Receiving Permission to Feel Tired

I was reflecting on my most recent therapy session when I realized that there was a recurring phrase I was using over and over again. No matter what the topic was or how I felt about it, everything came back to me saying “I’m tired.” Listen – at some point or another, we all get tired. Physically, mentally, emotionally, we are tired and need rest to prepare for what’s next. But the way I was saying it – the tone I was using, the way I thought about it – is what caught my attention, and it’s what I’d like to talk about today.

On My Brain’s Not Broken, I make no secret of the exhaustion that can often happen along my mental health journey. I get tired, just like everyone else does, and that exhaustion can create challenges when they intersect with my mental health. But lately, I’ve noticed that I work particularly hard to convince myself of feeling tired. It’s almost like I have to give enough examples to prove that I’m valid in feeling tired. But what do I need to validate that?

Without diving too deep into my own psyche, I could take a few guesses at why I do this. Sometimes, we need permission to feel a certain way – especially when it comes to what we’re capable of doing. I can’t feel tired unless I have valid reasons for feeling this way. That means concrete examples, physical proof, and insight from others that validate my feelings. All that work, and for what? To justify a feeling that I already have? Sounds exhausting (and it is).

One other big reason that I feel the need to seek this permission is that when I admit something to myself, I instantly feel an urge to “solve the problem.” I’m a fixer (there are many of us out there), and that urge is quick and constant whenever I learn something new about myself. I’ll do just about anything to avoid the possibility that sometimes, that’s just the way I’m feeling. And it doesn’t need to be fixed, solved, or concluded – it just needs to be felt.

So my goal for today’s post is to give myself permission, to give you permission, to give all of us permission to feel tired. Because the world is exhausting, it’s making us tired, and admitting that doesn’t mean some seismic change needs to happen immediately. And not only is that okay, not only does that make sense – but it’s necessary. Because sometimes things just need to be felt or expressed, and we’re better for it.

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