How I Manage the Fog and Stay Motivated

RLG

Active member
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
65
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
07/2020
Country
US
State
MI
Brain fog. Memory problems. Fatigue. Motivation. Real fear of pain and screwing up--forgetting the school conference, missing an appointment, doing too much or not enough and paying the price. We all know what it's like. Most of us haven't ever learned to embrace pride and celebrate our little successes. We are taught to be not good enough, feel guilt, hide our pain. We run ourselves ragged, sacrifice our needs for our loved ones, boss, the comfort and demands of others. And somehow do all of that in the cloying fog of chronic fatigue.

I have a simple tool I use to help keep me on track and stay motivated. It's not a magic trick or cure all or treatment, just a way that I had to learn to manage the very real memory loss and cognitive impairment I suffered after a medical coma. And, it has taught me to embrace the gentle art of self-reward, as well.

I keep dry erase boards in my home office and on my refrigerator. The board in my office started out as me being forced to write down information after my return from a long hospital stay. I started taping notes and sticky notes on my wall, I had no choice. It got so bad my husband maybe thought I was like "Beautiful Mind" lol But I also started writing love notes to myself. Part of my cognitive issue was not being able to read and write at my normal level and it was devastating. As I researched, healed, managed my medical care, I came across quotes and sayings and insights that literally saved me a time or two. And I wrote them down and stuck 'em on the wall. My husband bought me a dry erase board with markers and magnets to use and that became a lifesaver for injured brain and grieving soul. Sometimes it is covered in reminders and information and directions. Sometimes it is just scripted with a loving reminder to myself like 'You are loved!", "You got this!", "That was then, this is NOW", and often just "Thank You."

I purchased a second one with a blank perpetual calendar on it and stuck in the kitchen for the whole family. We use to keep track of appointments, schedules, etc. I use it to pat myself on the back for exercise, too. I made it a reward system for the days I workout (or force myself through the agonizing pain of self care in the form of self managed physical therapy, as I sometimes think of it.) Every day I exercise I make a huge red 'X" with a check mark through it over the date number to reward myself for the herculian effort it took and to remind myself that I can do it the next time it seems too daunting. I feel a sense of pride sometimes when I see it and the usefulness of the calendar has been a major organizing help. My brain hurts some days, it just doesn't fire right--not like it used to. Having a written, visual aid to rely on helps tremendously!

Hope this helps someone. Note taking, asking others to remind you, reminding them that you can do it, just DIFFERENTLY maybe than before. Rewarding yourself for even the little battles won and tiny mountains climbed--priceless.
 
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