I used to be better

I remember a time in my life, 2014-2016, when I could do the following: get up, shower, get dressed, get 4 kids up and dressed, get everyone to school/daycare, go to work, be productive all day at work, leave work, pick up the two at daycare, get home, change, get back on the road to CrossFit with all four kids who would play in the playroom, do that for an hour or so, go home and drop off three kids, drop off one kid to gymnastics, go home and eat something quick like cereal or sandwiches for dinner, pick up gymnastics kid, feed him, bathe Girl while he ate and put her to bed, bathe Boy #3 and put him to bed, force Boy #1 and Boy #2 into the shower one at a time, collapse on the couch while they took their turns showering, then got them to bed. Then cleaned up the kitchen, checked school bags for papers I needed to sign, took care of anything I found, packed my lunch for the next day if I was bringing lunch, collapsed into bed just to wake up and do most of the same the next day. I was married but doing it all by myself.

Until one day when I broke. I couldn’t get up off the couch. I couldn’t get my mind around everything I needed to do. I quit CrossFit. I pulled Boy #3 and Boy #2 from gymnastics. We ate cereal or sandwiches every single day. I stopped cleaning things up. I couldn’t remember who took a bath when and I could only find the energy to force them to bathe or shower 2-3 times a week. My performance at work dropped to almost nothing. Everyone made assumptions about why. People were hostile to me and I lost friends. I sunk deeper into a hole and did even less. I didn’t leave the couch from the time I got home until I went to bed. I felt like I worked an entire day by the time I dropped everyone off at daycare and school. I cried when I was alone because I couldn’t handle anything anymore. I felt like I was dying.

Fast forward to now. I don’t feel sick like that anymore, but my mind, it can’t wrap around anything. Once I retired and didn’t have to demand so much from my brain, I started realizing the hard life I had been living. I started feeling like I was recovering, but I noticed patterns I hadn’t seen before. I would have these days where I could do a million things and if I did those million things, I couldn’t do much the day after that. And sometimes that extended a couple days after that. So I had to learn how to pace myself. I am still learning what I can handle on any given day. How much “people time” I can handle outside the house. How many silly errands that take way more time than they should because I have to drive to this place and that place. I can feel when I’ve hit my limit but all too often I step over that because I just want to get things done when I am feeling productive. And every time I do that, I lose. I lose the productivity I could’ve had the next day to get more done. I need days to just rest my brain sometimes and it’s so hard to realize that at one point I could do anything and everything I wanted without feeling like a loser who can’t live like a normal person anymore.

This month is filling up fast with a lot of different things, all things I want to be able to do. But can I? Can I handle all of that? Or will I fall apart at some point because I’ve overtaxed myself. I just wish I was more like I used to be. Maybe living in survival mode was just how I should’ve kept living so that I could be more productive. I don’t think I’m less worthy because I can’t be as productive as I used to be, but I often feel like a lazy bum who needs to just get over it and do more like I used to do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: