Yesterday was supposed to be a pretty busy day for me – work, a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, a playdate with my daughter and her best friend, and finally a writing workshop later at night.
But I just crumbled. I ended up spending most of the day at home.
I have always been easily overwhelmed. I don’t know if my mental illness is to blame, or maybe it’s just my temperament, but you can see how it gets in the way of my life.
I try my best to stay organized, thinking it will ease my worries. I carry an old-school planner everywhere I go and write everything down. For some reason, things feel more concrete and official to me if I write them down instead of putting them on my phone. Also, it feels pretty good to write a little checkmark next to the tasks as you complete them, but on the other hand, it feels pretty shitty to look at a packed and cluttered planner knowing you didn’t do anything all day.
Why does it feel like ambition and anxiety go hand-in-hand? There’s so much I want to do but sometimes it’s pretty clear that I can’t handle it all. Even what some would consider a “normal day” can be too much.
To be honest, it’s easy to place blame on my mental illness. But whether you have a diagnosis or not, you have to work with what you’ve got, and oh, how I wish I could turn a broken brain into a superpower. I’ve always been ambitious, and I don’t want to just get by or pass for “normal”. I want to stand out but in a good way. How do I harness this nervous energy for good?
When I actually get through a day completing all of my tasks, it’s a huge confidence booster. I still don’t feel 100 percent since my relapse – I’m still sometimes up and down – but I don’t always know when to give myself gentleness and grace or a kick in the butt.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Do you sometimes shut down like me? What do you do to get your motivation back?