I'm used to doing everything myself

I fend for myself.

When I woke up one morning and realized that I had been making excuses for my blackout drinking (it’s fine, it’s just one day a week, no, well, okay, so it’s two or three or four days a week, but everyone does that when they go out, don’t they? So it’s fine), I quit drinking.

My wife was supportive, of course, but it was my fight, so I did it. Myself. Stubbornly. No meetings, no help, just no more drinking.

It was, and still is, rough sometimes. A whiskey or a vodka could just hit the spot when it’s a rough day. Only problem is, one leads to two leads to three leads to many. I count like a Terry Pratchett troll when I drink. So I don’t. Push it down, move on. Been sober over 4 years.

On my own.

When I was younger, I battled a pretty bad bout of depression. Took a handful of pills a couple of times. Was definitely not in control. I did seek help this time, but the pills they put me on were the same ones I took. Come to find out they make the condition worse in 80% of people who take them, years later. All I knew at the time was they didn’t help, so I did it alone.

Fought it, learned to cope, moved on, eventually. Still fight it, now and again, especially these days when I feel like I’m on the edge of a pit of pain just waiting for the push. Just waiting for things to get worse, not seeing a way that things are going to get better.

Still, on my own.

Today is a good day. I can walk with a minimal limp. Tightness in my right hand and shoulder, twinge in the knee, hip hurts, but I’m sitting at my work desk, so of course it does.

Yesterday was not. Shoulder was burning, hand and arm were numb and sore at the same time, hip faded in and out of existing as a hip and a hot coal. Knee decided to stop taking my calls. I couldn’t really pick the dog treats out of the box as my hand was not accepting instructions, and I always lead with my right. Doesn’t occur to me to lead with my left, not yet.

It was also laundry day.

Down the stairs, limp, limp, limp. Trying to fold clothes.

My wife told me to go lay down, that she’d handle it. Not angry. Concerned. She wants me to feel better, but knows that’s not going to happen, not just from laying down. She just wants me to be comfortable.

I yelled at her.

I can help, I can do things. I don’t want her to do everything around the house while I laze around. I can still do what I used to do.

I can’t.

I can’t pick up the box of cat litter to clean it out, not without a struggle. That was my job. Might be able to do it today if it holds out, but loss of strength still makes it tough. I can’t carry the clothes hangers upstairs to put them away without a struggle. I can’t stand at the stove and stir. I can’t I can’t I can’t.

I hate that I can’t. I hate my body for betraying me. I try anyway, I fail, and I just hate.

So I yell at her, just once. She leaves me alone. I calm down. Depression sets in again because what, exactly, am I doing? Why am I angry at her for trying to help me? For wanting to ease by burden?

I am the burden. She doesn’t think that. I do. I can’t and I can’t and I can’t and she can and can and can. Even when she’s in pain or down because of her own issues, she can and I can’t.

I’m weak and I’m useless and I hate myself for it. I do everything alone, and now I can’t.

I can get through this myself. I quit drinking, I fought off depression, I can do this too, I can physically and mentally get through this somehow. I can fight off the constant, burning, nagging pain that invades my right side, I can get through that and somehow do what I’ve always done, live like I always have. Even when I can’t move, I will find a way.

I can’t.

No matter what, I can get through this on my own. I don’t need a psychiatrist or a psychologist. I don’t need help. I just need to step away from the pit on my own, like I always have.

I can’t.

It feels like giving up, like a weakness, like an admission of failure. I know in my brain that, given how worse I feel today compared to a year ago when this started that there’s a good chance that I’m going to feel worse a year from now. Even if that’s not true, I know it and the thought won’t go away.

So, I can’t. I can’t do it myself.

It hurts to admit that. I don’t like it, don’t want it, want to go back to doing it all myself, want to be strong again, want to be the me that has fought and fought and fought and done it all on will alone.

I can’t.


Dilorenzo, managing to bust through the barrier of your own pride (or whatever it is that is stopping you from doing something that must be done) is doing if for yourself. Seeking the help you know you need is called taking control.

Oh my, it is so much harder to confront reality than to sidestep it by telling ourselves we’re just weak or, on the other hand, infinitely strong. I think the way you’re breaking out of ingrained habits of thinking is brilliant.

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Sybil is right… You brilliant and stubborn to your own demise. Those are great things to be BTW if used PROPERLY

I have had an unusual life but have had some interesting experiences that have taught me I can not and have not EVER done it my self.

How about the medic who parachute into the middle of a fire fight because the units medic was killed earlier in the day? Make a great target on his way down but does his job anyway. They hang some hardware on him because “he did it” nothing for the soldiers who got him out of the tree or the pilot who got him there?

