Can’t Do This Anymore

Today, I drove home from work with a white-hot tension building between my shoulders. I was darting between cars and driving quite abruptly. I was irritated with every other person on the road. When I got to my place, I walked directly to my room. Within minutes, I was on my knees next to my bed sobbing into the comforter, saying to myself between breaths: “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do this anymore.”

I’m not sure what “this” is or why I can’t do it. I know I’ve been feeling extra stressed lately – with social obligations, work, and the never-ending deadlines of school, sometimes I feel like I knowingly bit off a bite two times the size of my own mouth, and now I’m trying to force it down.

My new work schedule gives me Fridays off, which is great. These Fridays off were intended to create a relaxed, wide-open space for me to concentrate more easily on my school work and get it done with less stress; instead, they’ve been frenetic and rushed and packed full of things to do, errands to run, people to see, all while trying to fit my homework in. Working later in the day Monday through Thursday cuts off some hours that I was used to having in the evenings to settle down and get things done – now, I constantly feel like I’m rushing home from work, just to turn around and rush off to do something else.

My room is a mess, with clothes and papers and books and random pieces of paper strewn everywhere, yet I feel too busy to take the 30 minutes I’d really need to get it in order. I neglect the only space that is *truly* mine because I’m rarely here. The fact that I live at home with my dad and step mom makes it difficult to feel comfortable and relaxed hanging here with my boyfriend – not to mention, I don’t have his regular creature comforts of a huge TV and a gaming console – so I’m just hardly ever here. I have no routine – things change every day. It makes me feel semi-homeless sometimes; I haven’t been able to cultivate my one space into a space where I feel relaxed and comfortable, and I’m not any kind of resident at my boyfriend’s place so I can’t exactly feel at home there, either. Of course I’m not actually homeless, but I often feel like I have no permanent space to just… be.

I always tell myself to slow the fuck down and take a breather, but then something comes up – the boyfriend invites me somewhere, I have a school obligation, a friend calls – and I have the hardest time just saying “no.” No, thanks, I’m really tired and I just need to take some time to myself please. No, thanks, I’m not interested in your pop-up bagel shop event. No, thanks, I want to stay at home and binge-watch crappy TV instead of going to that super cool concert.

No, no, no.

After I was done crying I just sat there for a minute or two, face still buried in the comforter, wondering what it was that I couldn’t do. I realized that in that very moment, I had zero desire to do ANYTHING. I didn’t want to move, I didn’t want to change out of my work clothes, I didn’t want to pack an overnight bag so I could spend yet another night away from home, I didn’t want to think about picking out clothes or grabbing my hair dryer or finding the right shoes or planning my drive to the conference I’m going to in the morning. I didn’t want to do a single goddamned thing.

I just sat there and wiped my face back and forth over the sheets, knowing that feeling this way – so stressed, so stretched thin, so obligated to others despite my own unhappiness – isn’t normal. It’s not normal to be so irritable that you can hardly think of a way to make yourself talk to someone you’re close to. It’s not normal to cry at the thought of having to do something as small as finding a pair of jeans to wear that match your flowery top. To stare into the mirror feeling like every bit of you is filled out in the worst ways. To keep wondering what the fucking point of it all is. All of it.

I don’t know what “this” is but I know it’s not working for me. I’ve said it time and time again, but I really think this is the point in my life where I just fucking stop trying to be everything to everyone. Nobody’s asking me to do it, and I obviously can’t handle it. I need to learn to take the time to make space for myself in my home, even if it’s only temporary. I need to learn to make the space for myself emotionally, to talk about how I’m feeling without shame. I need to make the space to slow down and just relax. I’ve been so focused on what’s going to happen next that I forget to take note of what’s happening now.

This recovery business ain’t easy. I go from feeling warm and fuzzy to wanting to rip my hair out. I know something has to be done. And I know now that this – whatever this is – just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Day 117

12 thoughts on “Can’t Do This Anymore

  1. Cristal Clear says:

    I definitely have been there before . Put YOU FIRST. Take care of you . Start saying no. It’s okay to say no. I used to never say no, I felt bad saying no. I had to force myself to start saying no, keep my living space clean, focus on me, do what I want. It’s okay to feel how you are feeling hun, I hope you feel better. Do something nice for yourself. That always helps me feel better. Just remember , whatever you do, take care of you first .

