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To wonder is my bad Work Ethic my fault and ask you how the fuck can I change? Desperate. Do I sound ill or bad?

(60 Posts)
shittyworkethic Sun 02-Apr-17 18:09:16

I do nothing. Nothing. I have no children. I work 4 or 8 hours a week, that's it really. It's not guaranteed work.

I'm exhausted all of the time. I have anxiety which in one way I cope ok with, but in another I seem to use an awful lot of energy just calming myself down to do normal things. Then there's no energy left for anything else. It's like I only cope if there are no demands made of me, then I can do the basics like eating, showering, laundry - but once I have to meet a commitment of going out to do something, I get really stressed and feel panicky like I can't cope. Then everything gets done really badly, I just do the bare minimum until I can crawl back to bed and eat junk food because once I've been out at work I can't even begin to think of cooking.

My mind literally feels like it's exploding (although obviously it isn't!) with so much to worry about all the time, and it's like I'm constantly working frantically to reassure myself.

Right now, there's a fly crawling up my window and i have no idea how to get it out - the window is much taller than me. I feel anxious at it's dirty feet putting germs everywhere and grossed out at the idea of swatting it. I'm not panicking but it feels like it's using maybe 20% of brain function to manage how I feel about it. I hate insects in my house.

I've moved house and had to cook on gas for the first time - in six weeks I've only done it twice because it just overwhelms me so much. I spent hours hungry today rather than just go and make a fucking omelette like I wanted. Eventually went and did it and I feel ridiculously pleased with myself, but also upset because I'm a grown woman and it shouldn't emotionally exhaust me to have to adapt to new cooking facilities.

The thing is, once I'm safe at home with a bar of chocolate and time to relax - I'm happy enough. So I'm not really sick enough for intense mental health intervention.

I have a new psychiatrist who is fairly happy with where I'm at - I had a suicide attempt two years ago and have been stable since coming out of that bad spell. I had a fair amount of trauma as a young person, so I'm fairly sure I do have a bit of PTSD in the mix. This time of year is quite hard and I get intense flashbacks which make me want to sleep to get away. I'm also waiting to be assessed for asperger's although that's not what it's called anymore.

Another doctor has mentioned possible Chronic Fatigue Syndrome because I have so little energy and also I have an auto-immune disorder.

Do I sound batshit crazy or just like a bad, lazy person? Do I just sound like a fucking spoilt brat? I don't know what to do. How do I change myself???

I just want to be a normal, healthy person, who has enough energy to work and make a positive contribution to the world.

ellanutella8 Sun 02-Apr-17 18:13:29

Don't want to read and run but in my personal experience the more I do the more I am able to do.
The saying 'ask a busy person' is very much true to me.

Perhaps you are unable to do so little because you don't do much! Perhaps slowly up your hours or stick to a meal plan?

HeteronormativeHaybales Sun 02-Apr-17 18:14:34

You sound ill. flowers

I am not a doctor, much less a psychiatrist, but possible issues you may have include long-term ('chronic') depression, generalised anxiety disorder, OCD (the fly spreading dirt/germs everywhere makes me wonder that). Any of those can be consuming and exhausting. I think focusing on 'work ethic' is a red herring. You are barely functioning and nobody deserves to have to live like this.

I think you need psychotherapy, possibly supported initially with medication. CBT sounds as if it could be good for you, but not on its own - it seems as if there are deep-rooted issues from the past which need dealing with.

WobblyLegs5 Sun 02-Apr-17 18:16:01

Do you know what pathological demand avoidance is? Experiencing huge pressure and anxiety over everyday tasks would fit in perfectly with this.

I feel overwhelmed with the organisation of cooking in a kitchen I have had for years, thats my adhd- anything organisational is very difficult and requires much much more energy than it does for others. I also have cfs (which has high links with adhd) & a bunch of other disabilities also.

If you had no work ethic I doubt you would be worring about having no work ethic, that doesn't seem logical. For some of us illness and disability mean we need to pace ourselves and have very different expectations to what we can complete.

