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Tired and Struggling


benji
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The need to self injure keeps coming back and at this point, it’s inevitable. I’m not sure if I care. I’m so tired. I keep myself busy nearly every waking hour, then I keep myself up being busy half the night. I keep having snippits of memories popping up, intense feelings popping up, but I’m busy enough that I don’t let my focus go there and I stuff it aside. But it’s piling up now. Tonight I feel very frustrated. I have a project I want to work on—I want to have it done by the end of the week, if not sooner. But tomorrow is completely full, Wednesday I have half a dozen meetings. I wish I didn’t need sleep. That might be the problem right now is not enough sleep. I’m not sure what to do. I’m afraid to take a break. But I’m so tired. I feel trapped and things just keep speeding up. Right now I’m not being productive at all. I’m only thinking about ways to hurt myself. I just feel like I need to. Things will settle if I do. Because right now I feel dumb that I can’t get everything done and I can’t do it all right.

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I'm sorry you're struggling, benji.

I've been battling off and on with insomnia for weeks, and it does get difficult to function on so little sleep. I also find myself slipping back into some old thought patterns and methods of coping when I'm overtired.

I hope that you decided to sleep and that the rest helps you to feel better.

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I just feel like I need to. Things will settle if I do. Because right now I feel dumb that I can’t get everything done and I can’t do it all right.

Benji, I hope you can see that this has no logic and your feelings (-?) telling you that SI would "settle things" somehow are wrong.

Let's try to see SI as a symbol or as a substitute for something you really need: What would it be? What is it that you really need???

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Still behind on sleep. Managed about four hours last night, and have been going non stop busy since 6am (it’s now almost midnight.) Had an excellent fight with my partner this morning to boot. And kind of slipped in the si department earlier. It was the only way I could keep things together. Maybe I’m trying to do too many things. I don’t know. Most of my busy-ness is self inflicted (a fact my partner loves to throw in my face if I suggest I might be exhausted.) And large portions of the busy-ness are actually enjoyable—or they would be if I were rested and didn’t have a million other things needing to be tended to. I need a break or something, but I don’t see how. I don’t want to let the ball drop on anything. And one particularly large project has a deadline coming up pretty soon. Maybe after that I can tone things down a bit? I’m not sure. Sometimes it feels like I feel guilty if I’m not busy doing something. I don’t know how to relax.

As for what is it I really need. I don’t know. Sleep? I need to feel ok. I need to feel like I accomplished things. I need to feel like I did something right. Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s because I grew up always being told that nothing I ever did was right. Didn’t matter what it was. So maybe I’m trying to hard to do things right? I really don’t know. I can’t think anymore.

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Sometimes it feels like I feel guilty if I’m not busy doing something. I don’t know how to relax.

Do you think that you could make "learning how to relax" a project? Get through what you've promised to folks already, the best that you can -- and then add "learning to relax" as a high priority project? Not the only one, just an important one.

If your therapist can't help you with that, maybe some folks here can.

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I like DD's idea very much! :)

Benji, you remind me this quotation from Yalom's Existencial psychotherapy (it's on my blog, but I'm not sure you've seen it):

Culture, of course, plays an important role in the shaping of the individual’s values. Regarding “activity”, Florence Kluckholm suggests an anthropological classification of value orientations that postulates three categories: “being”, “being-in-becoming” and “doing.” The “being” orientation emphasizes the activity rather than the goal. It focuses on the spontaneous natural expression of the “is-ness” of the personality. “Being-in-becoming” shares with the “being” orientation an emphasis on what a person is rather than on what the person can accomplish, but emphasizes the concept of “development.” Thus, it encourages activity of a certain type—activity directed toward the goal of the development of all aspects of the self. The “doing” orientation emphasizes accomplishments measurable by standards outside of the acting individual. Obviously contemporary conservative American culture, with its emphasis on “what does the individual do?” and “getting things done,” is an extreme “doing” culture.

(It was written in the 70ties, but I don't suppose American culture has changed significantly in this regard.)

What's important here: 1) There are other options - you don't have to be focused on "doing", you just need it so far because... - and the reason is the clue - if you once understand deeply your reasons, you could make a free choice: Do you still want to be so much focused on accomplishing or you'll lern a new approach to life? 2) The context of this excerpt. I'm sorry, it's all too long, so I cannot quote it here, but if you copy a sentence and paste it in Google, you'll find the whole book (or... almost: as it's free, some pages are missing...) and you could read more. There are many examples of different behavior - including workoholism - which is due to... Well, how to summarize it? It is often a kind of escape from something fritghening, often a defence against a fear (or maybe sometimes another feeling), ... When one discovers his own reasons, then he can become liberated from the dangerous (at least for his physical health, but also for relationships with others - mostly with the closest-ones) "need to do something" (as your need to be always very busy).

I suppose you won't read the book as you're so busy that you can't find a time for other, more importat, things. But maybe the topic is something you could talk in your therapy, too (therapy is the only time, it seems, that you can "stop and do somehting for your chaning, growing").

(BTW, I can't help with teaching how to realx - I relax too much, so... Thanks to that book, I relized I'm a “being” or “being-in-becoming” kind of person. Now it seems I'm in a "being stage", wanting to shift closer to that "becoming"... ;) Sorry; too much about me here... )

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I think it means you need a rest.

Now it might be "productive" to think about other issues than work: your body has decided it instead of you ;). You can't do anything "productive" in the context of work, but that might be a time to do something "productive" about your soul :).

Take care!

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I'm looking back at this and thinking maybe I weathered the storm. This is a good thing. Under normal circumstances, I'm pretty sure this would have been a complete shutdown, break down. It got low, but I never lost myself. And I don't have the feeling like I was holding my breath the whole time and I only managed to postpone it. Perhaps it's time to sacrifice a lamb to the wellbutrin gods. I still need to figure out what to do about all the emotions though because maybe I'm able to now. A lot of things just make me very sad, and it hurts.

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