    Liked by 2 people

    • okayishness blog says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. I am definitely trying my best to put myself first, but some old habits (people pleasing, accommodating others) die SO hard. It’s a daily process. I’m hopeful that someday soon it’ll be as easy and urgent a decision for me as quitting drinking was.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. onebottleoneglass says:

    Learning how to say NO and sticking to it is still something that is really a challenge for me too. I’m sorry things got overwhelming today, but know that you’re not alone! I used to wait and wait for “inspiration to hit” for me to clean my living space up, because things would pile up and get so messy. Whenever it did, I’d sometimes get so sidetracked on one little task that I’d end up spending two hours reading letters passed in high school. I had a similar situation where I disliked being home, but I also hated feeling constantly uprooted. All I can do is commiserate and maybe offer the little advice of giving yourself rewards for doing something. I used to hold off drinking until I did [insert simple adult-like task]. Since we don’t drink anymore, maybe promise yourself “as soon as I get these papers straightened up, I can lay on my bed and [insert whatever YOU want to do]. Hang in there, you can keep doing this, whatever it is 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • okayishness blog says:

      Thanks so much for your comments. I like the idea of rewards – I know it works for me, but I just have to keep reminding myself to do it when necessary.

      “I had a similar situation where I disliked being home, but I also hated feeling constantly uprooted” – this is so true for me right now. I’m very fortunate to have the type of living arrangement that I do right now (free!), but I feel so misplaced (internally) that it’s hard to feel like I can ever get my footing. I just want to find a place that I can call my own, where I can focus on creating the environment I need to do well, so that I can do good for myself and others. Working on it, though. Baby steps, right? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. shehidbehindtheglass says:

    Ditto on the previous comments and a big hug to you. Even if it’s clearing off nightstand and putting things on there that make you happy to look at is something that can make it feel more like your space. You can do this and there’s nothing wrong with saying no as many times as you need to. This is your journey and you alone get to dictate the path you take.

    Like

    • okayishness blog says:

      Thanks so much for your comment. I’m working on being more assertive about following my own path. Clearing off the night stand would be a nice touch. I’m living off of borrowed furniture in a borrowed room, with borrowed nightstands, lamps, dressers and art, so it would be nice to feel like at least one corner of this place is mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lamar Washington says:

    I don’t feel emotions when I’m drinking. So when I stop drinking it’s like I get all of the emotions at once from when I drinking. For me that’s typically anger.

    In time and working with another alcoholic, things get better.

    Like

  5. clearlee says:

    When I was doing my masters degree and working nearly full-time, I felt like this nearly all the time. Mind you, I was still drinking like a fish. Ugh. But being in early recovery on top of al your life responsibilities is really hard. You’re healing, which is big and scary and important work. I used to write myself notes that said “You CAN do this” because I also just felt like I couldn’t all the time. Bit by bit I got through it. Take a step back and prioritize. Making time for quiet time- like meditation, yoga, or a massage, or a walk in the woods- really helped me too. Best wishes to you.

    Like

    • okayishness blog says:

      Thank you so much. It’s always good to know I’m not alone in these types of experiences.

      It’s funny, I clearly knew what I was getting myself into when I agreed to continue working full-time while going to school, and I knew I was going to reach this point and that I would have to tell myself to keep pushing forward, but it doesn’t seem to help much in the moment when I’m breaking down. The one thing I do believe is that boredom and complacency would be a bigger risk to my recovery than having a full schedule, so while this stress can feel overwhelming, in a weird way, it makes my desire to drink even weaker. I’m much, much less likely to drink knowing what I have to lose if I do (future career, current career, health, social life, etc.), and I’m hopefully setting myself up for a future that allows my sobriety to mature and stay strong, even as the heavy workloads ease off into routine.

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  6. solitaryjogger says:

    Congrats on day 117! As someone who is also in grad school right now, it does feel like a lot. I am seriously impressed that you are working at the same time as you are moving to get your degree. I hope that you will be able to take time for yourself and know that when you are saying no to other people, you are saying a yes to yourself and that is really important to be able to do. Big hug to you and best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • okayishness blog says:

      Thank you 🙂 I’m trying to place more focus on self-care now that I know what happens when I let my stress get the best of me haha. Best wishes to you in your journey, too! Looking forward to reading your blog more in the future.

      Like

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