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AIBU?

To always feel overwhelmed no matter what changes?

20 replies

Doormice · 26/09/2022 22:17

I feel constantly overwhelmed. No matter what I have to do, I can manage about 80% of it and the last 20% of it overwhelms me and I just get incredibly stressed out and ineffective and probably won’t finish whatever it is, or finish it badly.

I know this is psychological. I have had this problem as a student and in multiple jobs. Even at home, I am constantly stressed, no matter how much or how little I actually have to do- be it housework, home admin, anything!

I know this is completely unreasonable but I don’t know what to do about it or whether anyone understands what I mean? I feel so rubbish and inept all the time, even though I am not unintelligent. I have no valid excuses, yet I am never ever on top of everything.

Grateful to hear any advice or similar experiences.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

22 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
14%
You are NOT being unreasonable
86%
TastesLikeFlavourlessFizz · 26/09/2022 22:29

I can’t help but I can empathise!

It doesn’t matter how much I have to do or how hard or stressful it is - I can be on top of a lot of it and completely ruined by the remainder. Even if the entirety of it is a tiny fraction of what was on my plate a different day.

I have ADHD though. Which is not necessarily indicated by what you’ve said here but for me, this is a part of the bigger problem and the reason for my constant state of overwhelm!

Hopefully someone will be along with a more useful response. For now, I offer you solidarity!

Doormice · 26/09/2022 22:36

Thank you @TastesLikeFlavourlessFizz it feels good to know somebody understands, although sorry you struggle too. I am too ashamed to ‘come clean’ to people in real life about how useless I am, I just feel like I’m bluffing alll of the time and secretly failing at life, and it’s so exhausting.

I have wondered if I might have adhd but also whether it might be anxiety related. But no matter what it ‘is’ the main question is still what to do about it, and that eludes me 🥺

OP posts:
LuckyCat4 · 26/09/2022 22:46

Executive dysfunction? It's a genuine thing

TastesLikeFlavourlessFizz · 26/09/2022 22:46

I know that feeling well but honestly, you’re not useless and you shouldn’t be ashamed. You’re doing your best.

For whatever reason, you find some things in life hard. Sure, try to find things that help make things easier/better but don’t beat yourself up in the process. You’re not doing it on purpose!

I wish I could help. I really do. What I will say is that even though not everyone finds life so hard or shares your particular problems, I can say with some certainty that we’re all just blagging it. In our own way, none of us really totally know what we’re doing. 🙂

Winnietheshite · 26/09/2022 22:48

You're probably neuro diverse.

And probably trying to do too much in the first place.

Housenoob · 26/09/2022 22:52

I'm the exact same. The smallest things overwhelm me as well as bigger things. For example, at the moment I'm stressing about laundry! I'm efficient at putting loads on, hanging the clothes up to dry, folding into piles, but the last hurdle of putting them away completely overwhelms me so I currently have a room full of laundry sat in piles needing to be put away. It's so irrational because putting it away will take like 10 minutes max but I spend longer stressing about it and putting it off.

It's not just trivial stuff like that but most aspects of work, personal life, even stuff like planning holidays or events. The last and usually most crucial bit is the part I fuck up no matter how organised I am initially.

MsAnnFrope · 26/09/2022 22:55

I can’t offer advice but I can offer solidarity. I’m great at starting stuff, hate the tedium of finishing it.
washing is washed and dried but is it put away? Nope.
long complicated work report nearly written but can o bring myself to do the last edits. Also nope.
and do not even start me on housework/garden chores.

Whoareyoumyfriend · 26/09/2022 22:57

This is me. A literally can't juggle all plates. I was diagnosed with autism in June and it now makes a lot more sense

TastesLikeFlavourlessFizz · 26/09/2022 22:58

Housenoob · 26/09/2022 22:52

I'm the exact same. The smallest things overwhelm me as well as bigger things. For example, at the moment I'm stressing about laundry! I'm efficient at putting loads on, hanging the clothes up to dry, folding into piles, but the last hurdle of putting them away completely overwhelms me so I currently have a room full of laundry sat in piles needing to be put away. It's so irrational because putting it away will take like 10 minutes max but I spend longer stressing about it and putting it off.

It's not just trivial stuff like that but most aspects of work, personal life, even stuff like planning holidays or events. The last and usually most crucial bit is the part I fuck up no matter how organised I am initially.

