What To Do When You Can’t

I’ve hit a wall and can’t seem to find the words to express what I need to say.  It isn’t writer’s block, but more a case of brick wall. Or perhaps it’s simply a lack of spoons.*  In any case, it seems that I’ve sat down a dozen times to write a post about the recent changes and challenges that have come my way.  Each time, I’ve stared at the screen until I either move on to something else out of boredom or have a petite meltdown trying to wrap my head around it all.

I’m overwhelmed by the  multitude of both the  little, insignificant and the larger, life-impacting things that have been happening lately.    There is so much that I want to do, that I need to do, that I feel I should be doing, that I am expected to do.  There is only one small problem with all those things to be done –  I simply can’t. 

Aside from the obvious physics dilemma of not being able to be in multiple places at the same time, my own limitations and weaknesses are preventing me from doing a lot of those things that I feel need to be done. Finding energy, time, and other resources to cope even with the minor issues has become a challenge in the wake of my own on-going health issues.  I set out to do things only to find that I am being derailed by new problems or facing setbacks due to my own lack of reserves.  It’s frustrating and at times, emotionally painful.

The spiritual aspects of my life have suffered as much as the mundane ones .  Helping others through their challenges and simply being there for those in need are integral parts of my path, integral parts of who I am. I can easily say “no” when I don’t see a legitimate need, but to do so when there is a need is heart-wrenching.  Turning down opportunities to teach and share knowledge come a close second in terms of heartbreak.  I want to help, to heal, to teach, to share.  Instead, I find that I can barely manage a simple prayer for my own healing and wellbeing.  If I can’t muster the resources to keep myself going, finding the reserves to help others is going to be an impossibility.

So I’m at a bit of a loss.  Withdrawing from the world is not an option, but what do you do when you’ve hit a point of not being able to do so many of the things that are important to you?  Do you smile, say no, and hope that everyone (family, friends, and deity alike) understands?  Do you plow through as best you can, consequences be damned?  Do you keep a stiff upper lip long enough to get through what has to be done? 

The closest I’ve come to an answer is to try to scale back across the board, so that I don’t drop  the ball on any one issue or person.  Remaining conservative in the energy I give to other people.  Saying no without completely turning my back on others.  Finding moments of solitude to mend myself.  Struggling along until I have more resources.  I’m afraid that for now, it’s the best I can do. 



*I’m referring here to Christine Miserandino’s The Spoon Theory.  Worth a read if you are dealing with a chronic illness or know someone who is.


4 thoughts on “What To Do When You Can’t

  1. Tony 6 September 2010 / 5:10 pm

    Write erotica. Of course, all of mine is pretty gay.

    • aisling13 6 September 2010 / 5:42 pm

      Oh yes, erotica… the solution to all life’s ills. lmao, Tony. Love ya!

  2. zaunreiterin 6 September 2010 / 4:12 pm

    Sounds like a real dilemma, wish I could come in here and spread wisdom. But, to be honest, at the moment, it’s more like I lie awake at night because I have the feeling, that I have no time to sleep.

    To go on and exhaust youself helping and supporting others, will not help. It will lead to burn out and that surely helps nobody.

    Take your time.
    That is the only thing that will help.
    (And I know it is not easy, all the ‘but I really should be doing this or that right now’ thoughts, will bug you, but just ignore them.)


    • aisling13 6 September 2010 / 5:42 pm

      Thanks for your kind comments. (((hugs))) I hope that things settle down for you so that you do feel you have time to sleep and get the rest you need.

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