Is my overwhelm just an excuse for laziness?

I am confused at the moment. I continue to struggle with who I am. I mean, I know who I am and what I believe usually, but the other pieces of my identity don’t always back me up.

My family really needs me to work so our children and the adults can get all their needs met. We are struggling financially, and not too long ago I was bringing home a good paycheck.

These days, I feel like I can’t work. I am working at getting through the days and taking care of my kids, making major changes to my health, and keeping myself emotionally stable.

The fact that I am functioning by getting out of bed and going out into the world, and actively taking care of my kids everyday is a miracle that didn’t exist 4 months ago.

Yet, there is increasing pressure from my spouse, myself, and our mounting debt to get myself back to work in my old job so I can bring home that money again.

At the same time, I still find myself getting overwhelmed by little things from my old life that were easy then.

Today, my major accomplishments were to make myself breakfast, pick up my son from camp, take him to a park for an hour, and check Facebook a few times. Those few things literally took up my whole day and felt like all I could do.

I hear inside my head “you are so weak. Quit complaining and stop being lazy and get back to work.”

I never considered myself a lazy person, but maybe I am. Maybe the overwhelm I constantly feel is just an excuse to get out of work.

I like giving my family money so we can live a good life. I just don’t know if I can put myself back into that position of doing what I do to make good money.

I am good at this work when all parts of me are working together, and anxiety doesn’t hang close by. Sometimes I miss it, so sometimes I secretly dip my toe in the water and feel overwhelmed like I can’t do it. Then I feel completely inadequate.

Who am I? Am I this smart, talented, strong woman who is a good provider for her family, or am I this pathetic, damaged, weak woman who gets overwhelmed when a door slams too loud?

I don’t know. It seems like this is my fate to be on a polar opposite pendulum depending on the moment.

One moment I am feeling healthy and strong with the health changes I am making in my life, the next I am falling down my stairs again and re-injuring myself, and feeling depressed about the state of my health and the hopelessness of not getting help or answers from the medical community.

I was thinking earlier today maybe the medical community is just writing me off because I am 50. I feel like I am 30 in spirit, so it is confusing to be thought of as old.

My life is frustrating and good. I am smart, but cognitively impaired sometimes. I am strong, but easily hurt. I feel really healthy, then chronic pain consumes me again. I am super stable, and then utterly disabled by the chaos in my brain.

The only thing I know for sure is that I am usually a really good mom.

Other than that, who am I?

3 thoughts on “Is my overwhelm just an excuse for laziness?

  1. I have struggled with those thoughts a lot myself. I am still working full time but some days I don’t know how I made it through. The negative self-talk and the all or nothing thinking are one thing that I work hard on. I am not the most talented and best employee, but I am also not incompetent, broken and damaged. Maybe you can find yourself in the middle of both of those poles and work on what you need to from there. I also have chronic pain and am in my 50’s so I totally relate to this post. But, you are not all or nothing and it is not black or white….life is lived in the shades of grey.

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  2. Most of the time, your posts touch something inside of Me. Because I’m struggling with denial so much, its sometimes hard to comment because ‘nothing happened’.
    But this resonates with me, I have three Young children and somehow am a good mother, I am able to take care of them but beneath the surface it is so hard sometimes.
    I’m sorry you feel like a failure. You’re not. You have every right (and more) to struggle sometimes and providing a safe, compassionate home for your children deserves every validation.
    Kate

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    1. Kate, I am sorry you are struggling with denial. I have struggled with it, too. But, when I am honest with myself and look at my issues, I know it is true for me.
      Thanks for reaching out and commenting. We are all in this together. ❤️

      Like

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