WobblyLegs5 Sun 02-Apr-17 18:17:06

And ptsd is exhaunting also, been there too, therapy is even more draining.

delilahbucket Sun 02-Apr-17 18:22:00

You sound poorly. My mum is very much the same as you. No motivation to do anything at all, always tired, doesn't work, doesn't cook, doesn't clean, spends a lot of days not even getting dressed.
It's a vicious circle. Doing less means you do less. Locating the get up and go to do more is hard but once you get going it gets easier. I found running an excellent cure for depression. Took me ages to learn as I was so unfit but once I could I found it great for clearing my head and releasing endorphins which gave me the motivation to do other things.

pinkdelight Sun 02-Apr-17 18:22:51

People who aren't ill in some way don't tend to be under the supervision of a psychiatrist. It sounds like you're getting the help you need and want to recover so good luck and don't be too tough on yourself (although obviously go easy on the choc). Well done on the omelette!

AllllGooone Sun 02-Apr-17 18:26:29

You sound ill to me. I think the asd assessment sounds positive. A lot of what you describe (e.g. Re-the fly) sounds exactly like my son (asd) would feel in your situation. Also, I suffer from depression and it is debilititating, as is anxiety. I really feel for you and hope you start t find some answers flowers

shittyworkethic Sun 02-Apr-17 18:31:36

Thank you for your thoughts. I just feel pathetic. I have no idea how the majority of people do the things they do on an average day.

Also do worry a lot about wasting my whole life, because well I am doing precisely that. I hate sounding like I'm accepting being this low achieving, but honestly don't know how to make my life successful.

lucyandpoppy123 Sun 02-Apr-17 18:38:21

I used to be a lot like this, I had severe anxiety and OCD. It would literally take me 20 minutes to even make myself a glass of water because I'd have to wash and rinse the glass until it felt 'right' then pour the water a certain way.

What changed?

I had a child! Now I don't have time to obsess over everything. Obviously not advocating having a child to fix anxiety, and certainly having children can even give you anxiety but for me - having a toddler and doing a full time degree mean I don't have time to worry.

In your position I would 1) seek out more social support - I found the more I saw friends and family in person the less stressed I was 2) try and make myself busier - volunteering is great, going back to education if possible etc. Also eating junk food is going to make you tired - it takes a lot of energy for your body to digest such heavy foods so try and eat healthier you will find your moods and energy level improves and also exercise is a great stress buster so find a sport you enjoy (swimming, dancing, horse riding) and it should help

lljkk Sun 02-Apr-17 18:41:09

What are you actually doing all day, SWE? Lying in bed reading Ur phone? Watching TV from bed?

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sun 02-Apr-17 18:42:32

This isn't a work ethic issue. You don't sound well. I'd wonder if some gradual increase in positive activity like seeing friends or exercising or cooking well might help, but presumably your psychiatrist is best placed to advise.

shittyworkethic Sun 02-Apr-17 18:42:51

I sleep a lot and read different forums. Trying to figure out life by reading about it! I know it doesn't work though.

Okite Sun 02-Apr-17 18:44:32

The mention of an autoimmune disorder makes me wonder - have you ever had your B12 levels checked? Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune condition which leaves you low in B12 and it can leave you utterly exhausted and totally lethargic. It has lots of other symptoms too, such as pins and needles, sore tongue, 'sighs' where you feel like you have to keep sighing to get air in even though you don't have a problem with breathing deeply, palpitations.
It is often mistakenly diagnosed as depression, anxiety, cfs or ms.

Papafran Sun 02-Apr-17 18:44:42

Don't be too hard on yourself. You are ill. If you had a physical illness like flu or pneumonia, nobody would expect you to work. You need to give yourself a break and ease into it slowly.

Goldfishjane Sun 02-Apr-17 18:44:45

you sound like you're unwell
well you are - you have an autoimmune issue you say, plus it sounds like other things too.

do you mind if I ask how old you are - just wondering how long you've been seeking help and diagnosis etc. If it's not long then I hope the docs can get you on the road to good health asap.

PollytheDolly Sun 02-Apr-17 18:44:54

As well as depression etc as mentioned above, you need to get checked for CFS or something similar.


shittyworkethic Sun 02-Apr-17 18:48:10

I don't feel well, I admit. I'm reasonably positive in all my interactions with people (not Pollyanna, but nobody would have a clue I'm like this) because my family found it very difficult when I was ill before and withdrew from me. I understand I was in an awful place and nobody knew what to say to me, but that really didn't help.

