This is very true.@lovak Is it relatable? Absolutely, as you can see from this thread. What you are describing is spot on to an experience I have been going through as well- unable to care for myself. I was usually able to pull it together so to speak for work, just keep it together for those hours, and just be completely wiped out when I was done with work-mode, and not have energy to give to my partner, home life, my self, etc.
It's gotten to the point where I can't go to work.
I think self compassion is vital in situations like these. We are doing the best we can.
Also coming back to the 'life or death'.
If I see something as vital, I do it. When taking care of others, or fullfilling my responsibilities TO others.
But also, when I get out of the house, I pull myself together. I have this thing about not wanting to be seen. When I'm borderline psychotic that's the thing that haunts me. Being seen. And if people see me, they'll hurt me. Or see my vulnerability.
It has also served me, people that don't feel safe (pretty much everyone) don't see me when vulnerable. I become this adeqate, well-groomed, well-spoken, assertive version of myself. That says 'I'm fine. And not to be messed with'.
Because how people see me does feel like life and death. And I don't mean looks or status, I just don't want people to see me as an easy victim, because throughout my childhood too many people have, and acted on it.
I didn't always realize this though, but 'acting normal' and 'performing as a normal human' were my survival strategies. Asking for help remains to be a problem, because I'm basically showcasing my vulnerability.