Friday, January 22, 2016

Feeling "Stuck" with Fibromyalgia

I joined a group on Facebook for people with chronic illness. We provide emotional support for each other and offer helpful hints. This is not what I had intended to write about today, but something important was part of the discussion today. Feeling stuck. Not as in "I have writer's block," but in the "I am overwhelmed and cannot get started." Thanks again, fibromyalgia.

I had a dirty little secret. My living room was so cluttered, there was only a path to walk through. I would stare at the clutter, but I could not seem to move to take care of it. It was not hoarding, because it was all things that just needed to be put away. I would not let anyone come over, because I did not want people to see the state it was in. I have never been like that before!

However, when I called for an ambulance late in 2015, I had to walk out of my apartment, because there was no way a stretcher could make it through the narrow path. Let me reiterate: there was no garbage or dirty dishes, just things that were not where they actually belonged. That incident - and embarrassment - caused me to do something about it. 

I started by making a list, something I am very good at, including sub-tasks within the list. Having sub-tasks gave me more things to cross off when complete, and, therefore a greater sense of getting things done.

It was definitely not a one-day task - I did not have that many spoons available. Over a period of a week, my living room was emptied of 95% of the clutter - I still have a small stack of paperwork on one end of my couch. 
I shredded, tore pages out of magazines to save only what I wanted to read or glue into my vision book, and put the leftovers into the paper recycling.

What a sense of accomplishment when I finished by vacuuming my floor! I had vacuumed each area where furniture was being moved around as it was happening, but I am referring to the nice, large area that is no longer a path. The EMS personnel would have no problem getting a stretcher in here now! 

A side effect of getting the living room cleaned up was realizing that a many things were not in an ideal location. I rearranged a couple of pieces of furniture and moved the desk organization (ironic?) tools to better places. It has also given me the incentive to start clearing out other things.

I used my bullet journal to create a Master To-Do List. It started with 17 items, and I have been able to mark three of them as done. I have a feeling the list is going to grow as more tasks come up, but there will be a more "done" things, too.

Have you started a Master To-Do List? If not, is it something you need to have? Let me know, please.