How about that same guy who spends 12 years learning his craft only to realize his hands wont work anymore. He becomes a teacher/researcher and is widely recognized for a couple of inventions (okay it was just a pair of pliers and a drug) “he did it” no mention of the students or the others in his unit or the countless hours others spent teaching him and preparing him

Then the guy decides to paint his own stair landing the scaffold collapses and he fractures his back wind up in a “chair” but worse addicted to pain medications that really screw up the works. he kicks the meds rehabs to extreme and is out of the chair. Wow what a strong guy - he did it. No mention of the wife who stood by him kicking the addiction or the rehab people that taught him new skills.

The first thing we need to realize is we have not ONCE ever done anything on our own or by our self but rather have always had someone somewhere that made sure knowingly or unknowingly it happened.

You have a wife who gets more than most and wants to partner. You are more than lucky there.

You are at the point where some really great things can happen and there are resource to help you. The first I might suggest is a salesman at the pet supply store (l love salesmen) I bet he could sell you a self cleaning cat box with the special litter that works with them. Thats my job too. needless to say I catch a lot of grief from my wife and family about my high tech toys BUT we always have a ckean cat box (actually several I couldn’t decide between several models so bought them all - salesmen love me too)

I will mention one thing there is little pain that comes from PsA that is aggravated by working through and past it (except for actual physical damage) and whole lot of that pain that is actually made better over time by doing so. We have a number of members who’s pool time is more critical than a fix to heroin addict. (I’m one of them)

The fact is YOU are one who can do it. You need to understand it becomes a series of work arounds, and you need help figuing those out sometimes) Sometimes the pain NEVER foes away, the feeling of exhaustion never goes away (its not really exhaustion BTW it just seems that way it doesn’t get better with rest or worse with activity) But those things become a part of you don’t know that it gets better, but you do reclaim your life. Its not just us patients BTW. I raised two professional athletes one in tennis and one to the NFL. Both when the retired were amazed at how they could actually have a life without pain. but at the same time the LOVED their careers.

You are that point where good things are about to happen habg in there and hang with us and I AM SERIOUS about the self cleaning cat box. The man should have gotten the Nobel…


Thanks for the tip on the self cleaning boxes. I’ve always been worried about those as I’ve heard some horror stories that they actually make the box worse than better, and end up being a PITA to clean.

And thanks for the views provided to both of you. It’s always good, and eye opening, to get another perspective on things, which is kind of why I started posting here anyway.

Your post reads almost like a poem. You’re such a strong person being able to cope with all that! It doesn’t make you weak if you can’t do this one on your own though… Sheer willpower won’t make the pain go away…

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I want a self-cleaning cat box so much I can’t concentrate on anything else.



I couldn’t afford the self-cleaning litter box. My solution to the fact that the scooper hurt my hand was to cover it in that glue-backed foam insulation strip for doors. And I put down more litter boxes. Counter intuitively that means there’s less to clean. More places to scoop, for sure, but less overall litter cleaning. Oh and I switched to shredded corn litter as the charcoal was too heavy. Oh yeah, and Amazon now delivers litter to my door in my monthly pantry delivery. Now THAT’S some fancy convenience right there.

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It is true we usually have someone, knowingly or unknowingly, enabling us to do the things we do…but I think I’m hearing dilorenzo talking about the ordinary everyday things, too, that we’re expected to do and we don’t need assistance. I feel so inadequate because I have to say I can’t lift this or that–I feel like “they” think I’m being wimpy (probably because “I” think I’m being wimpy), or I can’t walk that far, or can’t walk as fast as I used to…it’s really hard being unable to do things that typically most people your age can do. And, I’m one of the lucky ones, because I’m 63 and not 36 or even younger, like so many in our predicament.


Naybe Grandma J but whats ordinary? Oh I remember being 36 well. I was changing careers as I was afraid I was going to kill someone. (still wasn’t diagnosed thinking my problems were from injury) Decided instead I was going to discover the cure for cancer. We did, well one form and only in cows. and the “method” immunological method became the basis for a lot of current research (that is bearing some fruit) Okay I was proud of it but heres the problem my Best Buddy became the guy working next door Guy by the name of Willy Burgdorfer. Talk about taking the wind out of your sails… At the least I learned quickly not to compare yourself to others, as you will always be falling short. if you aren’t you are such an insufferable pompous ass no one wants to be around you.

