I can’t do things.

I have a problem.

I mean lets be real I have a lot of problems but for now I’m going to try to focus on just this one. It’s kind of the bane of my existence and probably causes me the most distress in my everyday life: I can’t do things.

Trust me I realise how stupid and lazy and negative that makes me sound but I’m deadly serious.  It’s really hard to explain to people who don’t know where I’m coming from but hey what is the internet for? I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

The reason I know it’s not just laziness is that it’s not just things I don’t want to do, it’s also things I really do want to do!  I have serious trouble sitting down to watch a movie (let alone a tv series) because I’m too scared of making the wrong choice and committing myself to watching something I’m not 100% on.  I used to be a massive bookworm (Actually such a nerd that I’d read for hours in bed in the dark scared I’d get in trouble for not sleeping. I wonder why I need glasses now?) and now I’ll get a chapter into four different books and never finish any of them.

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post for weeks. At first I used exams as an excuse which would have been valid had I actually been studying (spoiler alert: I wasn’t).  I’m two weeks into holidays now and I’m not going to lie I needed a glass of wine to get this started so please excuse shitty grammar and mild expletives.  I don’t know if any of this will make sense but I have to write something.

Then there’s the slightly more important things that I put off and put off until it’s too late and actually seriously affect my life.  Number one is assignments.  Over the year and a half I’ve been at uni I’ve handed in more assignments at their last possible due date than not. It;s not that I don’t care about my work, I care too much. This is a whole post in itself and I feel really strongly about it but if I want to cover it properly right now I’ll freak out and not post anything at all. That’s pretty much the essence of the problem. I have really high expectations of myself and I know I won’t meet them so I’m too scared to try.  The supposedly reassuring saying “all that matters is that you tried your best” has always made me incredibly anxious because but what if I did try my best and it’s no good? It fucking terrifies me.

The fear gets worse and worse the longer I put off doing something. I’m not proud to say that I haven’t had a job in over two years.  I can’t blame anyone but me for this because I haven’t applied for a single job. There’s been 101 excuses I’ve told myself and my concerned friends when they inevitably ask “Do you have a job yet? Have you even applied anywhere yet?” every time I see them.  My friend overseas told me she was pregnant at 12 weeks, I bought her a present then and sent it two weeks after the baby was born.  I am very good at telling myself excuses.  I’m pretty sure if I was a talking doll my catchphrase would be “Yeah I’ve been meaning to do that.”  Don’t even get me started on tidying up.

It does help a little being properly diagnosed with depression and anxiety because I do know that it’s something that comes with the package (yay!), but still I’m filled with overwhelming guilt every time I fail to do something that it seems there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to do.  I’m a healthy, intelligent, privileged young woman but I can’t seem to do the most basic tasks! It’s so frustrating and guilt-inducing and just thinking about it now makes me want to cry so much.

The worse thing is I have no idea how to fix it.  I keep telling myself “you can do this!” “I know you have it in you!” “You’ve done it before!” “Everyone else can do it!” “You just have to try harder!” and try and try and fail again and again. This is really dumb but at one point during exams recently I cried myself to sleep (and I mean ugly kim k cry face sobbing) wishing that I’d never done well at school because it created so much pressure on me now that I can’t live up to.

There’s a bit of a stereotype of depressed/anxious people being extremely pessimistic but I want to clarify that I’m really not. I honestly try so hard to stay motivated and tell myself I can do things but again and again over the past few years I’ve failed. Right now I kind of feel like I’ve done everything I can do except keep battling on and hoping some day this will all pass and I can be a fully functioning human. Wish me luck! Tips would be appreciated.

Annabelle xx


3 thoughts on “I can’t do things.

  1. Hi Annabelle. I like the way you write and I think you’ve expressed a problem that many people struggle with. I completely understand where you’re coming from and I feel like you are describing me a few years back. There were points in my life where I couldn’t do simple things like text people back (for fear I’d commit to something I didn’t want to do, or say the wrong thing). And there are heaps of other examples where that came from. My brain was telling me, “if I can’t do everything perfectly, then I’m not doing anything”. I was so afraid of failing. I’ve gotten heaps better at this stuff, but it’s taken a long time of training my brain daily out of these thought patterns using lots of different habits. You will get better at it too. My number one tip is to get some counselling therapy if you can. I did a specific type called Acceptance Commitment Therapy and it really helped me change my thought patterns and behaviours. I think it’s worthwhile for anyone to do, not just anxious people. It helped me see that I can’t always do everything on my own. I hope this helps. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yes I forgot to mention texting back I’m that terrible person who replies after three days with some bullshit excuse like “sorry I didn’t see this”. Thank you so much for this reply, I know it’s a more common problem than people think. I did see a psychologist last year but we didn’t really focus on this. I had no idea about acceptance commitment therapy I’ll definitely look into it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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