😂 I can’t put things on (or take them off) the clothes horse! Well I can, obviously, in the end. But it’s the end of the world every time. Much putting off and faffing about. So I can start and end well but it’s the middle bit for me!

Luredbyapomegranate · 26/09/2022 23:06

It’s not at all unusual - loads of people feel their constantly failing at life (including me)

It sounds like a mix of anxiety and unrealistic expectations to me, and maybe a belief that if you did it all perfectly everything would be under control (it wouldn’t, it never is.)

CBT is what’s usually recommended to help manage anxiety and reduce self criticism / perfectionism, so give that a go. Your GP can refer you, but it can take for ever, so if you can pay for a few yourself that might be a good idea. There are also some free online courses.

There might be some ADHD at play, but it sounds like it’s more to do with your unrealistic expectations than any actual disfunction. You can rest assured that there is no human on the planet who will ever get on top of everything.

Along with CBT, Oliver Burkeman is worth reading, he has a really realistic approach to how you can improve your organisation while being realistic about what you can achieve.

Rainbowcat99 · 26/09/2022 23:09

This sounds very familiar, I get overwhelmed and stressed by life too and often feel like I need a fleet of servants to help me live my life (cook, gardener, cleaner and handyman/woman should do it 😜)
I love a good tick list and deliberately put easy to achieve things on there as well as trickier things so I get a sense of achievement.
It's helped me in recent years to realise that "everybody" isn't doing much better. It seems to me that most people just muddle through life as best they can.

Doormice · 26/09/2022 23:29

These are such kind and helpful replies, thank you!

OP posts:
vanHalen · 27/09/2022 00:05

Have you thought about whether you have any underlying limiting beliefs that make you feel overwhelmed and like you can't cope?

EmmaH2022 · 27/09/2022 00:29

vanHalen · 27/09/2022 00:05

Have you thought about whether you have any underlying limiting beliefs that make you feel overwhelmed and like you can't cope?

I have been through these sprts of exercises but the limiting beliefs are always well founded.

BluOcty · 27/09/2022 00:40

Omg I came on to start a thread like this, except I also get emotional as well as practical overwhelm.

YellowYoshi · 27/09/2022 09:53

This is me too OP and like so so many other women, have pondered after looking back over years of struggling when others seem to find it so easy, have explored the possibility of adhd etc.

I went through the stress of speaking the GP in tears about my overwhelming uselessness (and the rest), waited ages to be referred, filled in all the forms and which in total has taken a couple of years and guess what? Last hurdle, appointment to actually assess me and I've bottled out. Useless idiot.

Doormice · 27/09/2022 20:33

vanHalen · 27/09/2022 00:05

Have you thought about whether you have any underlying limiting beliefs that make you feel overwhelmed and like you can't cope?

I may do, they must be quite entrenched though as I can’t spot them. How can I find out?

OP posts:
Doormice · 27/09/2022 20:34

BluOcty · 27/09/2022 00:40

Omg I came on to start a thread like this, except I also get emotional as well as practical overwhelm.

I get the emotional overwhelm too, I cry all the time, it’s so embarrassing (or less so now because I spend more time alone and nobody knows). Sending hugs xx

OP posts:
Doormice · 27/09/2022 20:38

YellowYoshi · 27/09/2022 09:53

This is me too OP and like so so many other women, have pondered after looking back over years of struggling when others seem to find it so easy, have explored the possibility of adhd etc.

I went through the stress of speaking the GP in tears about my overwhelming uselessness (and the rest), waited ages to be referred, filled in all the forms and which in total has taken a couple of years and guess what? Last hurdle, appointment to actually assess me and I've bottled out. Useless idiot.

Aww hugs for you too @YellowYoshi, I have done similar in the past. It doesn’t make sense why you would do that… but I totally get it, I really do.

The thing with diagnosis as well is - what next? I’m not sure I want to take daily medication. So, I’m not sure how a diagnosis would benefit me, it might actually make me feel more useless tbh.

OP posts:
Goldencarp · 27/09/2022 20:43

I’m the same. I have a really busy, stressful life with one child being disabled but manage all the usual school, appointment stuff easily. The things I “know’ and am in control of I don’t have a problem with but if I need to do one thing out of my comfort zone even if it’s making a simple phone call about insurance for example I get in a right tizz and can’t function until it’s done and sorted. It’s ridiculous and makes me feel a bit pathetic some times.

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