So much to do that I don't want to do anything.

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It's 11:00 already and I haven't gotten a thing done other than updating my stock information and feeding the critters. I feel like I don't want to do anything. There is someone coming in to give an estimate on a fence. I need to get the car maintained. I need to take some pictures for my shop. I need to trim the grass and cut some limbs in the back yard. The bathroom and kitchen need cleaning. I do need to vacuum. And what about getting some type of water-proof box for the outside weather probe. I do need to buy some RoundUp for the weeds...

I think I figured it out. I need to assign myself one major task a day. There is so much to do that I think of it and want to hide under the bed. No wonder I don't get things done. I paralyze myself with my own thinking. When I worked outside the home, there was always one, maybe two, major things to do in a day. I need to adjust my thinking, so that I am wearing one hat at a time.

So this afternoon I am putting on my yard-woman hat and going to buy the RoundUp to tackle those weeds. There's only a little more monkey grass to pull, so it all sounds workable. Hey, this works!

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Caregiver burnout disorder is a real thing.

I remember when my son was first diagnosed with ADHD & Aspergers/Autism Spectrum Disorder, it was a full body immersion experience for me. Every day was on the same rigid schedule with no breaks - even weekends. It took me about 7 or 8 years to finally figure out that you cannot wear out an ADHD kid.

I remember the day I wanted to have an ADHD/Asperger free day. I still wanted my son around, but I didn't want every cotton picking thought, action, or thing to be centered around this diagnosis and this uber-strict schedule we were keeping long past the point it was necessary. I wanted a weekend day where we slept until we woke up and then ate what we wanted for breakfast. I wanted to let him nap when he felt like it and eat when he felt like. Just loosen up a little and just have a day that was about being together and having fun. It was so hard to get my husband on board with that. The schedule was his only coping mechanism and even now that my kids are teenagers, he still insists on the same bedtime they had in 6th grade. And we wonder where the inflexibility comes from.....

Not a lot of other people will understand this at all. I had people ask me why I didn't just take a vacation by myself. Because I want my family with me. I just needed to be off the hook and not having to obsess about any particular disorder every ding dong moment of every day.
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Oh, Jessiebelle, How well I know the feeling --- already, and I've been caregiving only a month! Here's my system ---

First, what are the "pressure points" that need to be "touched" every day: that is, the different areas of responsibility that have to be kept in motion. For me, other than "general housekeeping/caregiving" that's finances and admin., medical care, yard and garden, clearing out/repairing the house. Second, what can/should I do today, if anything, to keep from falling behind on each item. Third, of the things I can or should do, which are absolutely necessary (do them---i.e., renew a prescription), which are desirable (in order of importance) and which ones might I actually want to do (fiddle with the flowers). Then I do what I can, and start over the next day. I figure if I get the absolutely no-fail stuff done, I can congratulate myself. If I get more done, I'm ahead of the game. And if I fall behind --- there's another day tomorrow, and all the rest of my life to get to it. Good luck!
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Just a thought, could the coins mysteriously disappear, saying you needed them to buy groceries for example? Maybe out of sight out of mind.
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Babalou, I have been juggling with that idea. The problem I am having making a decision about the drug is that it has lifted her spirits and made her interested in living. The projects are obsessive and drive me crazy, but before beginning the medication, she just sat and watched TV all day long. I'm reluctant to throw out the good things because of the bad. Something that is strange is that my mother has never really been an obsessive type on many things, except maybe hoarding clothes. She has definitely never been obsessive when it comes to housework! :)

What I decided for the moment is to let things ride. If her obsessiveness turns to harmful things I'll have to do something fast. She finished washing and putting the coins in holders last evening, so that's out of the way now. One main thought I've had is that I don't want to take away enjoyment from her because it makes me uncomfortable. To me it was crazy to spend several days to wash coins. To her maybe it was an enjoyable project. No harm done, since the coins weren't collectible.

I did stop the nurse practitioner from increasing the dose of her Remeron. I have the feeling that would have pushed her over the top.
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Jessie, if the antidepressants are making your mom's ocd worse, you need to tell the doctor that.
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Me neither! And there is a pending move to a facility coming.
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Wow. (Blush) That is such a nice thing to say. Most of the time I feel like a cold, whiny person. A lot of the time I feel bad for my mother because I talk about her so much.

Today was a really good day. A man came by to give an estimate on a privacy fence. It was very reasonable, and the company is going to start work in a couple of weeks. And I thought, why didn't I do this five years ago. I had thought about this fence every day and now it is finally going to happen. Doing this thing for myself picked my spirits up so much. I started seeing the table with an umbrella and a barbecue grill. I saw the old depressing fence remnants disappearing. It picked my spirits up so much. Funny how something that really shouldn't matter did matter so much to me. I got new energy as soon as we shook hands on the fence. :-D
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I think it's because our days are no longer planned as they would be if we were working, and because caregiving is so disruptive. It's not as if we have time to focus on one large project, evaluate it, then put it into action. We're continually dealing with disruptions, some repeated ones, that break up our attention span and making focusing difficult.

And if dementia is involved and the disruptions are the same over and over, that complicates the issue and tries our patience - at least that's my observation and experience.

Then projects don't get completed, or even started and we feel even more behind and frustrated.

One thing I've tried that's worked is to use zero based concepts. When feeling overwhelmed, I do some deep breathing, clear my mind, then ask myself what absolutely has to be done today. After completing that task, then I can think more clearly about what would be desirably, but not necessarily done.

Sometimes starting the day with art work or something very pleasurable helps as well as it's a calming influence. Exercise, reading, walking...just something done for yourself, even if only for a short time seems to help.

That's not to say that I don't feel overwhelmed as other posters do - it's sometimes a constant battle.

This is a good thread. Jessie, I've always admired your approach - you're rational, knowledgeable and always seemed to have control over your complicated life as well as compassion for others. I feel more normal now knowing that you too have days which are frustrating - not that I'm glad you do, but knowing that SuperCaregiver Jessie has days like I do makes me feel as if I'm not just floundering around as I often seem to be. Take that as a compliment!
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I wonder if it's because we don't have any fun that we don't get anything done. I can think of lots of projects to do around the house. Things like wash the walls, clean the cupboards etc. You get the idea. But they're all "have to do" projects. I'm sick of "have to do" projects. Since becoming a caregiver everyday of my life is filled with "have to do" projects. I want to have some FUN!!! Maybe that's why I put off extra "have to projects" until another day.
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Jessie my brothers goes to a rehab center 3/d a week 8:30 to 3:00. I drive him and pick him up. Sometimes I just come home and go back to bed. I guess I shouldnt complain I do have those 6 hours 3 x times a week. I do get the housework done, laundry and pay bills but anything else is overwhelming. I probably need a schedule but it is hard getting motivated. When he is ill I sit around and wait for him to get better and then when he is better I sit around and keep him company. Hopefully I'll improve with the weather.
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