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Too hard on yourself?

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Old 09-22-2008, 07:47 AM   #1
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Too hard on yourself?

I was wondering if others here are too hard on themselves emotionally. I know that I am and even my doctor has suggested so. Long gone are the years of a spotless house, home cooked meals on a daily basis and other assorted household tasks. I used to work a 40 - 60 hour work week just some 10 years ago but had to resign due to my chronic pain.

I get so upset and ashamed of myself some days. I know in reality things are not done because I can no longer do them without causing acute pain outside of the norm, but still it's hard for me to accept that I can't do these things and so I get depressed over it.

I try not to think of what it will be like 10 or even 20 years from now. Shoot 10 years ago I was warned it would probably be like this so the thought of the future scares me.

I'm definately having major problems with depression this year compared to years past due to the pain. I do see a doctor about it every 6 or so weeks and am on extra medication for depression and anxiety which I think is important.

I've lost the desire to do many of the things I used to enjoy so much. I even went out and bought all new paints just a week ago and picked up some books. I used to love to paint and draw but now it seems like the inspiration is gone as it's so draining on me.

What can get frustrating for me is while I have a very supportive family my mom and sometimes my mother in law, both of whom I love dearly, will say "just get up and do it (insert activity here). It's like at times they don't understand it's not that I don't want to do things, it's physically hard to do them!

My husband suffers from Treatment Resistant Depression and is very supportive and tries to help out when he can. All of my extended families live in other states. I do have a sister who lives here who always offers to come help clean but I'm so ashamed I always tell her now. Yes I know I should let her help, but I can't get over this feeling of being ashamed sometimes.

Does anyone else feel like that?
Thanks for letting me ramble.

No matter how great your illness or pain, there's always someone else who may be worse off.

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Old 09-22-2008, 08:45 AM   #2
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Re: Too hard on yourself?

Hey Kissa,

I know it can be very difficult to cope with the changes that living with chronic pain can bring to your life. I know we all go through those feelings of inadequacy and shame, because we are not as "productive" as we used to be. It's almost impossible not to.

My psych has a sub-specialty in chronic pain. It's the main reason I chose him. You mentioned that you see someone and have medication, but does your therapist/psych have much expertise in pain? Or are there any pain support groups in your area? I think that could do wonders for your depression. Even reading through the old pages of this board can be a huge help. I know it was for me. It helped me realize that there were many, many people who felt exactly like I did, and lived with the same day to day struggles.

As far as the family members you mentioned, who don't understand why you don't just "do it", you are not alone there either. I think we all have those people in our lives. They don't understand, nor are they ever going to, unless they were to live daily with pain, like you do. It is virtually impossible for most people who have never experienced chronic pain, to ever comprehend it. I stopped trying to explain myself years ago. It never got me anywhere with those people in my life. I've learned to just not discuss my pain or concerns with them. And if they bring it up, I just politely say, "I'm surviving, thanks for asking."

I don't know if this helps or not, but I do wish you the best. I hope you can find the support you need, either here or with a local support group, etc. Please know that this board has some of the most compassionate, caring people you could find. It has been a Godsend to me, and I think it could be for you as well. Take care and please post often. CMP/MM

Old 09-22-2008, 11:33 AM   #3
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Re: Too hard on yourself?

Thank your for taking the time to respond. My CP started at age 10 but became debilitating pain around age 20 and has been that way since. By that I pretty much mean the inability to do things due to pain though I never had a normal childhood due to pain either.

My psych is great. He's very compassionate and educated when it comes to CP and the one previous I had was the same as well, I changed only because she had closed her practice to go work for a non profit organization. It is often my current psych who enlightens me on some of the newer medications and technologies out there so I am pretty blessed.

I've looked for years for a CP specific support group and not found one. I've found various ones for different conditions but not really geared at CP. In fact that was something I meant to ask my PM today when I went to visit him but didn't remember it until I left. There used to be an EDS support group (which is one of the conditions I have) that was great but they quit doing it some years ago unfortunately.

While I don't post too often I've been a member here for many years and do find that while members come and go it's always a nice place to be able to share what we are going through without fear of being judged.

What I find a bit frustrating is the city I live in offers so many great things for seniors for support but it's not open to those who are disabled regardless of age. You should see the looks I get when I try to use my Buckeye Card (meant for those over 60 or those over 18 who are disabled) that gives discounts, folks are like you don't look 60. I feel like saying and you don't look stupid either otherwise you'd know the rules. I don't of course but that thought is there.

I think just getting myself out there doing something I enjoy would go a long ways. It's just finding some inspiration and energy to do that.

Thanks again!
No matter how great your illness or pain, there's always someone else who may be worse off.

Old 09-22-2008, 11:08 PM   #4
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Re: Too hard on yourself?


Hey, I hear you girl. I am also BiPolar with Severe BiPolar Depression, so the CP can be very hard to deal with most of the time. I have a great Psychiatrist who manages my meds that I see every 2 weeks, and a great Psychologist that also has a personal relationship with Chronic Pain, whom I see every week. And without those two I'm not sure what I would do. I think finding mental support for CP patients is very important, and if you find a therapist with CP experience that's great. My husband is somewhat like your family, when I'm depressed and can't get out of bed he'll say, "just shake it off!" when I'm in pain and get out of bed, "he'll say if you'd get up and move around your pain wouldn't be so bad." But he doesn't have a clue what I go through, so I really don't worry about what he says. I know how I feel, and I won't let someone belittle me for having limits. If the house isn't perfect oh well, hubby and the boys can get off their butts and clean it, they can cook too. So, don't be too hard on've been down a bumpy road, and you're doing the best you can, just like we all are.

Old 09-26-2008, 12:59 PM   #5
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Re: Too hard on yourself?

Kissa, this is exactly my life now. I am feeling so guilty that I just can't do it all.

I have suddenly had a light bulb moment, that hey I am sick. I don't have just spinal problems, I have now have thyroid and depression and chronic pain. I am listening to my body more and to be honest laying around mid day has been a great thing for me. It has brought my pain down but now I am dealing with the guilt of a house that is not spotless but in the end it doesn't matter. All my friends have disappeared lately due to my chronic illness. So I am telling myself it doesn't matter that the house is not spotless because no one but the family is going to see it or the orkin man. LOL

Old 10-02-2008, 05:45 AM   #6
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Re: Too hard on yourself?

Hello Everyone, For me well I am definantly Type A & trying to learn to let it go. CP does not leave you a choice. Bless my husband he bought me a steam mop, which I can handle on a good day, a cordless vac which I love & you would have thought he bought me diamonds,lol. Now the other things in life I just cant deal with as of yet. I know I will eventually have to join a support group or something to help alleviate the guilt.
I have lost alot of relationships due to this & I tell myself then it was not meant to be. Unfortuantly alot of them are within my family. I was crushed for awhile but now I know those are the ones that wanted something I could no longer give.
We are who we are & can only do what our bodies allow us to do & have to come to the realization that there is no shame in that.
I live with frustration more then anything. Frustration at the changes this has forced on me & my love ones.
Kissa I guess we all have to realize it is the person inside of us who really matters. In the long run that is all anyone will remember anyway.
God bless, Sammy

Old 10-02-2008, 12:16 PM   #7
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Re: Too hard on yourself?


Like you, my pain and surgeries started at a young age. I feel like such a burden to my family. I also feel so much guilt and shame for basically being born.
I feel so useless and unproductive to society. I get "stuck" in these episodes of the negative feelings towards myself. Kissa, you are not alone in these feelings, trust me!


Last edited by friendly_one; 10-05-2008 at 06:39 PM.

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