When exhaustion and pain become the norm.

Oftentimes I end up going through the motions for days. I think about a lot of things but none of them seem worth mulling over. Every day is just a copy of the previous day. And every day feels tiresome. I can’t shake off this exhaustion. I can’t shake off the feeling of dread whenever I think I’m about to be pushed back to work.

You can’t tell I’m sick. You can’t tell with mental illness. It’s not like a broken leg or whatever. It’s the inside that’s wounded. It’s the brain that isn’t working in a healthy way. It’s the body that can’t keep up. Genetics, really. It doesn’t really care about your life. It just is.

The continues pain in my wrist, occasionally my fingers and elbow. I’m so used to it that I don’t really mention it anymore. But, just because I don’t mention it doesn’t mean the pain is gone. It’s still there. It’s part of my life.

I’ve been questioning myself about my health a lot lately. Doubting myself. Thinking maybe it’s not as bad as I think. Maybe I’m just exaggerating. Imagining it. But then, when I end up feeling ill, or sleep almost the entire day, or feel like crying all the time… Maybe I’m not so well after all. I guess I’m not imagining the stabbing pain in my joints.

I’m also angry often. I’m tired, I’m unable to do things, I’m just sitting there, reading all my time away. I’m avoiding responsibilities because everything overwhelms me. And I can imagine well enough that a lot of people, who aren’t in my position, will think I’m just a lazy procrastinator.

All my energy goes into raising my son. I either care for him or care for myself. I cannot do both, unfortunately. I’ve tried and that ended up with severe clinical depression.

I am like a leaking boat in the middle of the ocean. Desperately trying to gain energy but it’s just leaking out faster than I can gather it. And I don’t know how working is going to fix that. I don’t know how I can explain how I cannot afford to go back to work, even part-time the way my condition is now.

I’m just lucky I have family, a doctor, and a psychologist that believes me.

I’m tired of having to prove I can’t function. I’m tired of being unable to function.

I’m just tired all the time.

Things I was and things I wasn’t.

I just realized that I wasn’t an angry child in my youth. I was just often overstimulated and acted out due to it.

It wasn’t anger. It was me being overwhelmed. It wasn’t me being unreasonable. It was me being unable to cope. It explains why I barely had friends. And also why not having friends never really bothered me all that much.

I did want friends. But I couldn’t connect. I spent so much time in my own head, trying to not think of how disconnected I felt. Or, did I just prefer to spend time with myself more?

Perhaps I’m just trying to reason my current situation away. But, I do admit to being a lonely child trying to make friends.

I’m not against communication. I just have problems vocalising. It wasn’t until I discovered I could make friends online that I finally grasped that connections can also be made in that way. It felt easier. More fluent.

Just because I have a hard time judging peoples intentions doesn’t mean I can’t see the subtleties in their writing. Or that time doesn’t teach me a person’s habits and won’t let me see inconsistencies.

I’m not a social person. But I do feel like I can be communicative. I might not sound like I care but I do tend to do little things for those I care for. I might not get jokes but I still have a sense of humour.

I don’t care much for my childhood. Most of it is pretty vague anyway. But I guess I do care about the younger me who needed help but didn’t receive it. Maybe that’s why I spent most of my time inside my own head.

There isn’t much room for regret. I don’t remember much anyway. But perhaps I miss the accumulation of happy memories. Of receiving the right care. Maybe the blank patches of my childhood are what should be grieved instead.

Slowly putting words on things.

I keep wondering if I’m still wading through this mud-like depression or if I’m stuck in a constant state of being overwhelmed. Like I’m old computer struggling to keep up with the latest hardware upgrades (what’s with these weird comparisons I keep coming up with).

I’m tired of being overwhelmed. I’m tired of this stagnant state but I lack the energy to drag myself out of it. I have no energy except for the things I have to do. I have to take care of my son. I have to get up and eat. I have to take my meds. I have to go to the bathroom. And then.. what else?

I feel like I’m literally only alive, not really living. What happened to me? Where did I go? When did I lose myself? Who.. am I? It’s a question that doesn’t usually haunt me.

But now, I barely leave my house. My houseclothes are just a shirt and sweats. I sit in silence most of the time. I walk past the mess. I barely communicate with people. And I am so tired all the time.

When did I.. lose myself? Or is the me that I used to be just asleep? Or on hold? And when will they come back? When will I be me again? Or did I just change so much that the me I used to be no longer exists?

Stuck. Questioning myself.

So what do you do when you feel like you’re stuck and unable to move forward? Like you’re not yet at that crossroad in life that allows you to put your troubles behind you? As if life demands that you stay in your current situation for an unknown amount of time for “reasons”.

Patiently waiting. And waiting. Waiting for a long time. Waiting for life to slowly pull free the rock that holds your problems in place. Life is stagnant and I am a near dried up well that is moments away from falling apart.

