It’s called self care. You ever feel like the weight of who you have to be is weighing you down? As if just showing up is way more than you can handle. That dinner you’ve been invited to. Going to work. Or something even simpler like getting gas, picking up milk from the store or just taking the dog for a walk.
My brain was overwhelmed. My senses were amplified. My need to be alone was so strong I felt dislike for people in general. Everyone needing something from me… Questions that needed answers. Directions that needed to be given. A smile that needed to be shown. Ears that needed to hear what others needed to say because they needed to be heard.
Suddenly I couldn’t take it all in .. one conversation was too much. One comment, one smile, one moment of focus was just too much.
It started one day for just a moment and I thought I could ignore it… push it down. I was successful the first few times. But then the periods of being overwhelmed got more and more frequent and finally there was no beginning or end it was just the whole day… and night. My sleep was getting interrupted by minds inability to stop thinking. Tired, frustrated and saddened because I’m stronger than this (or so I thought) I keep
on. I kept digging deep within myself to find fragments to support myself thru the days and the nights. Finally it hit me after a meeting with my therapist and a strong recommendation … you are burnt out… you need to take some time … get some rest … get off this train called life.
Of course I first thought, nah I’ve got this I can handle it (echoes from my childhood)-push on even when you’ve had too much! But then I realized I’m an adult… ask for what you need … go ahead give it a shot. I asked for time off of work -(which my dr was gonna make it mandatory if I didn’t improve by our next appointment)! I asked… it was granted!
So now comes the solution to the problem:
Rest,relaxation, and cutting off all outside noise. I’ve been off now 5 days -the first two I spent with family- festivities that in many ways warmed my heart but also felt like almost too much stimulation. The next 3- sleep and rest and relaxation. Me, my bed, my computer, Tv and staying home. I needed to reboot like a computer. Turn off, rest, then reboot. I’m still resting today getting ready for my grand reentry to the world tomorrow…
I’ve taken naps and read books and taken long baths and listened to music that I love. I’ve moved slowly without deliberate intention. I’ve watched my favorite movies and played words with friends. I’ve eaten my favorite foods and ordered out and had it delivered. I’ve felt the weight lift… not entirely because now the anxiety of reentry is there. I’ve refueled my self to a level that will allow me to be me in the world again.
I stopped…. now I’m almost ready to go again…
It’s ok to take care of you … survivors often struggle with this because we fought and fought and pushed and pushed ourselves just to survive… Often survivors don’t have a sense of when too much is too much. We are programmed to allow life to just keep piling it on. Even when we feel we are going to break down we allow more to be put on us because “we don’t want to handle it .. but we must.. what will others think ?”
It’s ok to stop! It’s ok to reboot! It’s ok to say I’ve had enough! There is nothing wrong with being human and stating what you need.
I don’t always remember this myself but I am here to encourage others … you deserve time for you.. take it when you need it …
The most important part is to not wait till you are falling completely apart… you don’t have to be everything for everyone .. the only one you have to be is you for you…
Stop! Take time for you… then go