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I'm becoming a scaredy cat

Morning all, bright and cold up north, just as it should be, but all this rain it’s prob just gonna cause more havoc, but hope all is well with you all. I ramble on…

Anyway, the point is that I used to be able, not just physically but mentally, and would try most things. But now I seem to talk myself out of situations, or be easily persuaded not to do something, but mostly me. I think I’m a scaredy cat and I don’t really like it. Anybody else?

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hi slug

i used to love driving to new places then became wary of it.

now i’m timid about driving more than 5 miles from home.

i really don’t like it one bit.

carole x

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Hi,

Yes, I’m finding myself increasingly worried about driving any distance even walking the dog and basically anything that uses my legs and I must know I have quick access to a toilet. Its almost too much to think about, plus I no longer like crowds, they make my eyes and brain get anxious and then my symptoms arise, making me more anxious, vicious circle. Anyway, so now I avoid potentially stressful situations too.

MS is rubbish.

Nikki

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Yup, MS sucks and avoiding bad avoidable or tough situations is valid, however every now and again I like to challenge myself and so far I have MOSTLY been lucky and got away with it. There is a fine line between “giving up” “being wise” and “overdoiing it - or taking too many risks” I feel crap when constrained by my condition but feel slightly less crap when I have a little victory, so I intend to keep trying but try to be smart about choosing my battles. Good luck and all the best Mick

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PS: I hope that I am smart and considerate enough not to put anyone else at risk or negitavly impacted by my decisions, M

classy spelling ooops

Hi slug, bright and cold in the south east too. My MS has knocked my confidence. I don’t think I’m scared of doing things or making decisions but I’m not confident anymore when doing those things. I find I’m checking with people that I have done something correctly or double checking myself when I do stuff I have done hundreds of times before. My confidence has gone unfortunately. Driving is fine but I do agree with Nikki about crowds, it’s not so much the amount of people, it’s the noise. I’ve become rather sensitive to noise.

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I’ve been gradually losing confidence since (at least) my thirties - i.e. well before diagnosis in my mid-forties, so I think this has been a gathering cloud for quite some time.

In my twenties, I was flying to the U.S - by myself - to represent my company at international symposiums (symposia?) involving customers and rivals. I was on the fast-track management scheme.

Somehow - I think I’m only belatedly realising why - I never fulfilled my potential. Instead of getting more confident with experience, I seemed to be getting less so. I gradually got to the point of feeling I didn’t really even have a proper job anymore, and was just picking up the dross they couldn’t find anybody else to do. In my thirties and forties, this woman who had once worked on the international stage, and was being approached by universities to ask if she would share research we’d been doing, was feeling intimidated about visiting our own offices in London or Birmingham (I’m in Bristol).

And all through this, I didn’t realise I was ill. I did have vague feelings of being “not as competent”, and certainly of being assigned work that was far less challenging than things I’d been doing as a new recruit, at 23! I didn’t have a pay rise or promotion for years, instead of getting one (or both) most years. There was a nagging feeling of: “Something’s gone wrong - I used to be better than this.”

Only when the underperforming, and, in many cases, deliberate avoidance of challenge, had become chronic did I eventually seek medical help, and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. That was still some years before the MS diagnosis.

I will never know for sure whether I was genuinely clinically depressed, or whether what my doctor and I had assumed to be depression-induced lethargy was, in fact, unrecognised MS fatigue. I still find it very difficult to tell the difference between depression and fatigue, as I don’t know if I avoid things because I’m depressed, or because they’re genuinely so much more demanding now, that it’s a barrier in itself. Instead of thinking how interesting or enjoyable something will be, or the sense of achievement I will get, I tend to think only about how stressed or knackered I will feel! But I think that is a REAL issue, and not just me making excuses! Basically, something has to be really good before it outweighs how stressed and knackered I know I’m going to get, and not many things tip the scales in the right direction.

It is a dilemma, isn’t it? I remember when we (my doctor and I) were still calling it “depression”, and friends made “helpful” suggestions, like: “Why don’t you have a holiday?”, or: “Why don’t you move house?”