I am constantly watching myself do the things I know I should not be doing because they are comforting and help me cope, although in an unhealthy way.

I don’t want to think, I don’t want to feel, I don’t want to struggle and yeet myself into the dark abyss called depression because I am unwilling to see myself break apart because everything is overwhelming and I don’t want to rage because of overstimulation.

How much of this is emotion? How much of this am I just imagining? Am I incapable of coping? Or am I just unwilling? Am I really afraid? Or am I just refusing? How much of this is truth? Or am I just blind to my own flaws? Am I just lying to myself? Justifying myself with reasons that make no sense?

Yet again I’m here, second guessing myself. Wondering how much of this crumbling disaster called life I’m really in charge of. How much longer will I keep this up? How much longer until I break apart? Or am I just telling this to myself to justify everything stagnating?

What part of my life is an actual struggle? What if I’m just lying to myself?

Parenting is hard. Autism is also hard. Everything is hard. Can I have a pause button? No?

Parenting when on the spectrum is rife with emotional fluctuations and being constantly overwhelmed.

The thoughts of “I love my child so much I would die for them” and “I’m going batshit”, “I don’t deserve this little brat”, “this was a mistake”, “I’m not fit to be a parent” are clashing with eachother more than once a day.

Struggling between being forced to uphold routine for another’s sake and wanting to burrow into the bed for eternal sleep and throw everything away.

I’m so tired, I can’t keep up but I made a choice and I can’t just give up. Just have to drag myself forward one day at a time. It will get better at some point, right?

Gotta let some things go. Gotta make priorities. Gotta remember kids don’t stay small forever. They grow up and become independent.

And then.. then the feeling of being a miserable failure will go away. Right? Then I will be able to calm down and stop feeling overwhelmed, right? I can still be a decent parent when things stabilise. And stop feeling like I’m running on the edge of a cliff. Right?

I’m just so tired right now and I’ve lost any semblance of control. I’m trying but my body won’t listen. I just zone out. I just walk past things I know I should get done. But, where’s the energy? Where’s the willpower? Where’s the need to get things done?

I am standing on the edge of a cliff and I can almost see myself falling into the depths of depression again. Except, this time? I’m aware of it and I can see myself about to fall apart.

Struggling every day.

I’ve been struggling for a while now. Not many people know about my struggles because I’m loathe to talk about it. I don’t want any pity or compassion or one of those empty standard “it’ll be alright” words. That doesn’t help me at all. That doesn’t make anything better.

I’ve been in pain for a few years now. I’ve managed to get a grip on the condition of my migraines and headaches. They still occasionally pop up but, nothing unmanageable as long as I stay away from overconsuming sugar. Now all that’s left is the chronic inflammation in my right hand and arm.

Most days I don’t even have the strength to get up but being a parent you do what you have to do. Not because you want to but because of obligation (Is obligation the right word for this?). I made the conscious choice of becoming a parent and I need to step up because of that. My child carries no blame towards my condition and problems.

I lack the physical strength for most things. I lack the emotional strength to face my feelings. I’m just numb all the time because there’s no time to process them. I’m tired because I suffer from insomnia. I’m tired because, no matter how much I sleep, I’m always exhausted. I’m tired because I just cannot deal with everything that’s been happening to me the past years.

Not many people know my side of the story. Not many people care to ask. I also don’t bother trying to change anyone’s mind. It’s futile. It’s cumbersome. I also refuse to be questioned on my perception of my own health.

I like being alone with my little family. I have no need for more people shoving their opinion in my face. I’m tired of being told that I’m “doing it wrong” or that I’m “too sensitive” or whatever crap they’re trying to sell me. I’m tired. Tired of everyone as I lack the capacity to deal with people.

In the span of 7 years, probably (most likely) more, I’ve had to deal with too much things. My physical health in the first place. Others expectations of me second. I’m no longer that small terrified child that can’t even speak up for themselves. I’m a grown up now. With my own small family.

I’ve changed, grown. A lot. I’m tired of being afraid. Tired of being restrained. I don’t want to be chained down by others anymore. That’s why I prefer to be alone. I’m not lonely. I’m not yearning for lost friends of family I no longer speak to.

I’m tired of trying so hard and feeling like it’s never enough. I’m tired of having to accept this and letting it impact me emotionally. I know I’m hard to deal with. I’m know very well I’m not the easiest person. I’m aware I seem rigid and volatile. I’m tired of pretending everything is ok because everything is not ok.

I’m fighting myself every single day, forcing myself to do things that need to be done. Most people won’t understand. I don’t expect them to understand. I don’t care if they understand. I’m tired of explaining myself. It’s not any of their business anyway. But I’m still fighting myself. And I’m tired.

