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Interested in some experiences here about how things are for you. I have adapted to life with MI pretty well (i thinks) and I did manage to graduate college in standing. I am good with taking meds, getting work done on time and person to person interaction. However, the one thing that lags behind is my self care skills. Showers are a big ask, and i sometimes wonder how people manage to brush their teeth enough. My sleep schedule sucks, and my diet control sucks nearly as much. I don't get enough exercise, and my pdoc would not be thrilled with my alcohol consumption (this is literal here, I don't have a drinking problem its just that my Dr wants me being very cautious.) 

I can't be the only one right? I always attributed it to ego depletion. It takes so much executive function for me to manage MI all day that i have none left for those sorts of things. I am not thrilled with that, but in some ways I know that I have to respect the limits of what i can get done in a healthy manner. Can anyone relate to that? or is it an excuse to let myself off the hook. Either way, I think this will be a lifelong issue. I was diagnosed 9 or 10 years ago, and i do think things are a bit better, but does anyone have positive (or negative) experiences of figuring out how to cope with self care challenges as time goes by? I just thought it might be interesting to get some different perspectives here from different people with different Dx and circumstances 

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Self care is pretty much a lifelong issue for me.  I tend to decompensate and let go of most reasonable things like regular showers, brushing teeth, doing dishes, not eating pizza all the time.  As time goes on, it becomes somewhat easier to regain some sort of reasonable self-care routine after out of an episode and sometimes retain some essential elements of my routine while in a particularly bad period.  

Edited by Banana Smurf

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I have issues with cleanness and control over my environment. My room has always been majorly messy to the point where my parents have threatened to kick me out of the house and roommates have complained. But then my OCD also kicks in and I can't stand like the hall light to be on when sleeping or too many people to be in my house or things out of place. In college, I threatened a roommate because he was getting onto my OCD and I almost got kicked out of the housing unit. I am trying hard to be less messy but it's just my nature. I'd rather read a book or learn a language than clean. Oh and I'm bad about cleaning bathrooms, I feel so sick about it but once again it is a matter of priorities. I've gotten better about personal hygiene but I am unable to brush my teeth everyday and I'm scared to visit the dentist because they are always so critical and I get freaked out plus I don't know if they are even seeing people during coronovirus.  

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@Iceberg I can relate. I don’t shower or brush my teeth nearly enough. 5 day old makeup. Who cares how gross I look, 7 days without a shower. And cavities. Uggggh. Nooooooo.

I didn’t even learn to cook very basic meals until I was 30 or older. I don’t clean our home or cook dinner nearly enough. I feel very bad about that. I eat cereal mostly for meals. I’m nearly 37!

I’m pretty distractable and I hate driving. It makes me very very nervous but I have no choice. I didn’t drive until I was 21.

I need a planner to write my days out or I space out and get absolutely nothing done. (Even though I still have days where I get absolutely nothing done) But I will tell you that a planner has helped me organize my days somewhat.

Working with a tdoc has helped, one that helps me work towards goals and not just sit there and cry and talk about my feelings. (But ymmv, we are all different in approaches)

I just feel very bad about myself because for my age and because I can’t work I should do more and take care of more around the house and take care of myself more. But I’m just not able to. I feel like a lazy loser. I can’t handle much of anything but alone quiet time.

I don’t know if you’ve heard of the spoon theory. But a quick google search will lead you to many articles about it. I am not too familiar with it but I know it is very popular. Maybe you’d be interested in looking it up. Just an idea. 

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@Wonderful.Cheese I really appreciate all those thoughts. As a psych major undergrad I am familiar with the spoon theory. It basically says that our minds and executive functions can only handle so many things per day (you start with a limited amount of spoons, and each activity has a “cost” in spoons and eventually you reach the limit). I think it’s very valid, just idk why they went with dumb spoons. 