I'm also very much interested in the world, and 90% of the time I feel very committed to going on through life doing things I want to do. Recently though, that does feel impossible. How can I ever earn a good living if I can't cope well with even part time work?

I try hard to catch myself and not be vicious towards myself - but I can't help hating that I'm essentially a burden on society, at least for now. That's really awful. It makes me so ashamed.

WobblyLegs5 Sun 02-Apr-17 18:51:27

Developmental disorders like asd/pda have a high comorbidity with cfs

Don't be so hard on yourself. It wastes energy for a start. For many of us just managing to find a way to cope with basic self care and day to day tasks is a huge achievement. And some of us just arn't built to deal with the day to day stuff well, but in time find things we excell at that others fail at miserabley- I used to go to work -just part time, missing out on family time with the kids, to help people who were suicidal because I was good at it in a way others couldn't manage and then used the 'extra' money for a cleaner as I can't cope with this, even though it's easy to other people. Often used the left overs to buy take away or prepped salads from m&s because i find managing this impossible also. Really if you are being assessed for asd look into pda.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Sun 02-Apr-17 18:52:18

You are ill.

I have an auto immune disease too. I went for a day out with my family today, it wasn't really strenuous, get in car, walk round place, go home, but I felt so ill I was nearly sobbing when I got in the car to go.

I felt nauseated, unbelievably tired and as though I couldn't stop shaking. Then I felt like a fraudulent idiot because I managed the day out no bother and at the start I was sure I would collapse and embarrass my family.

Auto immune diseases aren't easy to live with, add in PTSD and possible autism spectrum and anxiety, and I think you do a good job to work any hours a week and live on your own without help.

You are not well, so these things are a huge challenge and you are doing them. You feel bad because you are ill and wish you could do more, but you need to recognise that you are doing great in your circumstances, and then you will be able to do even better.

You will be cooking by gas soon ;-)

WobblyLegs5 Sun 02-Apr-17 18:52:54

You also need to make sure you are getting all the benefits/support you are entitled to.

shittyworkethic Sun 02-Apr-17 18:53:26

I'm early thirties. Have been like this for over ten years now. So it's definitely not a phase!

I had several significant bereavements and upsetting personal health crises during the last ten years, so I always felt once I healed from those things I'd be ok and normal. But I'm not remotely ok or normal now, even though those things are in the past.

I was very, very ill a few years ago with a mental health crisis, and now I'm vastly improved. I suppose that just because I'm not as sick as I was then it doesn't mean I'm mentally healthy now though.

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 02-Apr-17 18:54:50

To me, the overwhelming fatigue sounds like a symptom of your anxiety or autoimmune disease. I have chronic fatigue. It doesn't manifest like that with me, nor with anyone else I have met who has or had it. This doesnt mean you don't have it, just doesn't sound like it to me. It also doesn't mean you don't also have imbalances elsewhere as we are all just a bunch of chemical reactions at the end of the day. What about your hormones levels, have you had them checked?. They have a massive effect on our mood and energy levels.

shittyworkethic Sun 02-Apr-17 18:55:54

Thank you all, again, for your empathy and kindness and wise words! It means a lot.

So sorry others are struggling too.

MyPerfectCousin Sun 02-Apr-17 18:57:56

Possible medical diagnoses aside...

I absolutely agree with the "if you want something doing, ask a busy person".

The more I have to do, the more I can get done. I feel energised and motivated. If I have a day off and nothing particular to do with it, I feel genuinely ill (and can even have developed a blinding headache) by about 10.30am. I can then sleep for 3 hours in the afternoon to try and get rid of whatever malaise I'm experiencing, which fails, and I can be in bed again by 8pm...

Yet days like today, when I woke up and forced myself (against my natural inclinations) to get dress at 7.30am, I have acheived so much that I'm buzzing and could go on till midnight.

So, whilst it's possible you do have a diagnosable condition, is it also possible you are a bit like this?

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