't really my status quo

Number 2: The months that I was with (not the right word, in his hands? I dont know), he decided everything for me. When I could or couldn't eat, shower, sleep etc. Next to the sexual abuse. I was completely controlled by him in a weird brainf*ck/conditioning way, since I wasn't actually held captive. But everything was decided for me, even though it was horrible.

Number 3: I have never been in the military, but can relate in a different way; Living in an inpatient facility. The longest time I was admitted was 10 months in a row. I just needed to show up for meals. At breakfast I needed to show up with a washed face. If I didn't, my entire group would have to come get my out of bed and cleaned up otherwise they couldn't eat. I had some clinical treatment after that, where I just manage to do it because it's expected of me.

Neglecting myself feels like some kind of reenactment, but forcing myself does to. Shit is complicated.

@Recovery4Me Thanks! I do do things that bring me joy. Not all day, not every day, not every week. I love gardening, but get lost and do this for hours and just want to immerse myself in it and don't take proper care of myself. Like eating. Drinking. Or resting. My T thought this might be a playfull inner child or something that just wants to 'play.'
Balance is key I guess, but something that doesn't yet excists in my mind. At least I AM doing things that I love to do! I did learn that over the years. A few years ago I didn't know the difference between 'should' and 'want' anymore. I had to rediscover this.

@brat17 I'm so sorry to hear that. I don't feel depressed on a daily basis. It's more like my body does it's own thing without me having any control over it. I have some problems with conversion and somatization. But even when my body is perfectly capable of doing something I just can't get it to do it.

Hobbies and relaxing activities are a problem of an entirely different level. Most of the time I just lack the concentration and energy to do something creative or play a videogame, read a book etc. I netflix and accept that I miss half of it so I have to rewind all the time. It's fine, but it gets old after a while. Some things like yoga and walking feel REALLY good, but only when I'm not completely stressed out already. If I tune in with my body then, it's overwhelming and makes it worse.
Gardening is the only thing I can count on, really. I'm going to try and expand that.
For example: Drawing is impossible. So i got an adult colouring book. But I still have to choose the colors (Friday, it really is choices I guess). So maybe coloring by number is an option?

@ruborcoraxxx
I'm sorry you feel this way. I still feel joy and excitement, I guess, when I get myself to do something. That's what I don't understand. I know I'll feel better when I take a shower, but still don't do it.
When I'm depressed, it's different. I just don't care.

But I'm not depressed. I do care. I deserve to take care of myself. I deserve to feel well fed and cared for. I have no idea how that feels, but I deserve it.
 
Top