July 18, 2024
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Soul Exhaustion – Retired Introvert

Soul Exhaustion – Retired Introvert

It’s been 4 years since my mother had the autumn that resulted in a traumatic mind damage. And even earlier than that, she went by chemotherapy for ovarian most cancers. So, I’ve spent most of my retirement taking good care of my mother and father. No, not 100%. Earlier than her fall, they had been residing of their home and (we thought) doing high quality. Till the autumn.

Since then, I’ve been liable for all their monetary stuff. My dad threw up his arms and have become fully depending on my sister and me. He lived with every of us for some time after which moved to assisted residing as a result of we thought he and my mother could possibly be there collectively. And all of this was throughout COVID. However that didn’t work out as we deliberate.

We needed to navigate by quite a bit that yr: discovering a spot for my mother, going forwards and backwards to the hospital, coping with insurance coverage and long-term care, cleansing out their home, promoting it, and my mother’s dying. Typically I look again and marvel how we managed it.

What’s soul exhaustion?

Have you ever heard of one thing referred to as soul exhaustion? Right here’s a definition I like:

Soul exhaustion can really feel as in case you’re working a marathon with out an finish. It may appear as in case you’re treading water for hours in the course of the ocean — soul exhaustion can really feel like you haven’t any extra tears left to cry, that your tear ducts are completely empty, as is your spirit.


This article lists 15 indicators of soul exhaustion. I assume you don’t need to exhibit all of those for it to use, however I discover myself combating most of them. I’ll briefly talk about these.

  • Feeling bodily exhausted. It’s horrible while you stand up within the morning and nonetheless really feel drained. It impacts my day a lot and I can’t assist considering, I can’t wait to go to mattress once more tonight. Sleeping could be very inconsistent. I’ve many nights after I both can’t get to sleep or get up round 2:00 am and may’t get again to sleep. This additionally makes my days troublesome.
  • Feeling numb or empty. It’s generally robust to really feel I’ve one thing to sit up for, even after I do. I need to be excited in regards to the issues in my life, nevertheless it isn’t at all times simple.
  • Not feeling like myself. This goes together with every part else as a result of I’m drained and nothing excites me. I didn’t used to really feel this manner, though I do keep in mind dreading sure issues I needed to do earlier than I might do the enjoyable stuff.
  • Missing motivation. It is a huge one for me. It’s simpler for me to sit down in my chair and play video games on my iPad than stand up and do the issues I like to do. I’ve no motivation for train and it’s simple to let issues go round the home. It additionally impacts my curiosity in doing issues exterior the home.
  • Bodily ache and discomfort. For me, this appears to present itself as vertigo. I can inform after I’m harassed as a result of my head simply doesn’t really feel proper and I’ll sometimes have an episode of some kind. After which this leads me to feeling empty as a result of I don’t really feel like a “normal” individual.
  • Feeling disoriented. Some days I do really feel as if I’m simply going by the motions and doing what’s anticipated of me. But it surely brings me no pleasure.
  • Feeling unstable. I discover myself much less affected person and extra more likely to let little issues upset me. I do know I’m extra irritable and need to be left alone. (Simply ask Tim.)
  • Can’t eat or can’t cease consuming. I fall into the “can’t stop eating” class. I eat all of the worst issues, regardless that I hate my weight proper now and I would like to look at my eating regimen to keep away from diabetes. I do know what I ought to do. I simply don’t do it. 

Why do I really feel this manner?

The previous few years have been robust for me and I’m unsure why. Different folks appear to deal with these items of their lives with none bother. Or does it simply appear that approach?

I’ve been so unbiased my entire life however I by no means had anybody else to maintain in addition to me. Like some folks don’t know methods to be alone, I’m unsure I understand how to maintain somebody. And I imply, actually maintain somebody. Does that make me egocentric?

My sister tells me I didn’t get the empathy gene. Possibly she’s proper however possibly I really feel an excessive amount of empathy. It’s so laborious some days to take a look at my dad and picture him the way in which he was. He’s so sad and it makes me so unhappy. It may make it difficult to be round him.

I don’t know what I might do with out Tim, as he’s my actuality examine and forces me out of my shell. I can’t think about how issues could be if I had been alone. He’s additionally nice help after I want to speak or escape for some time.

My drawback could be that I don’t specific my empathy in the identical approach others do. I’m significantly better on the duties that have to be executed. They’ve a starting and an finish. However there are such a lot of ideas and emotions always in my head. I’ve very deep emotions that I can’t simply specific. 

I discover myself unusual issues and considering, my dad won’t ever see these once more. Or he’ll by no means have easy experiences like going to the grocery retailer. His life has boiled right down to sitting in a recliner all day. Who could be completely happy like that?

I ponder if a part of my drawback is I see my very own future and it scares me. I do know I felt this initially, and I feel I’ve moved previous it. But it surely’s at all times at the back of my thoughts. What number of years do I’ve left and what am I doing with them? What is going to my life be like after I’m his age? I’m additionally an overthinker!!

Being an introvert

Sure elements of being an introvert may make coping with life harder.

  • Process-oriented, introverted folks discover always coping with new duties troublesome as a result of they need to do them correctly. When one thing new comes up, I instantly tense earlier than I rationally suppose by what it means.
  • Concern of failure or underperforming. I don’t need to disappoint anybody. It has generally made me second-guess myself, even after I know I’m proper. Might a few of that be as a result of I’m the oldest daughter?
  • Simply distracted by interruptions that make me lose focus. Issues like cellphone calls and coping with points proper then could be robust. I additionally discover myself irritated on the incompetence of so many individuals.
  • I desire to remain within the background. An excessive amount of social interplay wears me out.
  • Introverts are susceptible to depressive signs.
  • Whereas I’m a accountable individual and can take quite a bit on, I’ve at all times been fairly passive in asking for what I would like or want, together with saying no to issues. I attempt to keep away from battle. I not often share an opinion. However I really feel a ton of duty, even when it’s not all mine.
  • Needing alone time. I spend round 12 hours every week with my dad, along with doing his laundry and taking good care of his funds, amongst different issues. That is sometimes throughout my best time of the day (2:00 to five:00). My artistic retailers aren’t getting my consideration.

Feeling higher

Earlier than you say something about this being melancholy, I settle for that. I’ve had some counseling and I’m on an antidepressant. What I’m at the moment discovering essentially the most useful, nonetheless, is accepting my life proper now and limiting what I count on of myself. My expectations for what I accomplish in a day are fairly low and I don’t stress if I really feel like doing nothing. I do know that sounds easy, however for somebody like me, it’s not.

Ever since we obtained previous Christmas, I’ve felt so significantly better. There are numerous issues I don’t do anymore or fairly often – stitching, cooking, baking, running a blog. I miss them, however they’ll come again after I can deal with them. I’ve different priorities and I’m studying to just accept that.

We modified our Florida plans this winter so as a substitute of staying for six weeks, we’re solely going for 2. Actually, we’re in Florida proper now. This transformation has undoubtedly helped with the emotions of guilt and strain.

I do know this is only one section of my life and it’ll finish. I hate to suppose it means shedding my dad however many days, that appears preferable to watching him undergo. I’ll survive.

Within the meantime, I’ll profit from what I’ve time for and let myself off the hook after I’m not as productive as I’d wish to be. For now, I’m going to take pleasure in my two weeks in Florida and loosen up. Too dangerous it isn’t a bit hotter!!

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