Tuesday, February 5, 2013

She's a princess

I'm struggling with an overwhelming sense of failure in every aspect of my life. I feel the familiar curling in on myself that precedes a major depressive episode, a warning sign that I've overestimated my emotional and physical resilience, and the needle's in the red.

If I act fast, I should be able to ward this off, but it means treating myself like a petulant princess for a week or two. Ruthlessly slashing all non-critical obligations, getting enough sleep and moments of solitude, doing the minimum to get by until I get my emotional footing again. I hate that I'm this person who has to be babied just to cope with daily life, but ignoring this feeling leads to a bad place that my family doesn't deserve to have inflicted on them.

Over the last month, I'd already started cutting back on blogging activities that stressed me out and that felt so good that I thought I was ready for a daily posting challenge. Oops - four days in and I'm out. I need to spend some pressure-free time playing piano, reading (books, not blogs), writing for myself alone whether I post it or not, and exercising without my heart rate monitor smirking a score at me. I need to stop giving myself a report card filled with "Fs" at the end of every day.

I can't believe that after all this time, I still don't know how to do this.

36 comments:

  1. I totally understand; we get too consumed with these blogs. Walk away for more than a few weeks; do re-charge your batteries; I have to do it every so often or I go crazy; takes me about 6 weeks to feel human again.

    take care of yourself and yours!

    betty

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    1. Thanks so much, Betty. I don't want to stop blogging, but I do need to stop pressuring myself about it. I still want to do the A-Z challenge in April and I won't be able to if I don't relax a bit now.

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    2. It's a daily posting challenge in April. You're supposed to post something corresponding with a letter of the alphabet every day that month, except Sundays.

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  2. Me too, I go through this too & I hate it. Thank God you can identify the beginnings of it & heal. I'm not always the best at prevention, though I'm learning.

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    1. I'm not great at prevention either, but as you said, I'm learning. I have to get over this misconception I have that I can do and be everything, without paying a price for it.

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  3. Take care of yourself. If it means unplugging from blogs and the like, then do it. Your health is too important to risk.

    Take a break, if you need to, we'll all still be here when you get back :)

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    1. Thanks Mark. Sometimes the addictive side of blogging isn't a good thing.

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  4. I'm glad you can feel it coming and know enough to listen. To know what to do when you start feeling that way. Slash the obligations and don't feel guilty about it.

    We are quite a society of forever rating ourselves. Goals can be a good thing, but too much emphasis on the numbers of it all takes the fun out of it, which makes the activity stressful. How many followers? How much weight have I lost? I didn't read the books I was going to. Too many numbers. Too many ways to rate ourselves. It just needs to stop sometimes so we can get back to the fun and joy the activities once brought us.

    So, give up whatever you need to give up for a while. You are a wonderful person. Keep that in mind. Even if you don't post what you write, we'll be here when you do.

    As for the blogging, it can be rough living up to the hop expectations and reading all those wonderful blogs that make a person feel like she sucks. You don't have to read them. Except mine. Don't give up reading mine. :)

    Take care of yourself, however you need to do it, Princess.

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    1. Aw, thanks Christine. Being a perfectionist who is never perfect sucks!

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  5. I can totally relate. I wish it was easier to not be so hard on ourselves. I always question why I feel the need to give myself a grade but I do. It's hard not too. Even though you can feel it coming, it is still a gift to be able to be able to acknowledge that and do something about it. Good luck girl - unplug and enjoy yourself, you deserve it!!

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    1. Thanks! This obsessive grading myself is what I need to stop. Something in me keeps seeking it out, no matter how bad it makes me feel.

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  6. You do know how to do this. You know that you need to cut back and focus on yourself for a bit. It's something you have to manage, unfortunately, not cure. Me too.

    Hugs! And enjoy reading books! I plan to do that this weekend, and I can't wait :)

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    1. Reading time is the best. I just finished Gone Girl and realized how much I missed reading a full novel. Do you have anything in particular waiting on your bookshelf?

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    2. I heard Gone Girl is really good! Same with Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet! I know how you feel about the depression. It just has a way of sneaking up on you all of a sudden.

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    3. I've never heard of that book - I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the tip!

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  7. But you do know how to do this! You cut back on blogging activities, right? You have to take care of yourself, and if being unable to finish the daily blogging challenge is part of that, then so be it. Also, that feeling that you don't know how and "need" to be babied isn't the real you. It's the depression talking.

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    1. Thanks Bee - you really know how to put things in perspective for me. I've never had any kind of therapy (just medication), because I always thought, "What could anyone possibly say to me that would make me feel better?" But I wonder if some attempt at cognitive re-framing would be useful. Like you pointed out, I'm slipping into depressive reasoning without even noticing it.

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  8. You are so smart for recognizing when you need to pamper yourself a little bit. When this happens to me, I try really hard to do something every day that makes me feel good. Little things like drinking tea in bed with a book before I go to sleep, or cancelling any weeknight plans I have to just sit on the couch and relax help help so much. Take care of yourself. Wishing you lots of happiness.

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    1. Thanks Samantha. It's the little things you described that make such a difference in my coping abilities. It's frustrating to be so easily thrown off-kilter, but on the other hand I'm easily pleased too.

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  9. I beg to differ - you DO know how to do this. You are already doing it! We all have limitations and you are courageous enough to address yours head on and take care of yourself. Inspiring. Here's to letting go of self judgment and piling on the TLC.

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    1. Thanks Mary - just getting a good night's sleep last night helped.

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  10. This is all so hard. I'm glad you know what to do to cut it off before it gets critical.

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    1. It's taken me a long time to learn, but I'm getting there.

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  11. You deserve a break, if it's what you need. I know exactly how you're feeling, and I'm fighting my own demons this week. If you need some support or someone to scream at the world with, you know where to find me.

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    1. I hope your cruise is providing some much-needed relief. And ditto on if you need a (virtual) shoulder to punch or cry on!

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  12. Take a break and recharge your batteries. Sometimes, it's best just to step back and walk away for awhile. <3

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    1. Recharging is going well - thanks!

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  13. I'm so glad you know yourself well enough to know what you need- and DO it. Take a break- put yourself in a bubble. A bunch of my blogger "friends" and I have been experiencing similar feelings of being overwhelmed by the blog/life combo, and I think it is so important to step back when it starts to trigger you. Take good care of yourself, and if you need to disappear for awhile, we will all be here for you when you get back!

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    1. I'm going away this weekend with some close childhood friends, and I am NOT taking the computer. It's tempting...but I have to start setting some boundaries here. I hope you're finding some strategies to keep this blogging thing fun for you as well.

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  14. I am doing a lot better. I just can't do everything I used to think I can. I am leaving the computer at home next weekend when the husband and I leave town. One of my first thoughts was, "This will be such a great opportunity to do some writing and blog-reading away from the kids!" and then I realized "Hell no." Not only is it unfair to my husband, I need a fucking break. Big time.

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    1. Me too. I can't believe I was even considering bringing the computer with me. Glad to hear you're doing better. Enjoy your time away!

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  15. I'm with you on this one. It's a good thing you know what it takes to prevent the depression. I hope you're treated like and treat yourself like a princess!

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    1. My husband is so supportive and that helps a lot. I'm feeling better already.

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Lend me some sugar!