Overwhelmed and Exhausted

I have to admit that I am beyond overwhelmed and exhausted with my life at this point. This last year, with the exception of the birth of my son, has been one horrific nightmare after another. It seems that no matter where I turn, there is another life-sucking beast waiting for me and there is no choice but to fight again when I can barely find the energy to get out of bed. During the endeavor that is dealing with everything life has thrown at me this year, is the desire and the need to regain a sense of self after being pregnant and having a baby as well as redefining my role in life. I barely have an idea of who I am and who I am supposed to be in general, so this new found desire to redefine myself causes many sleepless nights. So, needless to say, with the constant lack of sleep, never-ending stress, and the reality that no matter what is going on, I still have to show up and “function,” I am beyond exhausted and overwhelmed…and I’m angry.

I am angry that I cannot ever seem to have a break, have a moment to breathe, let alone a moment to myself to even begin to focus on self-care. I hate that I am in a constant state of anxiety, tension, and depression and that I still have to do everything that is “expected of me” alone. I have to be the one who comes up with the ideas, makes the difficult phone calls, and plays the role of wife, mom, daughter, and employee with the expectation that I will just keep pushing through and that there is no problem with heaping more and more expectations on me. I get it, I am the one who has always held everyone together and gotten things done that needed to be done. Historically, I am the one who can just keep going and eventually come out the other side. But the truth is, I’m not that person right now, and I may never be that person again. The changes in me since having my son, the crippling and debilitation postpartum depression and reactivation of PTSD symptoms following our house fire as well as a continuous flare up of my fibromyalgia symptoms on top of everything else, has left me broken, hopeless, and desperate for someone else to pick up the torch and take over for awhile so I can heal.

This is the probably the most challenging part of what is going on right now. I hate relying on others to help me because they historically fail me spectacularly and I end up having to do everything by myself anyway. Now, however, my mind and my body are screaming for me to bow out of pretty much everything and let others help me. If I was truly honest about what I need from people they would be even more reluctant to help me than they are now. No one considers what would be “inconvenient” for me or considers that what they are demanding from me escalates and exacerbates the debilitating symptoms and pain that I am dealing with every hour of the day. It’s hard to explain that getting out of bed is inconvenient for me most days. Doing everything else that is “expected” of me is impossible, but that is not how society works, that is not something that is “allowed.”

I know that this is a problem. I know that relying on other people to step up when I can’t keep going is opening up the door for severe disappointment and further pain, in addition to asking for someone to act in a way that may be beyond their own capacity at that moment. But to be honest, I don’t really know how to deal with this dichotomy right now and there is a part of me screaming “I don’t care that you don’t want to…” fill in the blank. I know that I need to rest in God and allow Him to fill me up in all of the areas of my life that are beyond depleted, but I struggle with this as well. I am a tangible person, I need to see and experience things before I truly understand them. One of the things I have a hard time remembering ever experiencing is God refreshing my soul, my body, and my mind when I ask. Usually it requires even more work on my part to pursue healing before I even begin to glimpse a hint of peace. Some people are not going to like this truth, because it’s not “correct” to admit that you struggle in your relationship with God and that you are more than disappointed when, once again, you have to fight for peace instead of Him refreshing you in a tangible way that everyday life can’t destroy.

I think the biggest struggle through this year of hell is feeling overwhelmingly alone. I can share what is truly going on in my head with God and no one else because no one else can or wants to try and understand what I am dealing with, let alone help me in the way I need. That alone is enough to contribute to the pain that I’m dealing with, but I also feel abandoned by God. I feel like there are so many ways that God could choose to take these burdens from me, but He doesn’t do that. Beyond the fact that I know this is not true, I know that I have not been left alone by God, I hate the fact that I can’t just pull myself out of the abyss that I am clinging to. No matter what I have tried, I just cannot get enough leverage in my life to climb back out. Because that is the definition of my life…constant chaos and no relief, and I think the biggest reason why I feel overwhelmed and miserable is because there is a part of me that expects the chance to rest. So when there is never ending chaos and pain, I get angry that I cannot get a break and in the end perpetuate what is causing me pain. Maybe life would be less horrible if we stopped expecting anything more than that.

The only bright spot in my life this year has been my son who is an incredibly happy, smart, joy-filled kid (somehow). I desperately wish I could hold onto the laughter that he causes and the happiness that I feel watching him grown and learn. If I could bottle his infectious laughter, smile, and joy, then maybe I could face the rest of the battles in my life with a stronger countenance and a different perspective. So how do I deal with this overwhelming, depressing, miserable year that doesn’t seem to end? I take every moment of his love, laughter, and joy, and try to make them last as long as I can. Because when he stops laughing or is not with me, there is nothing left but the chaos of this life, and that is not how I want to live the rest of my life. Hanging onto every moment that my son makes me laugh, helps me see the world through his eyes, and infects the world with his joy, is how I keep going when there is not much else left to fight for. I know it would be easier to crawl into bed and completely disappear until this chapter in my life is over, but if I had decided to do that, I would miss everything this little man is showing me with his big heart and little hands. And the one thing I decided long ago, was that I was never going to completely give up, and I refuse to miss his life because other, much less important things, are demanding my attention and my “compliance.” I refuse to remain in this hell, and I do fight every single day because I want my son to know that even though life is excruciatingly hard, there is always something worth fighting for. Right now, for me, he is what is worth fighting for, and I will keep fighting until I don’t have to fight anymore.

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