How do you do it all?

"How do you do it all?" is a question I get asked quite often by friends. In fact, one of them asked me this question today in relation to keeping up with Project Life.

The true answer is...I don't. Sometimes it may appear that I have things under control, that I have plenty of time to scrap and craft and blog and design, still keep things together at home and have time to be with my family, but I really don't. I soooo don't have my shit together.

I have an anxiety disorder, and with this comes the constant pressure in my brain to do absolutely everything I possibly can right this minute for fear of never having the chance. All day long, I have little reminders going off saying "you have to spend time with Austin because he's growing so fast" and "you have to design this for your shop" and "this room needs cleaning" and "don't forget about the blog" and "hey, it's only the third week of January and you're already technically two weeks behind on Project Life."

The truth is, I never stop. I very, very rarely take breaks to relax. I go from the minute I get up in the morning, to the minute I go to sleep (which is usually around midnight). There are so many things I really want to do (thanks a lot, Pinterest) that never come to fruition, because other things take priority. I'm not complaining. I love my life, anxiety and all. I just don't want anyone under the illusion that I have ample time for this stuff. I don't. I somehow find a way to make the time. It just means other things get sacrificed.

20 comments:

  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one!! My brain is on almost constantly. My only reprieve being sleep, when I can get it!

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    1. I seriously love sleep. I am a late sleeper, in general, but I find it very hard to fall asleep most nights. My brain just won't shut off!

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    2. I have had that same problem all my life. My late husband just could not understand why I could not just close my eyes & fall fast asleep like he could. For 36.5 years I sure wished I could. Now that he is gone it is harder & harder for me to go to bed & get to sleep. My C-PAP machine does help but not much.

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  2. I seem to have the reverse... I get stressed and just shut down for fear of not doing it all or good enough. Big hugs. I am sure your friends and family (like mine) love and appreciate you no matter how much you (or I) do or in my case don't get done.

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    1. I'm sure they do (well, most of the time, haha). But we're our own worst critics, and only we really know how much we aren't getting done, so it's hard.

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  3. I have anxiety problems too. It got so bad that it erupted into full blown panic attacks, a nervous breakdown and literally accomplishing nothing for 3 years. If I had it to do over again I would listen to my sister when I was in my mid twenties and realize that needing to do it all is a sickness and I would have sought help then so I would have known how to deal with it before it got to be too much. I have 3 years I will never get back and guilt I will never get rid of but a much needed lesson on anxiety learned.

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    1. I used to have panic attacks, back in college. Went on Paxil for awhile, but I really wanted to get off of it a few years later. My anxiety is for the most part manageable now so that I don't get panic attacks anymore, but I am in therapy, have been for over a year now.

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  4. As a fellow anxiety-sufferer, I totally get what you're saying. My issue is I get about 5 hours of sleep a night to try and achieve that "perfection." Thanks for being so open and honest!

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    1. So hard to get enough sleep. And then when we don't get enough sleep, it's worse for our anxiety! Ugh!

      I really appreciate all these comments!

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  5. I totally get what you are saying. That is how I am as well. I always feel like I am short on sleep, because that is what I sacrifice. I have such OCD issues regarding folding clothes, loading dishwasher and I just cannot seem to let it go. LOL. Life goes on!!!!

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    1. Oh, laundry and dishes are usually what I end up sacrificing, because I know my husband will do it if I don't (which is unfair to him). I try to keep up as best I can but sometimes it is nice knowing if I don't get to it, it will still get done.

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  6. Melissa,
    I have always been like you - friends and family astounded by all that I could do. All of that came to a screeching halt at the beginning of October, when I completely shut down for four weeks. I have been recently diagnosed with social anxiety disorder with some OCD thrown in there just for fun. I'm on antidepressants for the first time in my life and have had to completely change everything in my life. I shut down two businesses, stop working for another company, and am refocusing on the things I CAN do, which still isn't much. To keep a little sane during this very stressful time, I have focused a lot of time and attention on my homemade Project Life album by creating a ton of cards and by blogging about my experiences. Hang in there and go easy on yourself. What is the alternative?!?

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience here. I'm really appreciating everyone's comments today. Who knew so many people feel the way I do? It's very comforting.

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  7. I keep seeing this quote everywhere -
    "The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our 'behind the scenes' with everyone else's 'highlight reel'."

    How true, right?
    I get home sometimes, and its late, and I have a bazillion things to do and I can't tell you how many times I've thought - wtf? How does Melissa do it? How does she get so much quality work done in one day and I can't even find the time to finish a house project?
    I compare my workouts, my cleaning, my dog-parenting, my blogging, and my productivity to others. But I don't see THEIR behind the scenes.

    Long story short... obviously we know quite well about each others anxieties. So this entry is not news to me. But I love, love, love you opening up about it on here. Because when I go to so many blogs, I think the SAME thing - How do they do it?! And here are you saying - that's just my highlight reel.

    I never stop thinking you are amazing. And I am so happy for your one word of LESS, this year. Because the less you are able to stress about some things... the more you will truly enjoy them!

    I love you!

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    1. I love the highlight reel comparison. It really describes the facade perfectly. :)

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  8. Love you. I know I've asked you this, but only because of my own anxiety (of which you know more than most) I have the same problem with sleep and never relaxing.

    I find I ask people that question because I am secretly hoping they have the magic answer lol.

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  9. I LOVE your honesty!! Ü So glad to be a fan!

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