It’s not a new problem for me, the problem of running out of coping, running out of caring, running out of energy beyond what is strictly necessary, but it is a problem that I have successfully managed to avoid for some years now, and so it snuck up on me with warning signs I’d forgotten how to read, and now I’m at the bottom of the barrel.
I could have seen it coming if I remembered the signs, but it’s been a long time since I ran out of everything that the signs were quite unfamiliar to me, until I hit that brick wall and stumbled backwards, landing on my arse and looking quite surprised with the world.
So the past few weeks have been really hard emotional work for me. I’m an introvert (in the MBTI sense – I recharge by being near alone/alone), and so when I fill my calendar up with social engagements, and not sufficient time to spend recharging, I’m far more likely to hit that wall and sit up, blinking at it. It takes a lot longer to recover once I’ve hit that wall than if I’d taken the time to myself to recharge before moving onto the next big (or small) thing.
It hasn’t helped of course that in the past 2 months my husband and one of his partner’s have ended ended their relationship (no hope at all of rekindling that, and she left him so he’s been really upset about that), a friend died and we’ve provided support to his partner and other friends who have needed it (and my husband went straight there when he found out and helped with the police report and other emotional supporting needs), spent a weekend in country Victoria with some lovely women, some of whom were working through issues – to which I gave hugs, a shoulder to cry on, and listening (as well as cooking and cleaning). The following weekend (this wasn’t a wise move), I visited my parents and… well did parenting work. This was the week after the funeral. I then returned to Melbourne, had dinner with a friend, saw Bangarra perform Belong (highly highly recommend that if you ever have the opportunity to see them perform – will write more later), went to a gig (saw Mareike Hardy and Gotye occupy the same room), celebrated International Celebrate Bisexuality Day with a meal at the pub with my bisexual community, and then went out on Saturday night to dinner and then a burlesque themed show with friends… that’s when I knew.
That’s when I knew that I had nothing left, almost nothing left for me, and certainly nothing left for the group I was with. I was numb, distant and somewhat irritated (though that last bit had probably far more to do with the venue than anything else). I left early, went home and sat around a bit before I went to bed. I decided to spend Sunday doing things for me (playing computer games, looking at my garden, etc), and not going out to the birthday yum cha that we’d been invited to. My husband started off on his way there, found out that the one person he was going to see wasn’t going to be there, and then came home and fell into a deep depression.
I had very little left, and so tried to do what I could, unsuccessfully, and then found a great, albeit temporary, solution – Doctor Who. We’d not seen any of the second half of this season yet, and now we’ve caught up.
Being close to running out of everything, and the running out of everything, has seriously messed up my blogging. I have all these ideas that I want to write about, but haven’t had the concentration, time, or energy to do so. But soon, because for the next several days I’m the most important person to me and I’m going to do what I need to do, so I can continue to, when I have my energy back, do what I do for others.