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how to feel useful


Radha
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i know its not our fault that we cant function as we would like, in my case, i cant do much of anything, even reading or watching t.v. is a major endeavor, but i often feel like i'm just existing, not accomplishing anything, even though i know i'm not lazy,anyway, i'm sure many of you can relate to feeling useless, like everyday goes by in a haze of pain and suffering, without anything meaningful happening in our lives, how to deal with these feelings? how can i feel more useful? like i'm making a difference in some way, maybe in another's life? is there anywhere to volunteer without actually going there? or simple jobs? i'm not interested in making alot of money, or any money at all, just to feel i'm doing something!, thanks, wishing you all a decent nite!

radha

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How about doing phone work -- like raising money for a good cause?

Or offering to do mailings (stuff envelopes and such) for a nonprofit group you like. Pick a cause -- environment, medical, political, animals, etc. There is always work to be done.

I would also try to write, draw, paint or do something creative. I always think it would be nice if, in my lifetime, I created something that was unique and would last beyond my years. I picked a career where this is a must (journalism), and I have at least a few hundred clips already. But I still want to either write a book or a major series of articles or something different than the usual stuff.

Amy

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Radha,

I know exactly how you feel. I am always asking myself why am I here? What lesson do I still need to learn? It's difficult to not be hard on ourselves, but this kind of thinking is really just punishing ourselves. It isn't our fault or our choice. I find comfort in my 2 dogs. They snuggle with me and make me smile. I also try to do a page of scrapbooking a day. I asked my friends for some of their favorite pictures and do it for them. Another thought, I have worked in alot of nursing homes, if you called I bet they would have residents who would love a phone call from you or a card. Also the recreational therapists may have projects you could do from your couch. Nursing homes are so understaffed and most the residents are so lonely.

Hang in there. I know it's hard to do.

Dawn :lol:

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Radha,

I recently "adopted a soldier."

I found a website that will connect you with a soldier who needs encouragement. The woman I adopted is in Iraq and doesn't have family to write to her. It's fun sending her letters of encouragement.

http://www.brandonblog.com/Adopt-A-Soldier.html

Just an idea....

Lisa

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Hi Radha! Have you ever looked into online education? I know that there are many types out there...and you dont have to get your whole degree...you can just take some classes or earn a certificate.

I know there are several that do not have semester hours and are self paced which means you can take your time and do it when you feel up to it.

Take Care :P

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Guest tearose

Hi Radha, I sure do relate to this question. I too wish I could contribute more actively to the lives of others. My family and friends seem to be so active compared to me! It is frustrating to have the desire to want to give and not have the "right" outlet.

You have been a source of help here by posting so don't underestimate this!

Have you come up with ideas of your own now that a few days have past and others gave you some ideas too?

I think if you come up with a list of suggestions you could post it here and that would also give others ideas of what they could do.

On my list I like to include hand sewing, crafts, short story writing...and you could create something and donate it to a local charity.

Bottom line, you are already giving to others just by being you! How to use the rest of your energy will fall into place soon, I bet!

take care, tearose

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thanks to all of you for replying, and especially to tearose for your special words of encouragement and making me feel useful! i am in process of trying to finish my bachelor's degree, its going very very slow, so will try to take another class from home, not sure what to major in, that would offer some kind of career when i get better, than i could do from home, but thanks for all your input, and if any of think of any more ideas on how to contribute to society, please let me know, my hands get very tired, so sewing or knitting isnt possible,

radha

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There are some amazing studies being done on meditation. Some of them with really reputable controls and the results are really amazing. These people believe that meditation can not only reduce individual stress through a reduction of cortisol and increase serotonin production in the body which leads to less anxiety, anger or depression. But there are dozens of published findings that suggest that large groups of meditators can actually reduce the level of stress and violence in an entire community.

Sometimes we think that if we are not "actively" doing something to bring in a paycheck, or even volunteering outside of the home that we are not being a "productive" member of society.

I would like to believe that if I am unable to do anything more than lie in bed (during those really bad POTS spells) and fill my mind with compassion and love for myself and every sentient being ... that I am doing something worthwhile for all those around me.

Who knows? But it is a nice thought to entertain.

EM

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Hi Radha;

What MotherEarth said was awesome, "if I am unable to do anything more than lie in bed (during those really bad POTS spells) and fill my mind with compassion and love for myself and every sentient being... that I am doing something worthwhile for all those around me."

There is no person on this earth that is worthless. I believe that you have to love yourself and take care of yourself before you can love and take care of others. It is not being selfish!! Feeling guilty is very easy to do when we can't do the same things we did before we knew we had POTS. And just by you saying how much you want to do only proves that you ARE a very caring person that likes to keep busy.

I've been where you are! I went an entire month of not getting off the couch. I went days wearing the same pajamas. I felt guilty because I couldn't do anything for my family. Then I set goals for myself. It took alot of baby steps and I even had failures but I kept striving toward my goal. I got up and walked around the house as much as I could no matter how tired and fatigued I was. Then I went outside and walked around my yard (I did change my clothes at this point!) The more I did the more energy I had. When I felt better than I did the day before I started looking for other things to do. I admit I have set-backs and the spells keep me down some days. But, that's OK. You have every right to allow yourself to have set-backs.

Getting online and the phone are great suggestions. But excerise is extremely important no matter how minimal it is. Hang in there. Don't lose your faith in yourself!!

KathyP :)

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