- Mental Health
Running On Empty
When does it end? Where does it end? The feeling that you have nothing left to give, nothing left to contribute to your friends, family and society as a whole.
You feel as though you are being pulled into a thousand directions. Your child needs you, your friend needs you, your significant other needs you, your employer needs you, and if you have pets, they also need you. There are so many demands of your time and attention that you’re left wondering how to find the strength to get out of bed, or, even want to get out of bed and face yet another day. Don’t get me wrong; it’s nice to be needed. However, when your brain is swirling trying to juggle all the pieces of time needed for everything and everyone, there comes a point when your brain says stop, information overload. Often, the body soon follows.
Add to this the added outside stressors. First, the current stressors, the failing economy, the ever-present threats of terrorism in our states and the ever increasing school shoot-outs, bailouts, global warming and workforce reductions. For good measure, throw in the older stressors. The constantly rising prices, crime on the increase, and corruption not only in the government, but also in the school systems, heck, throw in all of corporate America for that matter.
Pick up a paper, turn the radio or tv on, and it’s all there for us to digest, daily! It doesn’t even matter what time of day it is, at any given moment you can hear the latest crisis unfold.
The good news is, there have been times in my life where I felt completely energized, optimistic and even joyful. Like right now, as I sit here writing this, I can hear the rain on the roof and it soothes me. I’m sitting here doing what I enjoy doing, with a fresh cup of coffee in front of me and my thoughts moving at a slower pace.
What to Do?
In the face of all the doom and gloom, I am supposed to count my blessings. When I bother to think of those, I find I do have many. I have a job. I have benefits, which just paid for my very recent surgery. My bills are current. My health, thank goodness, is pretty good overall. I also have a vehicle that is paid for. I have the love of my family and dear friends. I have a roof over my head, smaller than I’d like, but it’s comfortable and it’s home. I grew up very much loved, and overall, I had warm, loving parents who made my growing up almost magical at times.
So, why this hub? Because, there are days and sometimes even weeks when I let all the things that require my attention to crowd my brain, to the point where I feel as though I’m completely worn out. I feel as though I have no resources left to draw on. Kids and grandchildren wanting or needing something, the boss needing something, creditors waiting for their payments, it goes on and on.
When it all crowds in on me, I allow myself to get depressed about things I have no control over. I allow myself to get lethargic and do nothing but sleep.
I worry about my granddaughter’s upcoming third surgery and I hope and pray the surgery goes well. This too is in God’s hands. In my role as her grandmother, I do all I can to show her the right way, to teach her that life truly is good and that she can achieve anything she dreams about. I am there to support her through all her trials and tribulations.
I worry about my two grown children who currently aren’t speaking to each other. I hope and pray my children find their true soul mates, at least once in their lifetime. In that department, Mom can’t help, other than to offer my thoughts if I’m asked. I want them to find and experience, just once, the joy I had when I found their father. Even though they are grown, I find I am still a much-needed part of their lives. For the most part, this makes me happy, but sometimes a bit crazy.
I stress about the work that’s waiting for me at my job, and the fact that even though I am home on disability recuperating from my surgery, I feel guilt about my coworkers having to carry my burden. Silly, huh? Ok, so sometimes I don’t think too rationally.
Ok, deep breaths here. I’m not looking for answers here. I am just sharing what’s on my mind, because I know when I put these things on paper I can then sit back and see my thoughts in some semblance of order. It helps me to really take a look at what I feel are all the things I imagine that are making me feel a bit crazy and that my life is somehow out of control.
I’ve been told, many times, that I think too much. I have a tendency to project scenarios that could happen in any given situation. Why do I do that? I have no idea. It makes no sense. I am a relatively intelligent person, and I know that there are more things than not that I have any control over whatsoever. Yet, I persist. I often look back over my life and try to discern, perhaps a place in time, where I learned any of my particular behaviors or ways of thinking. Often, I don’t find any one point in time. This tells me that I am a composite of all my life’s experiences, all of my life’s conversations and all of my life’s interactions.
In summation, life, I realize, is an ebb and flow. In my lifetime, I’ve experienced fear, joy, sadness, pain, peace, loss and turmoil, and it has all come to pass. I’m quite sure this temporary feeling of running on empty too shall pass.