I Can’t

I can’t.

Well, I can’t right now.

One day in the future, I can; as long as you’re willing to bend and stretch your definition of what “can” is.

It’s not that I don’t want to.  I can’t overcome it by positive thinking.  I can’t “just do it”.  I’m not lazy.  I’m not making up excuses.  I’m not weak.

I can’t because I am the brain that is swallowed by panic and fear.

I can’t because I am the brain that is over stimulated and overwhelmed.

I can’t because I am the brain that doesn’t have the proper words in me to describe what I’m going through so I can get help.

I can’t because I am the brain that is numbed from feeling too much for too long and has become worn out.

I can’t because I am the brain that struggles to understand the difference between what is real or not because it all seems the same.

I can’t because I am the brain that is desperately trying to cope with sensory overload.

I can’t because I am the brain that is unable to shut down at night so I can rest.

I can’t because I am the brain who is deficient in executive functions and I have not yet learned and exercised these skills.

I can’t because I am the brain that automatically switches off my control when I’m trying to cope with disappointment, frustration or stress.

I can’t because I am the brain that jumbles, reverses and mixes things up.

I can’t because I am the brain that is scattered and unfocused.

I can’t because I’ve put my energy into trying to cope with my malfunctioning brain, self advocating and trying to meet the standards expected of me and I’ve become so drained.

If I could, I would; but I can’t.

I can’t until I learn the skills that I need and practice them.

I can’t until I’ve rested.

I can’t until I’ve gotten the help and guidance I need from someone else.

Please try to understand that I’m trying harder than you’ll ever know and be patient with me.  Please don’t tell me that you can just get over it so I could as well if I just try harder.

One day, somewhere down the road, when I can; please recognize the strength and struggles that it took to get that far instead of looking at my other “can’ts”.




2 thoughts on “I Can’t

  1. Thanks for this description of your struggle Rose. I have a couple questions – actually more questions than answers. Does it help to identify AS your brain or as a person WITH a brain that is confused etc? and secondly, do you have any idea what the FIRST step would be IF you had the energy to take it, would be? and what resources would have to be in place before you could even try?


    • I view it the same way a person suffering from a cold or flu would view their physical symptoms: I get sick sometimes, sometimes it’s worse than other times, sometimes heal faster; it’s just in my head. I am a person with a brain that malfunctions from time to time. it doesn’t define me, but describe certain behavoural patterns that I have.

      The first step for me was getting help. Having a diagnosis was important to me because it allowed me to give it a name. It made me aware that I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t “crazy” or “broken”. It was no longer a struggle that I have to battle on my own. After it had a name, I was able to educate myself on my disorders and learn coping mechanisms and apply the ones that were effective to me to my own life. At the stage that I’m at, my first step when I’m anxious, overwhelmed or depressed is to take a break and remind myself that it’s okay if I do, and that’s hard for me because I always feel like I’m behind.

      It would be best to keep a group of friends who will be patient and non-judgmental, but that’s not always an option. Having a good support group does wonders for mental health.

      For me, my own struggles were a gateway to a passion for the brain, how it works and how it malfunctions. I frequently engage in discussions on mental health and disorders to try to help raise awareness; unfortunately, I’m often met with people who have it stuck in their heads that mental illness isn’t a real thing and that a person can just suck it up and deal with it. That’s not going to stop me from sharing what I know to be true though.


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