Overwhelmed and unmotivated aren’t typically terms that go hand-in-hand. But today I’m feeling both. I read a quote on a piece of art by Kelly Malka, and it sparked some inspiration, so I want to talk about it; “Sometimes I’m so overwhelmed by everything I want to do that I’m afraid I might not accomplish anything at all.”
Some mornings I wake up and think about all the things I want to do, and it makes me feel so overwhelmed. I end up laying in bed for half the day, dreading my life. I become overwhelmingly riddled with dread, and I don’t want to get out of bed and be me.
I lay there in bed, thinking of all the things I want to do, and all the things I need to do. Then, I become terrified that I won’t accomplish anything.
I send myself into a spiral of dread and unrealistic expectations… and it’s a spiral that I can’t get out of. Inevitably my dread keeps me from accomplishing much.
Today for example, I wanted to; read, take a walk, shower, and go to the grocery store… but I became riddled with dread because I was scared that I couldn’t accomplish it all. I became overwhelmed, so I did none of it.
Thought spiral: Does this happen because I have a mental illness? Is it my mind playing tricks on me? Why can’t I complete simple tasks?
I wish I could say that this is a seldom occurrence, but it isn’t. This is the norm for me. And days like this are never solo, they come in pairs… Thus causing a day of inactivity to turn into a week. The tasks continue to pile up, nothing gets done, it all becomes overwhelming, very overwhelming.
Then, worthlessness and self-doubt comes in.
Thought spiral: Why can’t I complete simple tasks? Why is showering so insurmountable? Why can’t I go to the grocery store? How long has it been since I left the house; a week? Why can’t I be normal? Have I showered this week? Does it even matter?
The tasks I wanted to accomplish become mountains that I’m incapable of climbing. I continue laying in bed… even days later. No shower. No social interaction. No grocery store. No walk. I move to the couch.
Thought spiral: I hate myself. Why am I like this? If I could just go to the grocery store, I could eat something healthy. It would make me feel better. But I have to shower before I can go to the store. That’s too much. I can’t do it. I’d have to make a list, shower, and go to the store… but I need to clean the fridge first. I don’t have time for all that. Maybe tomorrow.
Then tomorrow comes, and everything repeats. Again, and again. Worthlessness. Self-doubt. Self-hated. Still no shower.
Small tasks become huge. I don’t know why. Maybe this is due to my Bipolar Disorder, or maybe my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Perhaps, it is a combination of the two. I sincerely don’t know. Perhaps I never will. But this is a part of my life. This lack of motivation. This tendency to become overwhelmed by simple tasks. These feelings of worthlessness. They are a part of me.
There is also a nighttime version of this; where the anticipation of my to-do list overwhelms me, and keeps me from sleeping. I sit awake all night, anxiety ridden, cycling through all the things I need to do in the morning. Then, the morning comes and I’m too exhausted from lack of sleep and anxiety pain to accomplish anything. Then, one of two things happen; (1) the “morning thought spiral”starts, which I’ve explained in this post, or (2) I go days without sleeping, because my anxiety overrides my mind; but that’s a different blog post entirely…
Here’s the super odd part: only small tasks seem overwhelming. I’m fine with tasks that are actually huge. There is a John Green Quote in Turtles All The Way Down; “But the things that make other people nervous have never scared me.” This is true. Things that seem huge or scary to other people (medical emergencies, party planning, natural disasters, etc…), seem small to me. While things that seem small to other people (showering, going grocery shopping, etc…), seem scary and huge to me.
You may be wondering: why would she share this ugliness? Well, I share because someone like me might read this, and I want them to know that they are not alone. This will get better. It always gets better, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but it always does. So, I never give up.
Sincerely, Elizabeth – Uncustomary Housewife
Every time you call out, you’re a little less alone. You matter, and you deserve support. To view a list of mental health support systems and online communities, visit; Uncustomary Housewife – Mental Health Support Systems and Communities.