It is very interesting (I think kinda cool actually in a way) that people can have similar issues present I totally opposite way. I am your opposite on several Of those things. Driving relaxes me and I love to cook. However I couldn’t follow a planner if my life depended on it. 

I agree that a good tdoc helps... for all MI really. Have you talked to tdoc about feeling bad since you can’t do as much as u want? My tdoc was (at least) somewhat helpful with reframing this. 

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On 9/5/2020 at 3:50 PM, Banana Smurf said:

Self care is pretty much a lifelong issue for me.  I tend to decompensate and let go of most reasonable things like regular showers, brushing teeth, doing dishes, not eating pizza all the time.  As time goes on, it becomes somewhat easier to regain some sort of reasonable self-care routine after out of an episode and sometimes retain some essential elements of my routine while in a particularly bad period.  

Feel u on dishes. I love to cook but am shit at cleaning it up 

15 hours ago, CeremonyNewOrder said:

I have issues with cleanness and control over my environment. My room has always been majorly messy to the point where my parents have threatened to kick me out of the house and roommates have complained. But then my OCD also kicks in and I can't stand like the hall light to be on when sleeping or too many people to be in my house or things out of place. In college, I threatened a roommate because he was getting onto my OCD and I almost got kicked out of the housing unit. I am trying hard to be less messy but it's just my nature. I'd rather read a book or learn a language than clean. Oh and I'm bad about cleaning bathrooms, I feel so sick about it but once again it is a matter of priorities. I've gotten better about personal hygiene but I am unable to brush my teeth everyday and I'm scared to visit the dentist because they are always so critical and I get freaked out plus I don't know if they are even seeing people during coronovirus.  

Totally on the dentist. Always afraid that they’ll tell me I’m doing something wrong

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On 9/6/2020 at 3:28 PM, Iceberg said:

@Wonderful.Cheese I really appreciate all those thoughts. As a psych major undergrad I am familiar with the spoon theory. It basically says that our minds and executive functions can only handle so many things per day (you start with a limited amount of spoons, and each activity has a “cost” in spoons and eventually you reach the limit). I think it’s very valid, just idk why they went with dumb spoons. 

It is very interesting (I think kinda cool actually in a way) that people can have similar issues present I totally opposite way. I am your opposite on several Of those things. Driving relaxes me and I love to cook. However I couldn’t follow a planner if my life depended on it. 

I agree that a good tdoc helps... for all MI really. Have you talked to tdoc about feeling bad since you can’t do as much as u want? My tdoc was (at least) somewhat helpful with reframing this. 

Interesting about the spoon theory. Thanks for the explanation. That helps! That makes sense to me even though I agree with you about it being weird/odd that they chose spoons as the "object" of choice. It does seem kind of dumb, I agree!

That is interesting too! I guess we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I'm glad you love driving and cooking. I don't follow my planner too well, more of a guide or list of what I want to get done. I have moderate success with it. But it definitely helps me for sure. As do my 22 different colorful pens. Every color you can think of I own. They really help I swear. ;)  

I was able to make an emergency appointment with my tdoc for thursday afternoon. I am very thankful for this. I will write down your thought about feeling bad because I can't do as much as I want. I think my tdoc could help with this too. Thank you!

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i think i read somewhere that the person who created spoon theory did so in a restaurant/cafe while trying to explain to a friend the waxing and waning of energy when you are chronically ill. the unit of measurement became spoons because that's what was readily available in the moment to help visualize the concept. 

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I used to shower daily, brush my teeth twice a day, floss, sweep the house, etc. Now—not so much. Why is it all so hard, I don’t know. But I can totally relate to this. 

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The self care comes and goes but things like cooking and cleaning fall by the wayside. My seizures became so bad that it was not safe to live alone (which I prefer) so I got a roommate (at my age 57 !) and gave them reduced rent to cook and clean and tend to the yard.  They help me after seizures with memory issues or injuries caused during the seizure. They watch out for me during the period right after a seizure, making sure I get medical help and driving for me.  

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