I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am tired. All the time. I wake up tired, I go to bed tired. I spend most of my day tired. It’s pretty much a way of life for me. And due to all of this tiredness, I spend a lot of my time in a daze. I find it hard to follow conversations. It’s hard to read. Hard to think. It’s a wonder I get anything done because I’m always so damned tired.
We discussed this a bit in therapy last week. More precisely, we discussed how I feel overwhelmed. Like I have too much to do, and too little time to do it in. How I feel like I’m always running, and I stop briefly to sleep, only to wake up running again. This isn’t a new problem for me. It’s something that has been going on since high school, or maybe even earlier. This constant motion. This constant feeling of exhaustion.
For many years, I thought that my exhaustion was laziness. In fact, not too long ago I told my SO that deep down I was lazy. Yes, there are things I want to do, but I really am lazy deep down, because I don’t want to do them. I force myself to do things, but I’d rather do nothing at all.
Because I’m so lazy.
And for a couple of weeks, it became a joke. I’m so lazy, ha ha ha. I don’t want to do this, I really don’t have the motivation to do that, either. I’m so lazy. But then one day, I heard a response from who knows where. Whoever or whatever it was told me “You are not lazy. You are exhausted.” I then got the distinct feeling that I was not to refer to myself as lazy again, for fear that some lightning bolt would come down from the sky and kill me on the spot.
After my discussion with my therapist this past weekend, I am believing more and more that I am not lazy. I am exhausted. And now I need to fix that.
The conversation started with me talking about how I’m overwhelmed. I spend my mornings rushing to get ready so I can rush to get into traffic. I then rush from my car to my office so that I can hurry up and get on with my daily tasks. Once the day is over, I hurry up and rush over to pick people up and rush home to try and get everything else I want to do in. Dinner. Chores. Hobbies. Other crap I need to do. And then I have to hurry up and go to bed so that I can do it all over again the next day.
She looked at me and more or less said that I have bad time management. I want to fit all of my 10 hobbies into an evening, every evening, and that doesn’t work. That I want to do 5 things at once, and I can’t (or shouldn’t). But the real crux of everything is that I feel like I have to do these things. Really, on any given day, I have a few tasks I need to get done at night. They involve eating (she wouldn’t let me skip this), cleaning up, showering, and sleeping. Surely I can get that done in my 4-5 hour window after work, right?
Well of course I could. But then I’d rag and nag on myself about how I didn’t get this done. I didn’t do that. Oh I forgot I need to get this thing done, too. I have such a long laundry list of things do to, I’m mentally killing myself because I’m not doing it all all the time. It’s like I can’t stand myself if I’m not being productive 24/7. My expectations of myself are too high.
The more I thought about that, the more I see it in some of my family members. My grandmother never let me laze around in the middle of summer. Oh sure, I’d try. But she’d nag on me until I got up and did something. She’d make watching tv miserable. And god forbid you watch something ‘stupid’ like cartoons. Perhaps that’s where the trend started. Perhaps it’s engrained into our very society to always be moving forward. It’s like a badge of honor to work 80 hours a week in the US. It’s almost a crime if we’re not constantly trying to move up the ladder – or cutting ourselves off at the knees.
My homework this time around was to get another journal (heh) and monitor my thoughts – specifically starting after I get off work. Notice how many times my brain says “you need to do this, you need to do that”. To notice my laundry list and how it grows. When I get home, I should make a list of what I HAVE to do (sleep, eat, etc) and what I WANT to do (read, sew, blog, surf, save the world). Then, I am to monitor my energy levels (from 1 – 5) and see if I have the energy to do anything, or if I should do the bare bones and go to bed. From there, I need to write down what I have actually done. In the end, this is supposed to help me do less, to monitor my time better, and to really keep track of where I am at.
So far, it seems to be helping. I’m not sure if it’s the journal that’s helping, or the fact that my therapist is more or less holding me accountable. In the past two days since therapy, I have done significantly less in the evenings, and I’ve managed to go to bed before 9 both nights. She told me that if she had to make me do nothing in order to help me balance out my evenings and my energy, then so be it. So far, I feel like I’ve not accomplished much, and I’m noticing how quickly time disappears with just one task. It’s no wonder I felt like I was rushing. However, I know that this issue with take a while to right itself. This isn’t something that will change in a week.
This week’s hypnosis wasn’t much. You were to start at the top of a 10 story building. This building was the “building of relaxation”. You then hopped in an elevator and rode down into the basement. When the doors opened, you were to walk down this hall as things were read off to you. The hall was pretty dimly lit. There was a row of lights in the center of the ceiling, but nothing more. Part way through, it became a challenge to focus on the hallway anymore.
We did another blessing. The vision wasn’t as potent this time. My therapist believes that it’s a vision of a past life where one parent was mentally absent (aka paid no attn to me) and the other was attentive while home, but spent a lot of time away from home at work. That the place is full of sadness and I spent most of my time on the porch watching for my father to come home. She feels that the emotions that are present in that vision (and were present in that lifetime) are tied to my want to constantly be moving. That on a subconscious level, I feel those emotions, and when I do nothing, they start to poke through. Therefore, to drown that out, I do stuff.
On some levels that makes sense. I guess I’ll have to see how things change with that vision as I continue to progress.
Stepping back has been challenging for me already. However, I look forward to the ability to have more energy and to feel like I’m actually awake in my daily life, instead of always being in a haze.
March 6, 2012 at 9:35 pm
thank you for sharing your story
underneath all that overwhelm and tiredness is the peace that passes all understanding
at your core you are already whole, one with God and free
Blessings to you on your journey
May you find the fountain of living water within!
March 7, 2012 at 7:48 am
Thank you for this! I’ve always considered myself lazy…really truly lazy. I’ve made jokes about that myself on numerous occasions. Lately I’ve taken to writing up a weekly to-do list (I’m one of those weirdos who loves to mark things off of lists). I thought it was a way to motivate myself but…you’ve made me think.
The list is monumentally huge. And some days all I want to do is play video games. Maybe I was exhausted as well? There’s always too much on my plate at once and its all so dreadfully important. Writing it out has helped me to prioritize a little but…
You’ve definitely made me think. Maybe I’m not lazy either.
March 7, 2012 at 7:58 am
I have actually written things on lists in the past just to feel the joy of crossing them off. Ironically, two people I share my office space with have done the same. Perhaps it’s a feeling of accomplishment… some sort of high that we all get from it. I’ve always wondered if making a list will make me actually do more stuff, but sometimes all the list does is mock me. Because I can’t get my high of marking things off. So I’ve had to re-think as well.
Whatever decisions you come up with, you’ll have to share your findings. I doubt you’re lazy, though 😉
March 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm
I recently read something about that being better than the traditional “to-do list”:
March 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm
I think there is truth in that article. Something I am noticing is that, by writing down what I’ve done, I’m actually doing more than I thought I was. Go figure.
The Rose Bell
July 7, 2012 at 9:45 am
I KNOW THIS FEEL SO WELL.
GODDAMNIT I WISH I KNEW THIS BLOG MONTHS AGO.