Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Overwhelm (Day 285, Year 2)

Friends, I am overwhelmed. The kind of overwhelmed that has me shouting, "I AM HANGING BY A THREAD." And it is a funny thing, because when I mention this I get all sorts of instructions and suggestions for managing my time or delegating. People even just start doing things for me. And it is very nice. But, I don't think my overwhelm is simply a function of needing more specific help or people to do things. 

(I mean that is all lovely, don't get me wrong.)  

It is more like the train is off the tracks I am not sure how to shove it back on the tracks. It is speeding out of control and bumping into trees and hitting rocks and hopping curbs. I am the kind of overwhelmed that is not entirely logical and at the same point extremely logical. I am the kind of overwhelmed that cannot be solved by people doing the things that are my responsibility. I am the kind of overwhelmed that does not mean I cannot do things; it is just that I am, like I said, experiencing the sensation of hanging by a thin thread or about to stumble off a cliff. I am the kind of overwhelmed that makes me more overwhelmed to accept help from someone else. 

It is a state that cannot be simply fixed by people doing things for me. 

Which is an interesting parallel to when teachers respond to our questions about our son's struggling reading and writing with instructions to "read more." I know this sounds logical to them, but you cannot read away a learning disability, no more than you can "do" away the paralysis and obsessive, spiraling thoughts that come with overwhelm.

This emotional overwhelm is affecting my sleep (which along with my geriatric dog who wakes up at 4:15 am, like clockwork, breathing on my face and demanding to go outside). This emotional overwhelm is affecting my memory and my focus. I am sure my kids--who I'd do anything for--suspect I am not listening to them. My husband really doesn't know what to do with me, even though I think he is trying to understand. 

I am not entirely sure what the solution is. I think I have to accept my overwhelm--accept the stress and try to change my apocalyptic mindset. I need to find ways to put all intrusive thoughts in their time and place; so I can mind some mental clarity to move forward. I think I need to be firm with what I need--which isn't necessarily people to do things for me--but more for people to just give me a hug, remind me that I am capable and absolutely not absolve me of my roles and duties. Absolution of this type just makes me feel incapable; which overwhelms me more. 

It's an exhausting spiral. But I know this isn't forever. As my Dad would always say when he was overwhelmed: something's gotta give. 

So something will, I think. The first step is what I did here, acknowledge that it is happing and maybe begin to accept it, so I can kiss the overwhelm goodbye (eventually. For now, I'll stay awake with my obsessive thoughts.) 



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