As I was falling asleep the other night, thinking of all the things I needed to do in the morning, I started to feel the tension in my chest and anxiety kicking in. I knew I had to give myself a reality check because there was no way I was going to be able to sleep if I started going down this path. I reminded myself that I don’t have to do it all. Which then made me wonder, why do I feel the need to do it all? Where did that come from?
For me, I really thought I was going to need to sit with this for a while but the answer popped in my head about a minute in. It all started when I was a sophomore in high school and I wasn’t at a great place academically and mentally, and home was messy. I was not coping well and it showed. I had a turning point (which I’ll share another time) and it was in just a moment that I made the decision to not go down the path of darkness and I had my solution! My solution was to keep myself so busy and to do it all so that there would be absolutely no way I could spiral down into the darkness….
Well of course, avoidance doesn’t work any better than running away! Being busy doesn’t take the pain away. It doesn’t make the demons go away. If anything those demons become PISSED and they will unleash their wrath when you least expect it, I learned this the hard way and I’m happy to say that I can look back at that version of myself and smile. She was just surviving and doing what she could with what she had. Why was she doing it? She was doing it out of fear - fear of having to sit in the darkness with her demons. She didn’t know if she could make it, she didn’t know if she was strong enough.
Don’t get me wrong, sitting in the darkness with the demons is still not my most favorite pastime and the fear is always lingering but I know that I can and need to do it. I know that trying to do it all is a sign that there is a little demon on my shoulder saying, “Heyyyyyyyy!” and that little fucker isn’t going anywhere until I sit with it, there is something that the little guy is trying to tell me. It might be that work is stressing me out, that I’m worried about a loved one, something from my past is bubbling up, or my depression is rearing its ugly head.
Now I can sit with it and not in the darkness but in the open, in the light.
You are worthy and enough to not have to do it all, all the time. When you are busy, people often ask, how do you do it all? The right question is, why do you do it all? Can you sit with yourself long enough to give yourself the love and attention you need?
If you are going to do it all, do it all for yourself and no one else.