When I found I had PCOS, I thought it was alright. Good to know what’s going on. I already knew I had another chronic disease (Hashtimo’s disease), one more wasn’t an issue. Then the depression hit me. I never noticed it creeping up on me. Finding out that I’m insulin resistant helped deal with the headaches and migraines. Then, I learned that I’m autistic. And all my suffering made sense to me.

I’m not tired all the time because I’m lazy. I’m tired all the time because I literally cannot function in society as it is now. I literally cannot follow the current expectations that are put on people in this society. I can’t follow the current “normal”. I’ve been pretending I’m fine for years. Thinking I was just overreacting. Everyone can do it, so I need to stop acting like it’s too much and just do it.

But, I can’t. And that’s why I’m so worn out and tired. That’s why I’m burnt out. That’s why I’m stuck in a depression. That’s why I go to therapy. Because I can’t function. In this society. Set up for people who don’t suffer from executive dysfunction. Who don’t get overwhelmed from everything. Who don’t mind the constant noise or the constant forced interaction or drama from others.

People who can keep their household afloat, maintain their friendships, their work, their relationship, their kids and their health. People that don’t struggle everyday pretending they can handle it. That don’t force themselves to believe they’re just faking it. That they just don’t have the right mentality. Or are just lazy.

In hindsight to all I’ve been through I realised that I always believed that I’m the wrong one. I never questioned it. I didn’t even ask myself, I just accepted it without thought. And then one thing gets added to the pile. Then another. And another. And I’m no longer able to believe that I’m just overreacting. That I’m faking it. That I’m the one doing it all wrong.

I’m tired of struggling to strike up a conversation. Tired of panicking over things I have no control over. Tired of having “just do the thing, how hard can it be” echoing in my head. Tired of being expected to be able to do things without any explanation whatsoever.

I’m tired of failing peoples expectations of me. Tired of trying to make friends. Tired of having to open up, again, just to find out it was pointless because the friendship ended quickly for whatever reason that will probably end up being “my fault” in my own head.

I’m so overwhelmed that I haven’t been able to stand watching movies for years. I’m numbed myself to the point of becoming uncomfortable when watching anything other than a children’s cartoon.

How much longer will I need to be myself again? How long will it take before I’m no longer numbing myself to avoid feeling overwhelmed? When will I feel genuinely happy again? When can I just be me without feeling like I’m not trying hard enough knowing full well that I will never manage doing that?

I’m honestly so overwhelmed and tired that I’ve withdrawn from most interactions. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. It’s just.. easier to let go. To fade out of existence. Everyone is too busy to notice anyway. No one will notice I’ve disappeared.

Numb. Or atleast for now.

Tired. Sluggish. Ahh, I don’t even know what’s up anymore. I’m just about to consider throwing everything away.

Numb for the past few days. Just sitting and staring into nothingness. Suppressing the urge to violently recoil from touch. I’m tired. Everything feels heavy.

I don’t want to go through this anymore. I’m just drowning in apathy. How much longer before it stops?

What is “normal”?

I tried to write a post on what is normal but no idea what happened since I derailed so badly it hurts to look at the thing I left in my drafts. I can’t even get myself to rewrite it and I feel starting fresh might be a better idea.

So what is “normal”? How do we get to the decision on what is “normal” and what isn’t. Why do we decide that what isn’t “normal” is not acceptable? How does our brain make that weird jump? And why are we so intolerant to that which isn’t “normal”? When did we get so judgy?

Where I’m from people are usually more the type to go “not my life, not my business” so I grew up fairly tolerant. Obviously there are always people who seem so set on putting their nose in other people their business but the majority like to keep their nose out.

I grew up with the saying “each house bears their own cross” and I was raised Catholic (I’m atheist since my views don’t match with religions). When I was little I couldn’t comprehend why people complained about the differences of others. Does it even matter? Do you care that your neighbour prefers to wear a poncho? Or Crocs? Wouldn’t you just scoff at it and let it be?

Does it really matter that you don’t agree with the life choices of a person you don’t even know? So what if eating a pancake at breakfast isn’t “normal” to you but, maybe it’s normal for your neighbour? I grew up eating pancakes at either breakfast, lunch or dinner and it’s also seen as a desert so I can’t comprehend why people would insist you conform to what they think is normal.

Each culture has their differences. Each religion does. Each household. Even each person. Isn’t “normal” just “that which we know and are used to”? Since when is trying or seeing something different “wrong”?

Isn’t that just the same as saying “but it’s tradition”? Are we all going to keep being perpetually stuck in the past? Confirming to old outdated rules made by dead people? Isn’t life constantly changing? Aren’t people constantly changing? Isn’t science also constantly improving?

Change is inevitable no matter how much you try to stick to the past. Wouldn’t you just regret dying while hating on everyone and everything that don’t conform to your view on what’s “normal”? Why would you even want that?

