Overload Paralysis




When I become completely overwhelmed and overstimulated, my mind just shuts down. This also happens when I am stressed or anxious. My mind just doesn’t shut down, my whole body does. I have come to call this overload paralysis. I don’t know if this is the technical term for this phenomenon. (If it is not, I call dibs on coining it.) I think the paralysis is my biggest obstacle when it comes to productivity. It isn’t lack of drive, will or motivation. It is that I just physically can’t. I am sure there is someone out there reading this, thinking well it is all in your head. The whole mind over matter crapola. All I have to say you is,”No shit, Sherlock.” Just like diabetes is in your pancreas.

I always start off my day with the best of intentions to really buckle down. I even have a schedule planned out on my Google calendar. It sends me reminders to my email and phone. I figure that if I could just keep a schedule I would keep productive. And as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The problem is I tend to over think things and not stay on task. I bounce around from my kids to writing to scrolling through social media. I know that I have things I need to accomplish. I become overwhelmed and overstimulated and then my mind goes into overload mood. Then the system just shuts down. I am literally frozen. It is the most horrible feeling that I can’t even properly describe.

I just become this large lump on my coach flipping mindlessly through my DISH channels. It is my distraction. It is how I calm the storm brewing in my mind. Just checking out. It is something I have always done without thinking. It is my biggest obstacle that I have yet to overcome. I am often seen as unreliable and someone who procrastinates because of this. A side effect of a condition, I have little control over. I so badly want to finish what I am doing. However the feeling of passing out and vomiting becomes overwhelming. Grasping for air like I am drowning is horrifying. I know that these are signs of a panic attacks. My brain knows that these are signs of a panic attack. So instead of slowly hitting the brakes to keep the wreck from happening, it just shuts the car off. I just check out. Next thing I know I have spent the last hour or so staring into oblivion. Anything I may do in-between is purely reflexive. Big D asks for juice, I get juice then I just go back to staring.

It is so disheartening sometimes because I want to really take things to great places. I have goals and dreams like everyone else. It is just when I go “all-in” on something, my mind just can’t handle it. I do sometimes wish that I could go back to therapy. Unfortunately that is not in the financial cards at this moment. It is just a hill that I have to work on overcoming. One baby step at a time.



Have you ever suffered overload paralysis? Or maybe something similar?


14 thoughts on “Overload Paralysis

  1. What a great, well-written post! Thank you once again for writing about the truth and sharing the real, un-sanitized parts of your life and psyche. This post will really help other people fell less alone in their pain and frustration. I shut down as well due to o.p. (I’m too lazy to write it out!) and to the tube I go to watch old episodes of “Long Island Medium.

    I don’t feel like passing out/vomiting (a.k.a panic attacks) and I’m SOOOOOO sorry you go through that kind of hell. I go into a different mode: The Zombie. I become totally useless and feel tapped out in every way. UGH.

    I hope finances change for you guys soon so that you could have therapy to help with “overload paralysis” (COPYRIGHT L.H. ;)!!!!! because it sounds so awful and I hate for you to have to go through it for more than a single second!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dyane. I don’t always have panic attacks. I get zombie-ish also. I just want people to realize they are not alone. Also it helps me when I know that others go through the same things. I hope one day to go back to therapy. I have found when I stick to writing and working out it helps tremendously.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am feeling especially paralyzed today, (again). I was searching online for inspiration & self help, while also seeking validation, that paralysis happens to other people.
        Thank you for writing so openly and honestly, helping me not to feel so alone & crazy. I just can’t move today. I planned on doing laundry all day, & as of 3:00, have the first load still sitting in the washer. I mentally feel sick & am panicked & overwhelmed by the thought of not being able to get back down there today. I try to focus that this is my bipolar & not me. It’s also a beautiful day & I’ll have to really push myself to dress & get outside & walk my sweet Bella, panic filled that I may not be able to make it.
        I do go to see my therapist twice a month & my shrink about once a month. I wish there was, but there is no medication to take to switch the paralysis “off”. I feel better, just knowing there are others who understand & experience this particular symptom of bipolar disorder.


  2. Just how my life is too. I had an assignment to write today, had everything ready to go. Then I needed a minute on the couch flipping through the channels to calm my anxiety! Five hours later I was watching a horrible home improvement show when my daughter walks through the door after school! So then I needed to help her with homework, tuned back to my mindless show before picking up the other two at daycare! So much for getting anything done.. Maybe tomorrow! And thank you for sharing! I just started therapy again after 5 years and this time I hope to go deep and sort this out one way or another. Previous I have been scared for labels and have just talked my way through the hardest issues. Now I feel strong enough to understand myself completely. Again thank you for sharing ☺️💜


    • I am glad to hear that you are doing what is best for you. You are right we often worry more about the labels. Good luck with your assignment. I find taking productive breaks help. Like write then fold some laundry. It is a distraction but it is harder to lose yourself in.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Of course, I’ve experienced the same thing. Overwhelmed – yes. Overstimulated – yes. Exhausted – yes. Needing my husband to step in and pick up some take-out – yes. So many projects unfinished. But, I figure as long as I love my son, get him to and from school, make sure he is fed one way or another, even if that means feeding him take-out or frozen fish fillets, then I’m doing the most important job of my life. Yes, I do sometimes need my husband’s help. And, honestly, my son is 14 now, so he’s more independent than he once was (thank God). And, in spite of having a mom who has been overwhelmed by the mundane, he’s turning out to be quite a wonderful young man — thoughtful, caring, compassionate, and intelligent.


      • Yes! Group therapy or a support group can help, too. Of course, when you have little ones under foot it is difficult to find the time, but if your husband relieved you one night/week you might be able to get support in person and feel less isolated.


  4. I know exactly what You mean.. Been there, done that! To me one of the most effective help (apart from therapy) was meditation. It really helps to clear the mind and be in the present moment. I strongly suggest You give it a try! As well good books, friends, family might help… Best of luck to You! I hope You can pass this and move forward. Peace!


    • Thank you for the advice and kind wishes, VitaSun. With two children under the age of three, I find true meditation is difficult. Though I have been adding more yoga to my workouts and that really helps. It is also something the kids can get into.


      • I’m not a mother (yet) and probably I’m not the best adviser in this case, but I think that if You do not look after Yourself first, then You can’t be 100% for others. Self love is number one priority. The healthier, the happier You are, the better mother You will be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging, I’m just saying that You should look after Yourself. Be as kind to Yourself as You would be for Your kids.


      • I understand. I am not offended. It is a bit of a character flaw of being a mother to have an undying dedication to your children’s needs and wants. It is a balance that I am slowly learning as are my children, I think as my children become more independent it will become easier.


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