I like goals. I find them motivating and directing, and I surely like the sense of accomplishment I feel when I, well…accomplish them!
But when I feel thoroughly overwhelmed by a problem, I sometimes have a very difficult time developing short-term goals to reach my long-term goals because I miss the trees for the forest while also missing the forest for the trees. I’ve thought through a few reasons why I have so much trouble making goals, and identifying my hangups is half of the problem and gives me the first step to moving past them. Here are my considerations…
- I practice habitual perfectionism and do not easily let my imperfections go without also religiously practicing…
- Self-loathing and self-guilt-tripping when I do not “perfectly” (what is “perfect” anways?) accomplish a task/goal.
- I try to bite off more than I can chew and, as a dear friend often says, “write checks my body cannot cash” then burn out and get depressed and blah blah blah – it doesn’t end well.
- When overwhelmed and feeling a bit down-and-out, looking towards the future with the positive anticipation required to make goals feels entirely daunting.
Developing and then sticking to solid goals requires two things – looking to the future (hoping), and then using that hope as a catalyst for some major here-and-now stick-to-it-iveness (that is now an official word – says ME – and since this is MY blog, I can create lovely new words!). When I’m afraid of looking to the future even just enough to imagine a possible positive outcome (right now I find it easier NOT to imagine at all; just to survive today), my goal-development skills are even more severely crippled than my legs.
It comes back to that same old problem I’ve had for so long now – I am afraid to hope that I will feel better and have my hopes dashed again when either I don’t feel better or I feel better for a little while, then another piano falls on my head. I’ve written about this many times on my other blogs – http://naturallygutsy.com/2012/06/24/the-courage-to-hope/.
The solution, as I see it, always comes back to trusting God with a faith-filled confidence that He will Himself design the ups and downs of my life for His good purposes and that He will provide the grace needed in all circumstances. Maybe this is the biggest stumbling block to goal setting that I’ve yet listed!
Either way, perhaps I just need to keep my butt planted in front of this computer for a few minutes and gather up the courage to list my needs/desires/intended achievements and some of the things I know or suspect I’ll need to do in order to have my needs/desires met. Maybe I’ll list my concerns as well in a “separate list” of sorts. At least separating these categories will help me think more clearly instead of rehearsing this jumble of mixed-together thoughts and worries that don’t do much good. For some reason I feel like I have more courage to write this out with you here (whether you’re reading my blog today or not, I know my CRPS angels are out there).
- Effective treatments for CRPS
- Money for effective treatments for CRPS / Financial stability
- Balancing energy and resources spent on CRPS treatment with treatments for my other diseases
- Pain relief
- Better quality sleep
- Continue managing GI issues – SCD Diet, Colonoscopy Prep Cleanouts
- Better manage medication schedule and dosing
- Keep working and doing quality work at my part-time job
- Find some way to relax and not let this consume me entirely, somehow get some “fun time”
Since I feel stressed about some specific financial issues, I’ve decided to break these out as well so I can see it all more clearly.
- Gym Membership for heated pool ($40 / month)
- Compounded cream medications ($60 / month)
- Ketamine – may try late April ($70 / 3 months supply)
- At least one pair of durable shoes that I can tolerate wearing which won’t break down – must be adapted by prosthetist ($200-$250)
- Car repairs, charcoal canister ($310)
- Other – I have a feeling this category is going to get longer before it gets shorter. CRPS is a very expensive disease to treat.
What I think I’ll have to commit to doing (and then actually do!):
- Biofeedback, 2 x day (at home)
- Biofeedback, 1 x week w/ therapist (1.5 hr drive to then from)
- PT exercises & Desensitization program (at home, 1.5 hr x day)
- Pool walking, heated pool, 1 x day, 4 days/wk (40 min drive to then from)
- Psych counseling, 1 x week (at home)
- Keep working 17 hrs/wk at part-time job, try to work 20 hrs/wk if hrs available and can still meet other healthcare obligations, do the math so I don’t lose Medicaid coverage or SSDI
- Possibly ask for help financially
- Continuing to attend my medical appointments with my other 12 specialist doctors
- Nightly epsom salt bucket dunks (at home, 30 min)
- Potentially try ketamine internasal treatment
- Make a set schedule for all hours of the day including meals, bedtime, etc.
- Pain relief won’t come / this disease will spread or get worse / flare-ups
- Not finding effective treatments for CRPS (see above)
- Treatment and medication side effects
- Not having money for treatments for CRPS or other life expenses
- Losing progress with my GI and overall health because of preoccupation with CRPS treatment
- Losing function or independence including ability to walk on a more permanent level, also a permanent limp
- Ketamine treatment may make me psychotic or have to fight hallucinations again
- Being forever exhausted by that long list of things I need to do!
- Having a mental breakdown from stress (see list of things I need to do)
- Not finding time to get my cleanouts done every 2-3 weeks = increased GI pain/symptoms/food problems
- That I might lose my job or be unable to perform adequately at work due to pain/exhaustion
- That friends/family may feel like I am a burden and pull away from me or not believe me
- Having to develop a stress loading or quota-based activity program myself without support because Medicare/Medicaid won’t pay for it – and the incredible pain involved
- Becoming too afraid of the pain to leave my home, go to church or other socialization activities, afraid someone will touch/bump my leg
- Becoming too tired to continue fighting
Thanking God at this moment that I’m not a mother – I don’t know how anyone handles all this with the added responsibility of precious children to care for!
Good goals are measurable. The above list doesn’t contain any goals, just brainstorming. 🙂 The stuff above is what goals are made of… I’ve now got the raw materials to work with.
But at least I finally put my pen to paper and wrote down a chunk of the things on my minds – WHEW! Now I feel better. I haven’t solved my goal-making problems, but that’s ok. I don’t think I need to solve all of those issues in one night (nor could I if I tried). I took the first steps, identified the problems, then listed things I want to accomplish, some of the things I will need to do to accomplish them, and most of my concerns as well.
I can now take these things to the Lord in prayer, with faith, rather than letting them rumble around my little worried head all day long. I will ask Him to bring solutions that I could never have anticipated, as He did with the biofeedback situation yesterday. I guess this process, though humbling and showing evidence of faithlessness (see that list of worries?), is part of the healing. Instead of being faithless, I’m choosing to expose my worries and how I’ve tried to figure things out myself, and I am deciding I want to release myself from this stress and give God time to answer each one of my concerns. When I write this stuff out, I feel like I don’t have to carry it in my brain all day, not that I should be anyway, but do you get my point?
Alright, going to pray and hit the sack tonight. Good night, angels.