I’m exhausted. I’m always exhausted. How can I be this exhausted?
Sit down for ten quiet minutes and my eyes will start to close. Try to avoid it by standing up instead, and my knees begin to buckle with the weight of my body. Focus comes in fits and bursts, I’m writing things in increments. Doing small, bite-sized tasks that make the most of these energy bubbles before they burst.
You’d be forgiven for thinking poor routine is to blame. I do function better at night than I do in the morning, my natural inclination is to make the most of that time. That’s only an option if I don’t have to work the next day, if there’s a gap of less than eight hours between when I get into bed and the time I have to start work, I stress instead of sleep. Lately I’ve not been in bed later than 11pm, and I still feel like I’ve pulled an all-nighter.
Weekends I push it out a little more to feel more productive in the day. Otherwise it’s just an endless cycle of work, eat, sleep, repeat. I hate that hamster wheel feeling. There has to be more, there has to be something more than just surviving.
Surviving is all I seem to have the energy for, though. I come home from work so tired I’d go to bed at 6pm if that wasn’t weird. I have put myself to bed that early–and consequently forgot to eat that night. I forget to eat a lot of nights. I’m too tired to care about food.
I’m over-sensitive, too. Everything is a threat, an annoyance, another reason to be stressed. My shoulders are aching from being so tense all the time. I take things personally before my more rational side kicks in to correct me. It’s not about me, but it feels like it is and it hurts. I don’t understand what people mean, and it hurts.
A harmless joke leads to hours of me beating myself up because I took it seriously at first, and why couldn’t I see it was obviously not real? I should have known the voice on the phone was a work colleague–I’m so dumb. They must be laughing so hard at how dumb I am. I’m too tired for these jokes.
I feel dumb for all the times I couldn’t determine whether someone was serious or not. I feel dumb for all the times I didn’t understand what I was being asked. I feel dumb for all the things I simply don’t think to say or do, that it is a conscious effort to remember that people like someone to say ‘Thank you, that was delicious’ at the end of a meal. For all the things that are expected between people and I just don’t get them.
Some things, like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.. even ‘happy birthday’ I struggle with. Even though I’ve been told that no one minds if it’s ‘not genuine’ (which makes no sense to me, why would anyone enjoy inauthentic gratitutde?), the terms feel so repetitive and cliche that I don’t know how to say them and still express the genuine gratitude behind them. I try to work around the words, to use expression, inflection and alternate phrasing to demonstrate that I value them enough to put thought into how I thank them.
But if I don’t say the ‘magic words’, all that thought is for nothing. People would rather hear a hollow and too-repeated ‘Thanks’ than ‘That looks amazing! You’re the best!’ Why is that? Why are people so hung up on the idea that only a few words can truly represent gratitude? I’m doing my best to remember to say the right words at the right times, but I don’t always and when I get pulled up for it I feel so stupid.
Come on, these are things I should know. I was raised better than this. It’s not that I don’t feel it, but I get caught either in trying to compose words that adequately express gratitude (which I hate to admit, can leave me unable to speak sometimes), or it just doesn’t occur to me that I should say anything. Again: how could I not know? Maybe I get caught up in what’s happening and my attention has shifted too fast, or I don’t know–either way, I have to consciously stop and ask myself: ‘Did you say please? Did you say thank you?’
The more tired I am, the more I slip. I’m slipping a lot lately. Really silly mistakes, confusing information, reading things wrong. Earlier today a colleague walked in and said ‘Good morning!’ and what did I say? I said ‘Good night!’
I’m trying to focus. My eyes keep wandering across my desk, squinting with the light, and even though there’s only a few of us here today everyone is noisy. The air vents are noisy. Scraps of conversations that I’m not part of, both upstairs and down, are distracting. I’m going to spend lunch in a dark room, which is what I do now. That period of quiet rest stops me from breaking the phone when it rings in the second half of the day.
I really hate talking on phones. My phone stays on silent because if it rings I might actually throw it. Phone conversations are for when you need to know something right now, otherwise a text will do.
I don’t really know what to do right now. How can I be so burned out when all I’m trying to do is function like a proper adult?
I’m doing my best to keep going. I seem to have less and less to work with every day. The more I force it, the more broken I feel.
Come on, you stupid girl. No one said it was going to be easy. If you’re not succeeding, you’re not trying hard enough. Everyone else gets by. Why the fuck can’t you?
I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’m trying. I can’t keep up. I don’t know how people work through the week, do things after work and also on the weekends. I don’t know how anyone manages what they do without collapsing into a pile of shaking sobs on a regular basis. I don’t know how people remember to eat or do other regular tasks without someone (or an alarm) to remind them.
I’m trying so hard to be normal, to do normal things, to work and socialise the way I’m expected to. I’m trying to remember the rules and say the right things, to not break down, to keep my crazy out of everyone’s way.
I’m trying, and I’m failing.