Energy Use and Disappointment / by Michelle Cowan

Some people come into my life, use my energy, and don’t understand that it takes time for me to recover. I need reboot time, and other people seem to be either better at recharging or in less need of it. I wish more people were sensitive to the fact that I need a significant amount of downtime to rest, think my own thoughts, and then reenter the world with a full tank of creative energy.

Right now, I need to focus on embracing my need for rest and not feeling guilty when I have to (or simply want to) turn down social invitations in favor of introspective time. When I am unable to do things I enjoy because my mood or physical condition leads me toward something else I enjoy, I feel guilty. I feel guilty for missing out on personal growth opportunities or fun experiences. And I feel doubly guilty if someone may have been let down by my decision.

This smells a lot like people pleasing to me. I’m trying to please imaginary “perfect Michelle” and everyone else around me instead of listening to my heart, mind, and body. It’s time to give up and be honest with people, admitting what I want and how I feel. I have no choice at this point. I can only be me. I tried for so long to be someone else, but this is, in fact, who I am.

Although I love going out and having a good time, I also need a lot of quiet. Additionally, I want to consciously forgive those who seem to steal my energy so that I can start drawing better boundaries for myself based on what I know I can or want to handle.

It’s a process. When I focus on not “missing out” or not disappointing anyone, I run myself into the ground with constant activity—emotional or physical. After a few complete burnouts, I get the message. It’s time to recharge and reassess my own desires and limits.