Personally, I find very little difference between overextending one’s self physically and when one exceeds their tolerances mentally. The end result is the same – exhaustion – when one has a mental illness.
At least my experience with it iis that it’s rather like setting cardboard on fire with gasoline. The energy it initially produces is very intense, with large flames and a lot of heat but it is quickly reduced to a pile of ash because all of its energy has been depleted.
This is vindication for me in a sense because what they describe is very similar to my own experiences with mental illness. An unexpected consequence of this revelation is that it helps me not feel like I’m trying to slay this dragon all by myself.
I tire easily. PTSD can make you feel like you are running through a battlefield, with so much sudden noise and constant stimulations that the heightened “startle” response is always in the “on” position. Not only do I have to contend with this, but I am also always on guard for some sort of emergency – part firefighter conditioning, mostly designed so that I can avoid potential death destruction. I don’t think I can manage another critical incident.
This tendency to be easily exhausted has been known to exacerbate my depression. I was once so full of energy and could take on the world. I loved being busy. Now with fatigue setting in so much sooner, I feel like a burden and rather useless. I do my best to shake these thoughts from my head and remind myself that I am no different than someone else who is sick. Sick people tend to tire easily.
As I continue down my road to mental wellness I remind myself to cut myself some slack. My life might not be what it used to be but nonetheless, I am still alive and because of this fact, I will get to where I need to be.
So, if this sounds like you, keeping going but rest when you need to. You may not be able to do what you once were able to do, but you can still do great things.
if you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service, and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!
Check out my friend’s blog here: anewdawnaa.com