This has been a year. An all over the place year with some crazy highs and lows. I don’t really know how to process any of it. I know my anxiety has been through the roof the last couple of weeks and a lot of times this doesn’t feel real and right now my brain wants to disassociate with everything that’s going on.
I took most of last week off to focus on the new reality in my house. I tried to write for a few days and then gave up. I did a lot of nothing. Too much news reading and way too much twitter and Reddit reading.
It’s nearly pressed me to the point I was at after the last election. I couldn’t stop reading twitter and going down rabbit holes and I don’t want to get back there. It was horrid for my mental health and ended in me not writing for months.
I can’t let this be the same. I came to the decision this past weekend to make myself a schedule and try to stick to it. I am working on managing my mental health and sanity in a pandemic and there is no guidebook. There is just blindly throwing darts at a wall to see what works. And it’s not just my sanity at stake here. I have people who depend on me and relationships and maintaining relationships when your mental health isn’t great is already hard, let alone when everyone around me is having the same issue.
I am a massive caretaker. I have been in all my relationships and friendships. It’s who I am. I’m not sure if I always would have been this way or if being the main person my little sister leaned on during her mental health issues made me this way. I can’t turn it off and at times like this, it’s hard.
I feel a little like I can’t have a bad day because everyone else is having bad days and there is no one to pick up the slack. I believe relationships are never 50/50 at all times. I think it’s important for relationships to flex. Because there are days your partner or friend will need 90% and they will only be giving back 10%. I think understanding that dynamic is paramount to healthy relationships. I also believe if you’re the only one putting in the 90% and never getting it back out, those are relationships not worth continuing. Because no one is endlessly full of giving. We all need to be refilled.
But right now I feel like most everyone I know needs that 90%. I can feel it bleeding in the world. Things are tense and everyone is drained. Either from giving to another person who needs the 90 or from their kids and touching and stress. People don’t just drain us. The world and so many other things can. So in time, we are all running on empty where are we getting refilled? And what’s going to happen when relationships get tested and no one can give that 90% anymore because they are too empty?
As a caretaker as empty as I get I want to keep giving 90 to all the people who are important to me and I see they need it. I can’t even be upset. But I’m struggling. Because I feel like I can’t be off or have a shutdown day because there just isn’t anyone to pick up the slack.
I don’t know if any of this even makes sense on paper like it does in my head. Maybe I’ve just rambled about energy for eight paragraphs and no one but me is going to understand it.
So today I feel empty. I’m trying to get my life back on track and find more to give but I’m not sure where.
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