I’ve really struggled lately. Well, for quite a while actually.
I’m tired all the time. I find it hard to get through each day. Every part of me aches and it feels like I can’t take another step. Everything is too much.
Now, part of that is physical, since an auto immune liver disease makes me both want to scratch my skin off and leaves me exhausted (in that “hit a brick wall” kind of way).
But I’ve figured something else out. Or, perhaps I should say, I’ve remembered something I previously figured out and somehow forgot along the way.
Funny how old patterns suck me back in when I’m not looking…
It’s not “too much to do” that leaves me feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and drained. It’s the voice in my head that says “I can’t…” that sucks the energy out of every fibre of my being.
I can’t do this.
I can’t make it.
I can’t figure this out.
No one can help.
I’m all alone.
Which all pretty much amounts to some pretty fundamental fears: like “I’m not good enough” or “there’s something wrong with me.”
No amount of “I have to…” or “I will…” helps me. Actually, that makes it worse. Because then I pile shame on top of exhaustion and fear, which just makes me more tired.
Looking for activities that “fill me up” isn’t the solution either. Don’t get me wrong – self care is necessary and always a good thing. Being outside, making art, laughing with my kids, spending time with dear friends and talking about the meaning of life, baking, writing, sinking into a bubble bath, savouring chocolate – these are all important activities that feed my heart and soul. But they don’t come anywhere near filling the void of “I’m not good enough!”
I’ve been here before. I may have slipped back into an old familiar rut, but I also know I’ve found respite from these feelings at times.
Essentially, I’ve only ever found one way out of this hole – sitting quietly and feeling good about myself. Connecting to moments and experiences where I felt successful. “Seeing” myself as capable and strong and worthy. There are many memories for me to draw on – I just have to spend my time thinking about them and feeling them!
I meditate. Some people pray.
I think, perhaps, I’m talking about having faith – whether in myself or in a higher power. Or maybe, as Elizabeth Gilbert talked about in “Eat, Pray, Love” – in a higher power that manifests in me/through me in some unique way.
So, here I am again!
Fall down seven times, get up eight.