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Need help with the mental exhaustion

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by CatGirl, Nov 3, 2020.

  1. CatGirl

    CatGirl Newcomer

    Hello! I'm on day 25 of the program and this is my first forum post. I'm not sure if I've been afraid to post up until now or thought I didn't need the help of the forum community, but either way here I am and I am looking forward to connecting with this community. Also, I need the help and hope to be able to provide help to others.
    Overall, I think I'm doing well; however, today has been rough. I feel like in a way I'm wearing myself out by always trying to figure out all of my emotions and how they are connected to my pain (lower back pain). Most days, I can make the connections, but some days I'm just too mentally exhausted too. I think I spend a lot of time putting pressure on myself to get this all figured out perfectly (imagine that) and today I'm crashing.

    Does anyone have any tips for cutting yourself some slack every now and again or getting all this stuff off your mind occasionally? Thanks for any tips!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    CatGirl, what you are experiencing is quite typical. Remember, one of TMS personality traits is being too hard on yourself and another one is being a perfectionist. You need to learn how to be kind to yourself and how not push yourself to exhaustion for the sake of perfection. For those of us who are wired to push ourselves hard, it is a new concept to learn. Kristin Neff has done some really good work on self-compassion:

    https://self-compassion.org/the-three-elements-of-self-compassion-2/ (Definition and Three Elements of Self Compassion | Kristin Neff)
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @CatGirl, and welcome to your first post!

    This is a great question, and it absolutely hits a really key issue - why do we treat ourselves like crap so easily? It's something I've been working on in therapy lately, because 2020 has erased all of the gains I made, and then some.

    One thing I've really learned is how many of us have nervous systems that have become used to being in a constant state of hyper-vigilance. So, every time I keep working on something long past when I should have stopped (to eat, hydrate, sleep, exercise, breathe, meditate, pee...) my nervous system stays ramped up, and at some point it interprets the fact that I haven't met my basic needs as being in danger - and then it ramps up even more to protect me from the DANGER!!!!

    At the same time, I'm playing victim to whatever activity I'm doing that is keeping me in this state - it's the "if I can just do this one more thing I won't have to deal with it later" syndrome but of course that just allows more things to come along to be added to the list.

    By invalidating my needs, I'm not only creating the hyper-vigilant fear state, I'm also invalidating myself as someone who deserves to be taken care of. It probably goes back to childhood - in my case, to the fact that I was the oldest, and by being compliant and helpful, I continued to earn some of the praise and attention that I lost when three more kids came along. It was not a bad family at all - I had what many would consider an ideal childhood. But try telling that to the little girl that is still buried deep inside.

    Yeah - imagine that!
    Maybe cut yourself some slack? LOL - I don't mean to be flippant, but the real question is, have you been trying to speed through the SEP? You really do need to take a break every once in a while. Maybe take a week off, and try something else for a bit. Listen to some podcasts (I would recommend Nicole Sachs - see my list of resources at the end of my profile for the details). Nicole is the #1 proponent of therapeutic writing, and if you only listen to her very first podcast (from two years ago?) you will learn a LOT. Do some daily therapeutic writing using her recommendations (she calls it JournalSpeak). And take some time every day to love yourself and practice self-compassion. Also Check out Tara Brach, who has a number of free resources on self-compassion at https://www.tarabrach.com/ (Tara Brach - Meditation, Psychologist, Author, Teacher).

    There are so many different things to try - give yourself permission to do that, and work on letting go of the pressure you put on yourself. Pressure leads to Judgement which leads to Shame and Pain. The goal is breaking that cycle.

    Good luck.

  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hah - TG and Jan cross-posting. No surprise there :joyful:

    Kristen Neff, yeah!
    TG957 likes this.

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