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Fatigue v Anxiety v Loss of Confidence

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I appear at times to go into an endless loop of fatigue v anxiety v loss of confidence which in turn leads to obsessively analysing my energy levels, then planning and re-planning my daily activities.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

I totally appreciate the need to pace myself, but I am coming to the conclusion that I am expending too much energy into trying to implement an activity plan into my daily routine that is, in itself, becoming a negative exercise. The net result can be that as I add new tasks into my daily routine, I ditch tasks that I could previously manage with ease, because I am not confident of being able to take on too many additonal tasks.

I constantly ask myself what will be the effect if I do ........today, or I don't think I can do.............today because I had a busy day yesterday!

Not sure if any of that makes any sense, but would be interested to hear of anyone else who has had similar experiences. If so have you managed to overcome it and how?

All suggestions will be greatly appreciated!


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Oh you are making perfect sense to me. I did not go to the baseball game on Sunday as I did not want to be wiped out from it. So i rested as I was tired but I am still tired. I do this same thing everyday. Today I have not factored in that the dentist was going to wipe me out, the light shinning in my eyes or the head back for an hour wearing me out. Now it is noon and I have nothing really done today "productive". I am ready for a headache pill and a nap and hope to regroup later?

I can pace to a certain extent but overall life gets in the way for planning everything. Double hard to work with it. AS I try to really not over do it at home if I have to work the next day- which I have done for years with the fibro anyway. But now the fatigue kicks my butt and I cannot think straight when I am tired.

If I take the ritalin with this kind of tired it only makes my head worse. I have to weigh how tired I can be to take it. At some point the over load just calls for your body to rest. Think that is where I am today although I had high hopes as I should be well rested! But again I under estimated the dentist appointment??? Really? No one really gets how a dentist appointment can wipe you out for the day, not even me???

"I appear at times to go into an endless loop of fatigue v anxiety v loss of confidence which in turn leads to obsessively analysing my energy levels, then planning and re-planning my daily activities". I no longer lose confidence or have anxiety from it maybe because i have learned it is a waste of my precious energy? I need to always look at the postitive side of things or I will fall into that hole of depression. I cannot expect to much from myself. But I must say I do amazingly well for the most part compare to my non impaired friends that often just spin their wheels daily. Their house is not much if any cleaner than mine.

I just do not think anyone can understand how much work it is to not plan but to "wing" it most days. I have a list to do which should take a day but it takes at least a week sometimes. I just cannot ever seem to get my mind and body in sync. When they are both clicking in harmony I am like a mad woman doing all I can!! Prioritizing your life is a tough task when you have to think about it daily. Most people take that kind of stuff for granted.

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Makes total sense to me, I push myself & then hit the wall & then lose confidence because I still can't do stuff I used to do without thinking about it!

Today I am struggling cos Nathan is poorly, its very distressing watching your child in pain & not to be able to do anything. We ended up at A&E which in intself was tiring & only now he is in less pain is the strain of it hitting me. Add to that the disturbed night & I really can't do anything meaningful tonight.

Usually I fire fight so I plan tend to do things in small bursts or to leave early if I need to, if we are out for the day I need to sit somewhere quiet & regroup. Like you I find myself not doing things cos I don't want to not be able to cope in public or to need to get away from people & noise if I need to. But if I get something like today thrown into the mix it really throws me off my stride. I don't think you can plan to the smallest detail, sometimes you have to go with the flow & not beat yourself up if you can't do what you planned.

Planning is good for us post sah but not to the extent that we beat ourselves up if we don't achieve everything on the list. I have become lots more laid back I used to be (not in everything I admit) & things not done today can be done tomorrow. My health is much more important these days.

Sending you big hugs cos it sounds like you need them (()) xxx

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Hi Wem,

It's possible I am completely mis-understanding what you've asked - if so ignore my reply!!

I have realised that some days I can sit from 7am - 10am thinking about how to do what I need to do that day. Simple things like I need to cook a meal for the evening but there is a load of washing to do & my plants need to be watered and my dog walked. I spend literally hours trying to work out which to do first, how to put the tasks in an order that makes my day smoother. Then, after several hours I am exhausted just thinking about it. So I finally have a shower & then go & lie down, having achieved nothing on the list. It frustrates me enormously but it's a cycle I have not managed to break....yet.

