I’m completely out of mental bandwidth. I simply don’t have the mental capacity to make one more decision – because if I have to it will be a bad one. I am sure I am not alone in this feeling of being at my wit’s end, I’m sure every other person has felt this way at one time or another. However, as a single parent – not by design – it goes without saying that I am tired. I am sure I am not alone in this feeling, but I sure do feel alone.

Being a parent is difficult, being a single parent is probably more difficult. I can’t say for sure because being single has a lot of perks. Being the only parent raising a child also has a lot of perks – mostly that I don’t have to argue with the other parent about decisions. I just make them.

Out of Mental Bandwidth

And there is the problem. Sometime in the last year I lost the ability to make a decision without it completely overwhelming me to the point where I have been known to walk away. I am out of mental bandwidth, I can’t make decisions anymore – my brain slows to a crawl. 

Not long ago I stood in the grocery store looking at various sized packages of paper towel. I was out of paper towel – had been for a few days – and need to buy more. The thing is, buying paper towel is right up there for me anxiety-wise as getting my oil changed.

Seriously, it causes me anxiety – real honest to god anxiety. I’m not being hyperbolic and certainly not making light of anxiety. Getting my oil changed is so anxiety producing I often go two to three times over the recommended time and mileage on my car. In fact this spring the oil light actually came on and when I smartly pulled over to check my oil I was horrified to see that there wasn’t any showing up on the dipstick.

Side Story about Not Changing My Oil

When I was a teen I had a car that was old and burned oil. My dad bought me the car because he liked it and it cost $200 – which was a bargain for him not to have to drive me around even if he did complain about the cost of the car (at the time he drove brand new Mercedes every few years). Anyway, I had the car for a couple of weeks. The car scared me – it rattled and hummed and smelled funny (probably the oil burning rapidly). I did not know about checking the oil. No one had ever suggested such a thing and if they had I wouldn’t have known how to do it. I didn’t and the engine seized going up a steep hill on Highway 8 just across the border in Wisconsin. 

Back to the Present

Getting my oil changed requires going to a place that changes oil. Which means they probably do other things to the car, but things I am not at the moment in need of having done to my car. I hate the upsell when I get my oil changed. They folks at the oil change place may as well be talking Greek to me, though I might have a better time understanding that then what they are saying to me. I don’t know what the things are they are trying to sell me, but I am pretty sure I don’t need them right now because my car is running just fine.

But what if it isn’t? I drive my kid and her friends around in the car and surely I want it to be safe don’t I? Yes, but I can’t afford to do the things they want and again, I’m pretty sure I don’t need them. But I don’t know for sure, so I simply don’t go to get my oil changed. 

Back to the Paper Towels

How did I get so off course in this post? I can’t focus. There are so many thoughts going through my head at any one time I simply can’t focus. When I was trying to buy the paper towels I was trying to figure out which was the best bargain. I’ve given up the fight on select-a-size, they’re all select-a-size now, who cares what the customer wants? Myself, I want a big piece of paper towel, that’s what I want.

Buying paper towels is like buying a mattress – there is no way to compare them because they are all different sizes, weights and styles. There is no way to know what is the best deal. I hate the thick paper towels, I don’t want to change the roll every other day. I ended up leaving without paper towels and now I am forced to look at the empty roll and feel shame every time I walk into the kitchen.

I can’t make anymore decisions and I don’t have the mental bandwidth to tell anyone else what to do. I’d rather do it myself then have to explain how to load the fucking dishwasher one more time. And don’t get me started on the litter box. I know I should be patient and that it is my job to teach the proper way to do these things, but I have already – over and over and over again. 

Asking for Help

I suck at asking for help. I don’t until it is absolutely positively necessary and even then I’ll wait until the shit has hit the fan before I do. Mostly because when I do ask for help I’m assured the help will be available, but then it never happens which puts me in the position of having to beg for that which I had already been promised. So I go without and lose what little mental bandwidth I had left. I also don’t ask because I am ashamed I have to ask, that no one thinks to ask me if I could use a hand. I made this bed of a life, I have no one else to blame, but it feels shitty sometimes.

Not How it Was Supposed to Be

I’ve had this post banging around my head for months now, this was not what it looked like. I’m tempted to delete it, and start over but that is too overwhelming too and I need to write something. Which is how most of the things I need to do get done – Half-Assed.

I need to get my washing machine fixed – I have a guy who is great at it and even called him a few months ago. He didn’t get back to me. It’s simple enough – just call him again – but that is too much for me. It works well enough, I just have to make sure I catch it at the right moment and turn it on and then off again to make it spin. 

The refrigerator drips water from the light in the fridge part. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to why it does it. I have checked the temperature setting and it is at the factory recommended temp. I have cleaned the coils in the back and the seal around the freezer door and fridge door are secure. I know this because I had to have them repair that 5 times when it was purchased. 5 times!!!! That’s setting up five different appointments with 8 hour windows each. I cannot do that again.

No Care for the Caregiver

Recently, my doctor has been calling me to make an appointment, I let it go to voicemail because the thought of scheduling another appointment and then actually going to the appointment is more than I can deal with right now. I should, in a few weeks school is going to start and there will be all kinds of appointments to go to, it would be easier now, but I can’t bring myself to do it. 

I chipped a tooth a month ago and know I need to get it buffed down so it doesn’t chip again, but for the life of me I can’t bring myself to make the damn appointment with the dentist. WTF is wrong with me? 

Also, I’m pretty sure I sprained by foot, but the thought of making the time to see the doctor overwhelms me. Besides, he’s only going to tell me to stay off of it for a while, something I can’t do. It’s happened before and eventually gets better.

I’m so busy caring for everyone else, I don’t have the mental bandwidth to take care of myself. I know it’s wrong, but there it is. 

I know this is temporary and probably fueled by hormones and back-to-school sales, but I’m exhausted and could really use a break.