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  • Anonymous
      Post count: 93172

      Emotions are a big problem, but not an insurmountable one.

      First of all, KNOWING that your emotions are unreliable can help to put a lid on things. Once I knew that I could not use my emotional response as anything remotely valid, it helped keep them from overflowing.

      Second, they will still overflow from time to time. YOu need to be up front with your family, especially, about the fact that the problem is YOU not them. I learned long ago to think and speak in terms of “I” messages, not “you” messages when I’m angry. Example: “It really upsets me when…..” instead of “How could you be so stupid…..” or “Don’t you think?” etc. I grew up with “you” messages and they hurt. “I” messages get the same point across without being as hurtful. As a result, when Graves emotions would overflow, I would be able, then, to say, “I know this isn’t your fault, but a)I am SOOOOOOOOOO frustrated with…… or b)I cannot bear or…..”

      Three: if you are having lots of problems with this it may well be because you are putting altogether too much pressure on yourself to do everything you normally do. You are ill. There are perfectly reasonable ways to lessen the pressure but we often stubbornly persist in trying to ignore the effects of the disease and try to do everything anyway. You may need to sit down and prioritize, and ruthlessly eliminate activities that you do not “need” to do. I cannot tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I did — it may give you some ideas of your own.

      1) I started buying prepared foods to reheat for dinners. There’s a nice, “gourmet” type grocery store near me. They are not cheap, but I could buy meats, veggies, etc. to simply reheat and still provide my family with a “meal.” I particularly did this around holidays, but I also did it frequently during non-holiday time until I got well again.

      2) It was Thanksgiving when I got my RAI, and I was still going through the process at Christmas, so I simply did not do what I normally would do for Christmas. With help, I decorated the tree and house. I did not bake cookies, or make my typical gingerbread sleighs, or ANYTHING. If asked (and I was), I simply said, I just do not have the energy for that this year. I put Christmas music on the stereo and had decorations around. After the holidays, my oldest daughter said to me, “Mom, you went all out for Christmas this year. It was really nice.” Seriously – I had tapered EVERYTHING off and she thought I had gone “all out.” I realized that I had saved my energy for the people in my life, and that they appreciated it. It was a good moment.

      So. You don’t have to cook like you normally do. You most likely do not have to clean like you normally do. There are able-bodied big people in the family who can assume tasks: their own laundry perhaps. Running a vaccuum (which takes strength you probably don’t have). This is TEMPORARY. But you need help now. (But, if you have decided that you cannot do something, and nobody will take the task on, whatever you do, do not do it yourself. If nobody else wants to do it, that means it is only somewhat important to you, not them. And right now you are sick and need to take care of yourself.)

      I have told folks here, from time to time, to think about what advice they would give to their best friend if she/he felt the same way they do right now. And then take that advice. You need to be your own, very best friend for a while.

      Bobbi — NGDF Online Facilitator

      Anonymous
        Post count: 93172

        Thank you so much for posting this! You are right, a lot, I mean A LOT, of my anger is stemming from the fact that I have to do everything or it doesn’t seem to get done!!! When you said that I should ask myself what i would tell my best friend to do – that really stood out to me. I would tell her to just stop and eventually people would have to help because they would get tired of the house looking like crap and them not being able to find anything or even have clean clothes to wear to school or work! So, that’s exactly what I’m gonna do – take a little of my own advice! Boy, is my family going to have a wake-up call! My 2 oldest children are 14 & 12. They are plenty old enough to do most things for themselves – they are gonna have to because I’m only going to do what I absolutely have to. I am wearing myself down to nothing and getting very little done. So, they are just gonna have to help more or live like pigs. I’ll keep my room and mine and the baby’s laundry done! Everyone else can do their own stuff! I’m just way to tired and hurting to try to do everything I use to do! No one around here understands! My grandmother came over about a month ago and was really rude and made lots of comments about my house not being in order! I’ve just decided that I’m gonna start telling people that if they cannot tolerate my house, they don’t have to come visit or they could act like they care and help me do something about it!!!!

        Anonymous
          Post count: 93172

          One thing, Andrea. You should probably let your family know, in kind terms, that you have decided no longer to do X, Y and Z (whatever they are). Just stopping, without telling them why, if you still expect thigns to get done, would undoubtedly lead to unnecessary conflicts.

          The conversation could go something like this: “I am so sick. I feel like I am running a double marathon every day. This is temporary, the treatments are going to make me well again, but right now I need to back off and take things a lot easier so that I can get well faster. I can no longer push a vaccuum, or carry laundry up stairs (or whatever). It wears me completely out, and then I end up yelling at people in frustration. I don’t want to do that any more. As a family, we need to figure out how to get the necessary chores done, so that I can have some breathing room for a month or two…..” The specifics have to be your own, but that’s the gist of the necessary communication.

          Good luck,
          Bobbi — NGDF Online Facilitator

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