I’m tired, really tired. Not lack of sleep tired, although I didn’t get close to enough last night – apparently my brain wanted to be awake and thinking at 4am. I was less than amused. I mostly get enough sleep to function at a reasonable level these days, I’m just tired of the other stuff, not work, the other stuff that comes with being a single, independent woman with a kid.
I’m very lucky to have a beautiful daughter, a roof over my head, and a good job I mostly enjoy. I’ve got some great friends who listen when I need them to, and tell me off when I need it as well. But I’m still tired.
I’m tired of always making all the decisions. I’m tired of always having to do all the chores. I’m tired of being the only one who ever does anything in my life. I’m tired of never having someone to come home to. I’m tired of looking after myself all the time. I’m tired of not feeling able to ask for help when I need it, because I don’t want to bother anyone. I’m tired of feeling lonely. I’m tired of never having time to do the writing I really, really want to do. I’m tired of everyone thinking I’m confident and assertive when I’m often not. I’m tired of people finding me intimidating, which I find really strange given I’m such a big softie. I’m tired of being so prickly on the outside when all I want to do is give everyone a hug. I’m tired of people making assumptions about me rather than talking to me. I’m tired of not knowing where I stand with some people. I’m tired of not being able to ask.
I’m really tired of having anxiety. That’s what all those thoughts are about. Anxiety. I hate having anxiety, because it gets in the way of things I want to do and people I’m trying to connect with.
I’m ok, I’m just tired.
I’ve had a bad anxiety head for a while now, I’m not sure why, well I’ve a few theories but I won’t be sharing those here. I’ve only told one person how I’ve been feeling recently, I don’t feel I can tell a lot of people, but it shouldn’t be a secret. So many people struggle with mental health issues, and sweeping them under the carpet only adds to the stigma. I’m not crazy and it’s wrong of anyone to think I am just because having anxiety can make me seem a little nuts at times. So here’s me, pointing out it’s completely normal to feel a bit nuts sometimes.
Living with anxiety can be like living with a crazy person in your head who won’t shut up and is constantly telling you all the awful things that are going to happen if you even breathe a step out of place and aren’t in complete control for 5 seconds. Letting go and trusting other people is ridiculously difficult with anxiety, because anxiety tells you not to and tells you all the bad things that will happen if you do trust them. OK, bad things might have happened in the past when I trusted people, but there’s no evidence that will happen now, it’s just my brain is having none of it. Dammed brain on heuristics.
Not having complete control when you have anxiety is really difficult, it’s a little easier when you know people well, but still takes a huge amount of effort. Because anxiety will tell you all the ways things will go wrong in every new situation you encounter. Every situation will make you nervous because you’re thinking of everything that could go catastrophically wrong no matter how unlikely any scenario is. Anxiety will tell you all sorts of rubbish and you’ll believe it, because you get twisted up in the spiral of worry and can’t tell the logic from the crazy.
It also means waiting for something can be torture, you’re putting control in someone else’s hands, which is hellish to anyone with anxiety. Patience might be a virtue, and when I’ve complete knowledge of what is around the corner it’s all there, I can display the patience of a saint. If I have no idea what’s happening and I’m not in control of the situation, then I go from patient to imagining every worst case scenario in about 24 hours. Give me a week and I’ll want to walk away just to protect myself from my own head.
A lot of people get it, but they only get it when they know you’ve got anxiety. Until then, they just think you’re a bit crazy and are going to crack up. You’re not, at all, you might feel like it sometimes, but you’re not. I’m definitely not, but I might go and hide a bit more than anyone would like just to keep things on an even keel. I got used to living with anxiety a long time ago, but the constant pressure of having to do everything by yourself outside of work is exhausting and leaves less energy for looking after yourself and stopping the anxiety taking over. So when I’m tired it all gets a bit worse.
Anxiety is a bitch, just like depression it fills your head with lies and tells you people don’t really like you, they’re just pretending and they’re going to disappear when they’ve found someone less twitchy to hang around. You worry about things you’ve said, things you’re thinking, things you didn’t say, things you didn’t think, and you worry about what others did or didn’t do, and things they did or didn’t say. Anxiety will drive you crazy if you let it, it’s so difficult to keep the crazy thoughts at bay some days.
The fact I’m mentally tired isn’t a big surprise really, it’s been an incredibly tough year and one hell of a learning curve with a rollercoaster of emotions chucked in to boot. Of all previous years in my life this one is right up there for number of challenges and changes. I’ve also been on full-on work mode for the past 8 months, and there’s another couple of months coming up where I need to be working at full speed before I can even contemplate getting a rest.
I don’t really know how to fix this kind of tired. Coffee is something that I gave up a while ago as it affected my anxiety badly, I definitely don’t need that. What I need is the sort of break I can’t have. The sort where I actually get rest and someone else is there to do all the things I normally do. I think I just need someone around. Which can’t happen.
Is it just pride that I’m not asking the questions I want to ask or saying the things I want to say? Probably partly, but not just that, the onus is always on me, and for once I want it not to be. I’m tired of making the first move, of making the decisions, of being the only one who does anything. I’d actually like someone to take over for a bit, just to give my brain a rest from itself.
I’m trying to take a step back from some things, difficult as it is and much as it’s making my head spin with all the thoughts that I’d rather weren’t there. And I’m trying not to walk away from a situation causing me a huge amount of anxiety. Because I know it’s just my head telling me rubbish and for once I don’t want to run away, even though it’s stressful. But I’m tired and I can’t do everything. And trying to do everything means I have less time and space to manage my anxiety. I’ve got priorities. I have to look after my girl, I have to do my job, and I have to look after me. Those that want to contact me will contact me. If they don’t then they don’t. If they’re good people they’ll understand that anxiety is making me act a bit differently to how I want to act but it doesn’t mean I care about them any less.
I don’t really want to hide, it doesn’t always help. But right now I’m tired and there’s no space in my head, so I have to hide and try and sort my head out just so that I can carry on, as I have to do. Some people will be let through my defences, if they wish. Some may have to wait a while. If I contact you, it’s because I want you around and I trust you. If I don’t, please don’t take it personally, I’m not disappearing, I’m just trying to slow down, or stop, the many trains of thought racing around my head. Because they’re making me tired.