I have, however, learnt over time that I take 2 days a week where I will not plan anything at all with friends (like going to the beach to walk the dogs or having lunch out - simple things that I used to fit into my day pre SAH but are now my energy for the day used up). I refuse any offers on these days and suggest on of my 'better' days as an alternative. Weekends are for me to do what I want, when I want and am open to offers if they arise. Mondays & Thursdays are my days were I will not plan anything with others and as much as I can I arrange appointments, meetings with people on other days. Doesn't always work out but I try to stick to this and do stick stick to it over social activities.

It does help to have in mind that if you are busy one day you might need rest time the next. That is all about learning how pacing works best for you. Having said that I went on a 'shopping trip' today to buy clothes for a holiday. Managed ONE shop and lunch & I was done. Tomorrows plans are cancelled so I understand what you are saying about doing so much one day then factoring in some rest the next. It doesn't always work out how we planned it :frown: I'll have to do another shopping trip sometime and the plan had been - get there today, do it, done.....

Michelle xx

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Many thanks for your responses. I am coming to the conclusion that I need to relax more and stop trying to plan down to too low a level.

The confidence issue for me is that I am nervous of hitting the wall, which leaves me avoiding situations and staying in my safe bubble. This in turn can lead to anxiety 'cos I feel trapped in that bubble..........this can heigthen any feelings of fatigue......... and so the loop continues!

I also feel every time I am ready to move up another rung and take on more demanding tasks, back to work, driving, weekend breaks, then I have a crisis of confidence and spend considerable time debating with myself on how to factor any changes into my daily routines.

Oh the joys of managing life post SAH!

Bagpuss - sorry to hear Nathan is not well, hope he is feeling better soon.

Mary - you seem to be doing really well, your posts are so positive. Keep it going!

Michelle - your description of the start of your day could be me! Reassuring to know I am not alone in this.

Louise - sorry to hear you are facing big challenges at the moment. Hope things improve for you soon.

Take care,


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Stress is my biggest sucker of energy ........If it is someone being drama queen at work, the boss looking at shoes on computer and not doing appointments when I page her, or me putting it on myself. It all sucks the energy out of me. It takes only a few seconds to drain me I swear.

I always felt I could fly by the seat of my pants, still can but not as easy. I must do this at home more- I feel good- well maybe I will take that shopping trip out of town, I feel lousy- I will piddle around house and rest. If I shop I get what I need and get out. I really prefer to be alone as talking drains me - or shall I say listening drains me!! Funny how company or being at a dinner with old friends or relatives takes so much out of me.

I do read daily affirmations that do uplift me and change my thinking. I work hard on not letting those negative thoughts ( I was raise with nothing positive!) It is hard to change the process of your thoughts but I do not let that constant voice in my head talk to me anymore. I think I started telling it to "SHUT UP" when I quit smoking 2o years ago. I also used so say things to that "voice" like "later" to trick it. Sounds silly to some but it is a good thing to stop that spinning of negative thoughts.

When I drove into Chicago I last week I would get a wave of panic and I was so fast at saying SHUT UP it almost cracked me up. I was like shut up can't you see I am driving in the city - do not let me lose my confidence NOW!

One other thing is I witness daily a person that lets those negative self doubts thoughts control her life. It really is life changing to watch someone who should be so thankful her family and self ARE as healthy as they are, her husband beat melanoma cancer now 5 years on his neck, she nags her kids to death - who carry a disease that is not good but she give them no confidence what so ever, she self doubts herself even after 30 years on the job to the point that she is unable to do her job. I want to shake her and tell her so much - which she needs to stop being the victim (not saying you are WEM!) and start being a survivor, living, being thankful for what IS good in her life. We are the same age mid 50’s and life is getting shorter and shorter, our families have dodged the bullets more than once and we should be thankful for that. She honestly talks herself into the worst case scenario with everything and it waste so much of her life. It has been a real game changer for me to witness. Makes me want to shove the anti D's her doctor prescribes for her down her throat everyday!! LOL

