In the spirit of mental health awareness week, I wanted to write a post about how my brain has [not] been working lately, in the hopes of starting a discussion and minimising the stigma attached to such topics.
I had been planning to write a reading and writing update, first, though. I’ve been planning that post since January, but I especially wanted to push forward with it now since A. it’s been FOUR(!) months in coming and B. I wanted a break from the heavy topics I’ve been discussing on this blog recently.
The thing is, I am so stressed out I haven’t been able to push ahead and just finish it. I know logically that it’s such a simple thing, but it’s like I’ve got a mental block when it comes to even thinking about work.
As you’ll probably be able to tell from the posts I shared at the end of last year/start of this year, my mind has been all over the place. I’ve been trying to rest and breathe and work through that but, honestly, the issues are still not fully resolved.
I don’t know where burnout from client work ends and burnout from being a carer begins, they are inextricably linked at this point, but I do know I simply can’t keep the client work up. I feel awful about having agreed to take on projects that I now don’t have the time or headspace to complete, but I think I’m going to have to face facts and tell my clients where I’m at. I’ve been avoiding it. Been avoiding so much, and it’s only been making me feel worse. I just feel panicked, like I need to escape from everything RIGHT NOW or else.
Today I unpublished my business Facebook page and I’ve redirected my business website over here to this author site. I’m doing everything I can to just get by with my sanity intact.
To those of you reading this who think I’m being overdramatic, maybe I am. I often doubt myself when it comes to these things. But even if I’m not drowning, it certainly feels like it.
4 thoughts on “On Not Being Able to Function”
A brave write and share Ellie. I admire your ability to articulate the issues and courage in addressing them. My hubby and had both had long careers in HR and the key piece of advice he always gave to folk when under pressure was to ‘chunk’ the problem rather than trying to address everything in one go. It seems that you have found that path and I wish you well.
I agree with you Karen. Avoiding being overwhelmed is so important and to “chunk” (I love that word!) is the way to go. Ellie. List (on your own, with Steve or a close relative/friend) “Things to do/see to” (using a positive title that’s non-pressurising). Add small achievements you’ve already done (e.g dishes, laundry) and have the joy of striking them off, as “done”. You need energy to do stuff – create good vibes around you. Play loud, grungy music and dance around like a demon or soft music to calm. Try Chair Yoga. Get out for fresh air. If you can’t or don’t want to be bothered going out for a walk, place yourself in the hands of a friend/other who will call for you and gently but firmly coerce you into taking a stroll. Do things that make you happy. Write for the love of it, not because you have to! Get (and receive) help from anywhere and everywhere, to get you through rough patches and be in a more positive place. Treat yourself like beautiful fragile glass. Believe that you are precious – coz you ARE! I – and many, many others, shall be thinking of (and some praying for) you both. Sending you much love. xxx Paula
A brave, strong, decision. I know from experience what a toll caring takes, no matter how gladly the role is undertaken. The pleasure in simple things like a night’s sleep, or eating with OH, or coffe with friends….you have to be your own best friend, cut back on commitments, give yourself time to just be
My dear Ellie, my heart goes out to you. It’s impossible to split yourself between different demands on your time and emotions without being drained by it.
You’re doing the right thing. Prune back until you’ve managed to recover a little and then work out a strategy for coping. You’ll find a way.
I’m here if you ever want a shoulder. We need another coffee sometime soon.