Ideas like that felt, and still feel, like: “Why don’t you just climb Everest?”

I’ve managed ONE foreign holiday and a brief UK break in five years. Though admittedly, finances are an issue now, too, since I lost my job (the one that didn’t really exist) in 2012. So I don’t know whether to feel sad or relieved that I never really feel up to doing anything anyway. It certainly saves me a fortune, but it’s not ideal, for all that.

Tina

x

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Tina makes a very good point. I wonder how many of us stopped doing things or didn’t perform to our usual standard because of the early stages of MS without actually knowing it was MS.

I think, with hindsight, my MS started a year or two before my diagnosis in September 2015.

Pops

Hello people, good to hear your responses. Yes I think with me it’s a lack of self belief, I guess when you can’t walk more than a couple of metres, and constantly need to be near a loo, you daren’t travel too far or anywhere unfamiliar then it does tend to lead to a very narrow choice of things to do.

sometimes when I’m feeling positive, I feel that it’s a good thing that this ms thing affects ‘strong’ people like me, so I can fight it. Then the next day, I feel all small and want to hide and I realise I’m not strong at all. And if I’m honest I’m having more small days than strong days, and I don’t think it’s depression but realisation that I can’t do.

anyhoo…things not too bad, and it’s Friday night, so enjoy all xxx

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Hi, I still get my Boudica out, but sometimes she aint as gutsy as I need her to be!

Polyx

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Well i’m still undiagnosed - but I stopped running up stairs years ago - was scared of tripping over my right foot. Only found out a couple of months ago that I have drop foot. Have given up plain old running now too - not really complaining about that though, never did like running

Know what you mean. On a good day I feel like I can conquor the world… on a bad day just want to hide under the duvet!!! Not that I do - but heyho. You have to do the best you can, whatever taht may be huh?

H x

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… whatever THAT may be! Fingers got a mind of their own tonight!

H x

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Yep, you’re certainly not alone… this Malarkey has knocked my confidence all to hell, and stuff I used to be able to cope with, I’m no longer too sure about! Sucks, big time, and I hate it. I’m trying to be strong, but some days it’s harder than others…

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Yes, yes, YES!!!

I’m a massive wuss now…I used to be up for anything active and now I just get scared that if I plan for it I’ll be ‘tired’ or down or whatever and so don’t plan anything any more. It sucks.

I went out last night, with some very good friends, who just get on with it. We all laughed and had a great time, and my faith is restored a little. Can-do people are brilliant and I love each of them dearly. Keep fighting people xx

I too have changed in many ways… My other half is now my other 95% since there is so little of me left ! Some days I cannot even answer the phone, feel unable to talk even to friends sometimes. Hopelessly and uncharacteristically wimpy.I used to have loads of confidence, now have none. Did not even connect this with my MS but now wonder ???

Oh EllJay, best thing you can do is blame all the crappy stuff on MS, it’s not you and you’re def not just 5% of who you were. I know our other halves do disproportionate amounts of stuff sometimes, but we can’t allow ourselves to be defined by that. My friends always say ‘would you do it for me if things were the other way round’ and I think yes. To an able bodied person a little job is nothing and I would if I could return the favour. I’m not being lazy (well most of the time I’m not), and if things were the other way round I would try my very best for hubby or friends. I agree, it’s not always easy to think like that and I think this thread has shown that we are all a little vulnerable and big scaredy cats sometimes, but please try not to let that take over xxxx

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That’s a really positive posting Slug. I know how elljay feels, it’s like wondering what is the point of me now I’m not even half of what I was. And feeling like you’ve got nothing to say because you’re only a fraction of the person you used to be. But my friends tell me that I’m still me inside. And they seem to still love me just the same.

MS is rubbish. It’s bad enough that it takes away our physical ability and some of our cognitive abilities, but to take our sense of self too, our self confidence, is the pits. Whilst it’s true that not everything that’s wrong with us is caused by MS, I think the scared feeling, anxiety and nervousness, where there used to be intrepidness (is that a word?) and confidence too is lousy and I feel can only be blamed on MS.

Sue

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