Ahh but you were talking physically. So that would be my number 3 daughter (we adopted all our kidsand enough of them we just started numbering them) She was a freshman in High School. She was rushed to the ER by her cross country coach because she couldn’t breathe and was convinced Jessie had exercise induced asthma. well it turned out a little simpler. jessie had never gotten winded before. A few days later in her first race she zigged when she should have zagged. Fortunatly we found her (2 hours later) just as the first members of the search and rescue team arrived. Needless to say she changed sports (she still gets lost going to the bathroom I swear) Anyway it turned out tennis was perfect for her as the keep them inside a fenced area no chance to get lost… She became a state a champion, College All-American (not to mention a free education, NCCAA runner up (singles) and went pro. A lot of accomplishment? She thought so until at the Rolex she played Serena Williams. She was a failure leaving the Pros in 2 years (now she is a youth court judge)

My number 3 son left the NFL (defensive end) because in order to be competitive at his position he needed to add muscle mass. Despite being the fact only 6% percent of t HS players make NCAA programs and 1.6% of the NCAA pool reaches the NFL. He was a failure leaving the pros in 3 years. (Now he is an office manager in a body shop)

If you use your peers as your cohort you have a poorly designed group and your data is totally invalid (I ended up as math teacher - building a valid statistical base for research/studies) There is a huge group (that you ignore) worse off than you and of course a group no matter how well you are better off than you (that you always compare yourself to.) As you compare yourself others you will NEVER be satisfied and frankly generally immobilized or so miserable from being driven to get to the next level life passes you by.

The valid comparison (there is two) is a well defined cohort ie PsA patients with same level, there is a way of scoring it, as you. really not helpful. OR What is helpful is comparing you to you and solving the problems you encounter. Doesn’t MATTER how you get the damn cat box cleaned. as long as it gets cleaned.If you couldn’t clean it yesterday and its clean today (even if you hired the kid next door) ITS A VICTORY

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I needed to hear this today. And I too am going to go and buy a self cleaning litter box, maybe two since I have three cats.

The truth is out, LWPsA is actually just a front for Self Cleaning Cat Boxes inc.


Yes, Sybil! And totally shameless shills for grocery-e-shopping at walmart.com and (across the pond) at Tesco and Waitrose, etc.

We returned from a short trip to Florida yesterday. On the way into town, we picked up the online grocery order at Walmart. Got home, and while my husband poured the drinks (mine was a gin-less tonic) I put the provisions away. No shopping for me today! I’m resting and cyber-working on Ben’s Friends. Smug? Yup. And I did it myself. :stuck_out_tongue:

How are you doing Dilorenzo?

I’ve been reading your post again and wondered where you are with treatment. I know you’ve tried Mtx but I can’t find anything else though I’m sure I’ve seen more info. from you somewhere …

It is early days for you though, that I do know. And heaven knows, that is hard, it can be very tough, confusing, depressing. I couldn’t do diddly squat during my first big flare and it seemed to go on forever. And now when I’m walking along the street, without a stick, without pain, I might as well be flying, it feels so good. Even though that has mostly been the case for a few years now, I still appreciate these simple things that PsA took away from me for a while and might do again, I suppose.

There’s always plenty for us to do independently, including learning (trying to learn!) how to accept help graciously. I say ‘sorry’ to my husband about 50 times a day. It’s weird he’s still here. ‘Sorry I didn’t make the coffee’, ‘sorry you had to do x,y & z’. However the ‘sorry count’ is gradually going down, I’m working on it.

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Thanks tntlamb, you make so much sense, it’s a good reminder not to compare our abilities with those of others or with our subconscious idea of what we think we should be able to do.

@Sybil Still on the mtx. Don’t really have an option of a change until I see my rheum at the end of February, though I have called him with a couple of really bad flares (take more steroids was the answer I was given, at least temporarily, and we’ll see you in Feb).

Things haven’t been too bad since I last posted (work and a colonoscopy took their toll last week), but mostly because the brain fog seems to have cleared. I’m still in quite a bit of regular pain and having trouble doing simple things (like taking dog treats out of an open box. Seriously? Loss of dexterity sucks), but mentally things are a hell of a lot better. Don’t feel like I’m staring into a pit anymore, feels like I’m just limping my way away from the pit.

I was able to build a model Gundam with my wife over the weekend, so that was nice. Couldn’t do some of the more fiddley bits, but still, managed.

Think I’m starting to realize it’s really all about learning to adjust, and trying to do so as quickly as possible so you don’t fall down the rabbit hole of self doubt and despair.

Easy to say right now, though, right?

Good to hear your dealing better :slight_smile: I hope your pain will soon follow :wink:

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A model what??? I need Google.

Great to hear you sounding so much happier, more sanguine about it all. Mtx cleared my fog I think.

I don’t have many aids as such but some things are vital e.g. good sharp scissors that others remove at their peril, really good knives ditto. Boxes are horrible because they’re ‘just’ cardboard haha.

Heh, just a model robot. It’s cool and shiny and I like cool and shiny things because I am still ten at heart, I think.

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Me too !!!:slight_smile: