It never fails that when your life takes a change, and while embracing that change, you may struggle. You may struggle with what you think you should or should not be doing. I have found myself, along the way, realizing that I felt guilt for not taking care of people, realizing where that expectation came from, how I perpetuated those feelings, and also constantly having to tell myself it is okay to not produce. And what do you know? A day after I explained to someone that I got here because I am highly capable, highly functioning, yet I found myself unable to do the smallest and easiest things…I could not function, I saw this post on Instagram, and it really just hit home for me, and might for you too.
This is a tricky statement. I think my husband and I were both over-functioners, but in differing senses. His focus was work, mine was raising kids, running my business, taking care of clients, maintaining house, and doing yard work, etc. He works so many hours for his job, always has, that left me to tend to all the other stuff. With him not dealing with his trauma, it created a ton of stress and chaos, and knowing what I know now, it caused my own trauma of serving and fulfilling expectation to flourish. Several clients warned me when I said I wasn’t doing enough, they told me I was crazy and would burn out from it all. They were right.
So, I didn’t just burn out, I went beyond burn out to scorched earth. And that is when I became under functioning. I was paralyzed, I couldn’t do anything besides work, take care of people, and take care of home duties sparingly. I think my husband had gone through this prior to me, and shortly in to our marriage. He became an under-functioned the same way I did, just before me. We both chose to continue to over-function in many ways, and under-function in many other ways.
I look at this list, and think I did the first and last, he did all of those in between. Sometimes I look back at what we have dealt with and it makes me so sad, a bit angry, and overwhelmed.
I did all of these things, but I truly think his over-functioning caused mine to persist. Read on.
I didn’t wait for anyone to jump in to help, because I knew it was all on me. Period. I never relied on anyone for anything, nor did I ask for advice. In fact, I hid just about everything that I went through because I knew no one was going to help me, I wasn’t going to burden anyone and I didn’t want people to pity me, or think lowly of my husband.
Yeah, this list is laughable. Not because she is wrong, but I was way past under-functioning…I was not functioning. I was failing, faltering, falling…nah, I more or less flat lined. I had to eliminate something and it had to be my work. I also had to eliminate some people from my life, and they had a lot of expectation from me in the dumbest ways, and in order to help myself, this is what I had to do.
A super important thing to add is that my husband stopped under functioning, which means that he was changing his over-functioning. He was also dealing with the feelings that caused his O-F/U-F, and that was extremely relieving for me, because it also allowed me to stop doing those both, too. He has been suggesting for over a year that I quit working for a while, and I never listened to that, in fact my compromise a month ago was to cut down to one day a week. Lol, that lasted a week and I just had to quit cold Turkey. That was how not functioning I was, I realized that if I continued, I would die.
Seriously, after he seemed to make a life change to leave the old, past and crap behind, I felt such overwhelming relief, but it also cause me a lot of issues and I had to process all of those. While I was trying to process it all, I truly was becoming less functional, to the point of crying and dreading work for two days prior, and two days after, sometimes all the time. I intrinsically knew that I couldn’t keep helping people when I couldn’t even help myself, and so before I stopped functioning altogether, quitting, or retiring as he calls it, was all I could do. That was the lynchpin for me. Once I retired, I am was almost immediately able to start doing things mentioned on the under-functioning tip list.
I still consider myself in a decompressing mode, and the hardest struggle is having no expectation of myself. As a highly capable over-functioner, this has been difficult for my brain to accept, but my body and emotions are weeping with gratitude. I am amazing myself at what I am doing daily with little to no effort, and that I couldn’t even muster an effort for just two weeks ago. I am happy again, I am actually functioning again, my brain can do math quickly again. I am amazed at what has come back to me, just by both of us being in a great place individually, and together. We support each other, we communicate very well, and we laugh more together now than we have our whole marriage.
If you aren’t a self healer that looks to address your issues and can work through them on your own, please seek out a qualified health care professional to help you. All of today’s information is provided by Amanda E. White. Please click on her link below to learn more!
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