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Why I Can't Relax

I Just Can't!

By Deborah RobinsonPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Image by Felix Mittermeier on Pixabay

I Just Can't!

Unless I'm sick, of course, and then I just sit around fretting about the things I need to do.

The problem is, I am a very restless person: I cannot just sit and watch television. I have to be browsing on my phone (sorry, I know, I'm awful), draw, do a wordsearch, work on my online shop... If people talk about a new drama, or a Netflix series, I just nod politely until they change the subject. I'm not sure I even know what Netflix is! I just cannot commit to a series of hours where I have to sit still and concentrate. I'm too fidgety, and there are too many other things I could be doing (like writing this article!)

You see, I am, and have always been, full of nervous energy. I feel like I need to be actively doing something most hours of the day. I work from home, where I tutor online in the evenings, and I sell my artwork on Etsy and other places. And so the 'problem' is, it's never really done. There's no 9-5, no scheduled holidays, no clocking off, really. I can always paint or draw something new; I can always work on resources for teaching. And of course, when you work from home, you see everything that needs doing: laundry, dishes, cleaning, floors, get the idea. And I'm a mum too, so...

Fill up Those Days and Hours!!

Every day, after school drop-off, I think, right, after the dog's walked I need to do this, and this, and this...I never switch on the television, and unless someone invites me out for coffee or brunch, I'll sit at my desk and eat or drink while I work. I see every hour taken off as an hour I could have been doing 'things'. 'Productive' things.

I push myself physically, too, to stay fit and as lean as I can be. But, I'm never satisfied with doing something once or twice a week: I'm a little obsessed with achieving 10,000 steps a day. If I don't, I feel lazy. I went to spinning class not once, but twice a week, to compete with myself and push harder. I took up sea swimming, and found I went almost every day, or else I'd feel lazy again. It's almost too cold right now to go as often, so I am taking part in a running course, so that I don't feel lazy. I think you can see a pattern here.

The Sad Truth.

I sort of know already what you might be thinking, and you're right: I'm a bit too hard on myself. You see, I have lived with mental health issues for as long as I can remember. I had anorexia as a young adult; I suffer from agoraphobia off and on (although it never really goes away); I have panic disorder and anxiety, and I suffer from depressive episodes now and again.

Over the years I tried therapies, but they never worked for me: talking warped my perspective on things, and did more harm than good. Relaxation and meditation drive me nuts: the voices in my head, and the palpitations just torment me. CBT made me overthink. So, I believe constantly moving, doing and occupying my mind are my way of coping.

I refuse to let the mental health problems define me, and limit me, so instead I stay busy. I do burn out every now and then; well, quite a lot if I'm honest. But, I just retreat to bed and read. At least that way, I'm 'doing' something, but I'm relaxed, too.


About the Creator

Deborah Robinson

I'm new to the 'writing for real' scene. Previously, I've kept my poetry and writing under wraps in a fancy notebook, but now I've decided to give it a proper go!

I hope you enjoy my work.

Thanks, Deborah.

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    Deborah RobinsonWritten by Deborah Robinson

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