Over the past few days, I’ve had trouble dragging myself out of bed in the morning. I wondered why my body feels like lead on most days or why my muscles seem to have so much inertia that it seems impossible to move them. And, yet, I do get out of bed, on time, ready to tackle my day and wrap up my chores, to meet every deadline, every need of the family, day after day, no matter what!
The truth is, my 16-hour day feels like a 60 hour one! Now, I’d go ahead with accepting that some days are going to be like this if it weren’t for my inability to meditate. Try as I might, I’ve had two consecutive days when my inability to breathe deeply irked me so much that I didn’t know what to do—the reason being, it’s the ONE thing that always sees me through the ups and downs of life. And then, the following day I picked up a book to read but couldn’t. I tried a picture book. No luck! The next morning I sucked at writing my Morning Pages and it was no surprise that I sat quietly, feeling blasé about life and writing and everything else that had been happening in general. I was left with a feeling as if a giant whale had swallowed me whole and I couldn’t find my old self anywhere.
So, it’s pretty scary to see how real and awful burnout is and how helpless you feel when it hits you. Exhaustion can be very intense if it stretches over a long period of time. It leaves you feeling like you’re capable of feeling absolutely NOTHING but frustrated and worthless, although you know you shouldn’t be. You actually are doing a lot, coping with insurmountable challenges and going on with the grind, putting your best foot forward, even when you feel like throwing it all away and walking off to a space that you call your own.
My question here is—how do you go on when, one fine day you wake up and find yourself at the bottom of a pit, trapped and struggling for release into the open, your arms and feet tied up, and your soul crying for help but unable to find any? How do you find the strength to shake off the fetters and keep fighting?
How does one deal with the days when nothing seems to bring any relief. Or to see the small joys of life slipping away from you. You even find yourself watching the drama of your life unfold before you, while you cease to have the power to rewrite the script that is playing on. You know it is unacceptable, but you feel utterly powerless. What do you do then?
As I look out of the window next to my writing table, from where I’m typing out my post, all I can see are grey clouds looming over the skyline, the edges of the skyscraper blurring into oblivion with the approaching mist.
I know that some days are going to be like this. My only hope—that such days don’t last long enough to wipe me out entirely…
Hugs, Esha. I’m sorry you are going through this. I think the pressures and demands on you over the last few years coupled with Covid must surely be taking its toll on your mind. I’m a few days behind in reading this, but I do hope you are feeling better and getting the break and help you need.
Hugs, Esha. I think I have known what it is to he in a situation just like yours but the difference is you have to care for many people and you feel completely responsible for their well being. I know it will be easier said than done if I tell you prioritise yourself, look after yourself first, take a break and relax and listen to your body and spirit.
However, listen to your body and spirit, you must. You need a break immediately. You need to slow down to be able to breathe. Please, Esha, seek all the help you need at this point of time.
Sometimes those some days feel like forever. I know. I feel that. Professional help will definitely help. Since I am not in a position to seek professional help at the time and since I have been battling with this some days for some time now, I decided that I need to stop with all the plans and pressures on me. One thing at a time. And if nothing is done a day, that is also okay. But no more pressuring myself. No more working around the clock. I haven’t been able to do yoga or morning pages with the same devotion as I used to. I mean to say, even when I do, I feel I am not doing enough. There is no point in forcing to do anything. So I am reminding myself to breathe deeply and be in the moment.
Be kind to yourself, Esha. You are doing hundred times more than me. I can only imagine the exhaustion your mind and body is going through. Don’t think that you are the wheels your family needs to move around. You stop being that wheel. They will find their own wheels in working condition. YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST. To hell with deadlines!!
Hugs Esha. There are days like that and today is one such day feeling a dip in energy, finding the day harrowing despite going out. It’s quite tricky how to deal with such pain ailing us. Hugs! I hear you!
Esha, I completely agree with Sunita. You need to “bunk” life and focus on yourself. Get the professional help you so need right now. Please do it soon, before that whale swallows you up. This sounds so frightening, Esha. I am worried for you. Life and the deadlines, and the needs of your family will be met only if you are fine. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, please, pick up the phone and get help.
I feel you! I got help when it happened to me. Professional help. And it helped a lot. I learnt to allow myself to rest and bunk life sometimes if I had to. I learnt that “the deadline” need not be my deadline. I learnt to put my body, mind and soul first. There are still days when I slide back, but I know help is just a zoom call away. You don’t have to do it alone.
Thank you, Sunita for the reassuring words! I will definitely seek the help I need. It has come to a point where the overwhelm has come to be an inseparable part of my life.