Even the things that are “normal” will slowly change and you can try to stop it but how far can you really go to stop change? How far will you go to force your “normal” onto others?

I think we’re all tired of living according to other people’s rules. We’re all tired of this box called “normal”. Everywhere there are traces of people who are tired. Exhausted. Worn out. Frustrated at being forced to conform to a “normal” that they inherently reject.

What is “normal”? And who decided that?

Thoughts come and go, some stay while some won’t.

I’ve tried to make a few posts. Trying to vocalise my thoughts. It didn’t work. I started a point and I just side-tracked so hard I ended up on the other side of the continent.

Sometimes life is just like that. You try to get somewhere but life won’t have it. Or you brain won’t let you. Sticking to a cause is hard when your mind is running overtime, trying to think and process all the thoughts. At the same time.

Having a mind that won’t stop running at all times is tiresome. When you can’t let go of a thought, it’s exhausting. When you can’t stop it from going into a spiral, it’s frustrating because feelings are involved that bite down like a pitbull, stubbornly clinging onto the feeling of injustice or a mere perceived slight.

And, if you don’t hear the whole story, your mind makes up it’s own (I watched BrenĂ© Brown on Netflix, this lady is a gem. She mentions this saying in a Ted talk called “the call to courage”).

Thoughts aren’t something I’m always in control of. Thoughts can be intrusive. Thoughts can be all-consuming. Thoughts can take over everything while you’re just going through the motions. Your body is doing the thing but your mind.. your mind is somewhere else.

I’m tired of thinking. I’m tired of confronting myself with my thoughts every single day. I don’t want to go down some stray paths, I don’t want to feel too much of certain feelings. I just want to be ok. I just want to feel emotions in a normal, not overwhelming way.

I don’t want to drown in uncontrollable feelings because then I lose control. How do people just “let go”? How can they just let themselves soak in those feelings and then shake it off and move on with their lives? How do you separate yourself from such a thing?

You shouldn’t hide from your thoughts and feelings but it’s hard to accept and process some. Sometimes the only way to keep moving on is to just not think about this things. To refocus your mind on other things. To avoid the confrontation. But, you can’t keep doing that.. that’s just leaving the damage for future you.

And it’s hard because, in some places, the current society doesn’t care much for mental health. They don’t care you’re disassociating because the pain is too much to deal with. They don’t want to hear your struggle. They don’t care for your pain. There isn’t really a sense of community even when there is a community.

Overwhelmingly overwhelmed.

Due to my last talk with the psychologist I came to a realisation that my plunge into a full blown depression was probably the effect of not being aware that I’ve been stuck in an autistic burn-out from being overwhelmed for years. I never realised it until she pointed it out. I can really only focus on one thing only. I either keep myself healthy, or my house clean, or work a full-time job, or care for my son. I might be able to do 2 on a good day but that’s the absolute limit. Right now I’m still numbing myself to avoid a meltdown in-front of my son. Focussing my attention on other things so I won’t have to face said frustrations.

I’m realising that I can’t handle constant loud sounds, crowds, most foods or even movies because of being overwhelmed all the time. I’m pretty sure it started around the time my pregnancy began to affect me or maybe even before that. Now that I’ve had an actual depression I can say, with 200% confidence, that I never suffered from a post-natal depression (I was already 100% confident before).

How does one actually deal with being overwhelmed all the time? How do you even know you’re overwhelmed all the time without falling into a depression? How can you make sure that you don’t go as far as to lose yourself in the act of pretending to be fine? At some point, aren’t your body and mind going to say “Now it’s time to stop”? Oh right. That’s called a burn-out/depression.

Now that I know about the autism. About the constant state of being overwhelmed. The burn-out. I finally understand the reason why I can’t do the things I could do in the past. Being overwhelmed all the time is just exhausting. I never learned how to deal with any of this. I was never taught to recognise the signs. I was never made aware that autism can have such an effect on a person because I didn’t even know I had it. I never received the help I needed because my diagnose was kept from me.

No wonder I’ve shut down and cut off almost everyone I know. No wonder I broke down. No wonder I can’t stand the idea of going back to work in fear of diving straight into another depression. No wonder I don’t want to see anyone because everyone and everything is exhausting. If I could I wouldn’t even set one foot outside. I feel like I’m about to burst and I can’t stand losing control of myself. I don’t want to break down. I don’t want to be in pain all the time anymore.

I don’t want to be that depressed again. I don’t want to lose my sense of self. I don’t want to force myself through the motions every single day while feeling like I might just jump in-front of a car or something. I don’t want to feel like being alive is hard and impossible. I don’t want to feel like I’m not worth it or as if there’s no use to me even being alive.

Having to pretend you’re fine and not overwhelmed when everything is just loud and oppressive and painful is literally killing people. And it’s not okay.