Loops

Really real mental health post.

Sometimes I get stuck in these loops.

I’ll see dishes start to pile up in the sink for a day or two or four or five.  At first, I’ll say no big deal, there aren’t many of them and I’ll wait till there are a few more.  Then it’ll be that there are too many of them and I’m overwhelmed.

Then the loop starts and I’m stuck.  I know I need to do them and they are annoying the hell out of me but I can’t figure out where to start or how to start and the prospect of doing them becomes too much.

This isn’t even all that many dishes normally, maybe a couple of pots and pans, a dozen pieces of silverware and a few cups, some Tupperware.  It’s no where near the overflowing piles that used to happen in the sink before I got some control over this.

But my brain still freezes.  I have to find a way out of it because I know how bad it will get and I know that when it gets to be too much, I can’t physically dig my way out.  Mentally it’s hard to get out of the loop, but because of my physical limitations, I have to break the cycle.

Right now my solution is to just start.  Give myself permission to just do one thing.  Like, put the dishes away out of the drainer, that’s all I need to do and I can wash later.  Or, organize the dishes and make sure they’re fully rinsed.  Normally, that starting point is all I need to get the dishes completely done, I just need to break the loop of overwhelming anxiety over starting.

It’s hard to explain to someone who can just walk in and do things.  It becomes and impossible task where I know I have to do ‘the thing’ but until I find the trick, the thing becomes impossible.  Sometimes the trick stops working and I get stuck again.

The dishes are just one thing.  When I was in school, sometimes schoolwork was ‘the thing.’  I could be completely excited about an assignment but it would feel impossible to start it.  Right now, with my attempt to write more, as important as it is to me, often I find myself spending hours just trying to get the first word on the page, just trying to open up the editor to start is a fight with my own brain to get out of the loop.

I’m learning, I’m growing.  I know that putting it off doesn’t fix any of it, and often compounds the problem.  Just taking the first step is often easier said than done, but is normally the answer.

And once I get out of the loop, it’s nice to sit back and see an empty sink.

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