Beating myself up

Having a really hard week, after a really hard few months (well, years actually). Had to give up my career in 2011 and have been vaguely self employed since then. That went down a lot in early 2014 when my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Haven't done any work since April, lost my mum in May and my endo and ME is flaring up badly (waiting for a lap date any day now). Last week my husband and I went to paris - I coped quite well but my period started on the Sunday night and since we got back on Monday I've either been in bed or on the sofa. I've done nothing constructive all week - the pain and the fatigue have been awful and I'm really low. Feel like I'm going nuts - I have so much to do and I've done none of it.

If I read this from someone else, I'd tell them to stop being so hard on themselves, that they've overdone it and need to rest. Why can't I tell myself the same thing? I hate being unproductive, especially when there's so much I need to do, but can't bring myself to do any of it.

Please tell me I'm not alone.

14 Replies

  • Ahh poor you, you have had a tough year, so sorry about your mum. Must have been a terrible time for you. Please be kind to yourself, you have a lot on your plate. I completely understand honestly. I'm self employed , and it is so hard to get dressed some days, that I feel like not bothering but bills to pay and all that rubbish. Sometimes I think self employed translates to lounging around, especially when homebased, and honestly they count be more wrong, its flipping' hard going isn't it.

    Have a rest, have a nice weekend and I really hope you start to feel better soon. Wish I could say something helpful. Xx

  • You definitely aren't alone. I switched to freelance a few years ago, and it has taken a lot of the pressure off... but also has it's own stresses and has seriously reduced my income.

    Generally it's been working out okay, but this year has been a bit of a nightmare... due to my own health getting worse and struggling to get help, elderly relatives being unwell, my mum in law developing bowel cancer (fortunately they caught it early and surgery went well), financial problems.. and then my dad died at home a few weeks ago after a long illness... so yeah.. tough year... and a lot is going on still... so while I'm normally pretty calm about things and cope okay... it's extra tough right now.

    I think all the stress (and not having time to rest) has really impacted on my health.. and I have been in a terrible state this week... but I have been taking it easy for the last few days, which is probably what I really need right now.

    Sometimes you do just have to push through and carry on... because life just decides to go crazy for a bit... but as soon as you get the chance you need to take some time and look after yourself.

    Anyway, not sure how comforting that rant was... but you definitely aren't alone... and we'll get through it x

  • Thanks ladies. After my mum died I decided to take some time to get my life a bit more organised - my work is creative and I've lost all my creativity. I've had a clear out and sorted the flat out a bit, and I was feeling quite positive about how well I was doing but this trip has exhausted me. I knew it would, but I forget what the reality of days on end getting nothing done is like.

    I'm trying to sort out some work that has to be done on my mum's house before it can be sold - it's all new to me and quite stressful. I feel so guilty when I do nothing. Today I'm just very low - I feel utterly useless, just a drain on my husband's finances and energy, and not offering anything to anyone. Fortunately my husband is amazing and has never once complained about our income being halved - he was the one that encouraged me to stop working after years of battling to keep going. He puts no pressure on me to earn, but I want to feel successful again. I hate feeling this way about myself.

    I know that all I can do is rest and wait for the day where I wake up feeling less awful and more capable of doing things, but the frustration and anger with myself is so overwhelming sometimes. The pain is bad enough but it's the fatigue that I find hardest to cope with. I was supposed to be on a chronic fatigue management course but had to cancel an appointment that clashed with a gynae appt - that was back in May, never got another and with everything that's happened I didn't chase it up and now they've probably discharged me. Ugh. I just want to feel okay - not great, just well enough to function and not sit here feeling so worthless and pathetic.

    Sorry. I'm a bit emotional, clearly.

  • No wonder you are feeling emotional and no wonder you have lost your creative mojo (for now)....I am also self employed and creative and when I have too much going on I lose my mojo too but 'IT WILL COME BACK' !

    You are right, you need to try and do as you would tell others, be kind to yourself (not always easy) and rest (also not always easy).

    You are NOT worthless or pathetic, you are still grieving and that will affect everything, your health, your energy, your creative mojo, give yourself time and don't apologise!

    Big hugs. xx

  • Thank you my lovely. I think I just need to give myself a good talking to and stop being so rough on myself. X

  • If I find your Mojo, I'll send him right on back to you ! xxx

  • You're not alone. I have a massive maths assignment due in a couple of weeks that I haven't even looked at yet. Still in recovery from the laparoscopy - university can't give me an extension, so yeah just have to deal and plod on. I try to do my productive stuff when I'm feeling the least amount of pain - and in short bursts of 30-40 minutes. Cannabis, although still illegal in this country, really helps :)

  • Depending on your course, I'm sure they can. I had to miss my finals as I had a lap the night before - they gave me a grade based on my coursework. They were really helpful with extensions etc - I'm sure you can get more support from them, especially if you now have a diagnosis.

    I can't do cannabis, it makes my fatigue so much worse - I'm on a lot of morphine but I'm used to it now and it doesn't really make me too drowsy any more. I can't even take Amitriptyline any more. It's a huge pain.

  • Because it is an unavoidable medical problem, with surgery, the university have to give you an extension + special circumstances. I had a laparoscopy in my final year (Oct 2014) and my uni were amazing. You just have to contact the right people!

  • I girls, my name is Sara and I´m from Spain, sorry my English is not so good but I will try to explain myself.. I have severe endometriosis and been diagnosed with ME too, I barely can´t work anymore and spend my days in bed very very tired and trying to control the big pain with ibuprofen... it feels like everyday I have a flu that never goes away.. for what I can read you girls have the same symtoms.. don´t you?.. does anything work for you to feel better?

  • The only thing that has ever improved my fatigue is pacing training - it's really important to pace yourself and gradually increase your stamina. It's a lot of work and takes a long time but it does help. I'm on lots of morphine and have been for a very long time - you might need something stronger than ibuprofen to manage your pain x

  • thank you for your answer! are you on morphine for the endo? doctors here don´t even believe me when I tell them it hurts that much.. do you girls get doctors in the uk to believe in how bad you are feeling?

  • Yes, for the endo. It took me over ten years to get proper pain relief and a diagnosis. Since then I've had a couple of good GPs and several who have treated me like a junkie or a liar. I had much better care all round when I lived in London. Not sure how it is there but here if you can get referred to a good specialist / consultant who cares, they will give Instructions to your GP. A pain specialist can be really helpful.

  • I get it too. The creativity will come back but it seems (in my experience/case) to come back when it wants to and is not something that can be forced.

    I think it is like a catch-22 - the illnesses make one circumstantially depressed (+ then things happen in life, such as death that require natural grieving & engenders low feelings) and then the creativity wanes.... It is hard to feel creative when one feels down and as if one's life has been suppressed by circumstances out of one's control (health etc). Plus most people derive feelings of worth, value, respect through work, productivity and earning - a certain feeling of usefulness and independence - and if that is gone, then what replaces it?

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