Sorry to babble so much, maryb

Edited by MaryB
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At times I am exactly like GG. If I need to make a decision, I have to first sit down and then think of it. Then there are times where decisions are so easy. It is the variability that is hard on me. I feel that lack or confidence you are talking about too, Wem. I think it is because I couldn't even put on my sock let alone run around and do all the tasks for the day, so I'm not even sure what I can and can't do sometimes. The first time I rode my bike, I was sure I'd fall over. I didn't, but I had no confidence that I could ride the bike and balance. Now, I don't think about it for the bike, but each new task I try post SAH is like I'm doing it for the first time and I have no confidence that I can do it. It could be a new way of balancing my time or a new jigsaw puzzle or a new piece of music that I haven't played in a long time...it makes no difference what the new thing is. It's just new and scary for some reason. Self confidence is so easy when you have it and so hard when you don't.


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Hi Wem

I can totally identify with this cycle. I did way too much when I first came out of hospital and ended up being readmitted at about 10 weeks post SAH with very frightening symptoms. Nothing was found, but the complete loss of control I felt set off PTSD.

At 5 months I was referred to a neuropsychologist and I now understand that I have problems with attention and concentration, slowed speed of information processing and multi tasking. The 'unknown enemy' was suddenly made apparent to me - up until then I couldnt work out what was wrong with me and why certain things (even watching tv) were so difficult, and it was very scary.

Armed with this new knowledge I did loads of research and set about trying to measure and monitor every aspect of my activities and the environment so I could gain some control over the situation. I thought this would help me to pace myself better as the thought of hitting that wall again was terrifying. However I now think it had the opposite effect as I was so focussed on measuring my mental activity every minute of every day that I set myself up for some very deep seated anxiety. It’s also much harder to measure cognitive effort than physical effort as there are so many variables

On the surface I thought I was ok (and if anyone had dared to suggest I was anxious I think I would have punched them!) I was even proud of myself for taking control. It’s meant a much quieter life, retiring from work, rarely socialising, very little shopping etc. Basically limiting any activities where I’m outside the home and cant ‘control’ the environment. Anyway I've noticed over the past few months that throughout the day, even though I'm feeling perfectly fine, when I think about how much I've done or need to do, or if I notice that I've watched more TV than usual etc I often get a tiny little knot in my stomach. It passes in seconds but I've finally recognised this as a sign of anxiety -adrenaline being released into the system. As this happens many times a day I've realised that my body must be absolutely flooded with adrenaline which in turn makes the fatigue symptoms that I get, worse than they need to be.

It's been a bit of a Eureka moment and since I decided to 'let go' of some of the anxiety/ stress and give up trying to control absolutely everything I've been able to do a lot more. Well it's not quite as easy as that! Despite everything I’ve read and what I know and what I tell myself I still feel that knot sometimes throughout the day and I realise that there is some very deep seated stuff still there. I also think it was just the right time for me become less anxious-not something that can be forced. But for now I’m happy with my little bit of progress.

Have just noticed how many times I’ve used ‘control’ in this post- I think that tells you something about the kind of person I am ..... and am trying to be less of!


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Yes the knot in the stomach comes and goes for me too. I used to call it my crying lump.

It's funny how in ancient Sanskrit, the stomach is the center for self satisfaction as well as seeking behavior (finding food is obvious). This center always gives me a heads up to my anxiety level as well. If I am hard there, I better be by myself and reflect for a bit or if I keep going, I end up crying about who knows what until all that pent up energy gets released. It takes a very self reflective person to realize this connection, so good for you...you are listening to a more subtle way.


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Elaine/Kris - So much of what you say resonates with me.

I have doggedly refused to accept that I am suffering from anxiety and I have been assuming that every little sympton I suffer is caused by fatigue. Only now am I beginning to recognise that anxiety can also trigger some scary sensations in my body.

I am beginning to wonder if I am pushing myself too hard, but I am also struggling to differentiate between not being able to do something and not confident enough to try.

Think I need a crash course on how to differentiate between the fatigue and anxiety then maybe I will have the confidence to move forward.

On the positive side, just acknowledging this behaviour must be a step in the right direction (?) now back to my Chamomile tea!

Once again thanks for the encouraging posts,


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