My life got a lot, lot more manageable when i separated from my ex-wife. Mainly because i suddenly gained several hours a day where i did not have to be "on" for anyone. Not that i ever put on a show for my partners. I mean, i loved them. They got to see the all-guards-down, dorky-ass person that is the "real" me. But it still takes a spoon to deal with them. More if they want me to also deal with their family, or their friends, or their colleagues, or their whatever. My work takes nearly every fucking spoon i have. I am constantly "on". It's all i can do each night to get home, cook dinner and collapse. The last, the very, very fucking last thing i ever want to do after work is talk to or socialize with anyone. I don't care if it's my best friend in the whole world. I just need silence. I need solitude. I need everyone to get the fuck out of my face. I gave all the spoons to my employer, my colleagues, my clients. There are no more spoons.
Saturday is mostly a recovery day for me. I force myself out the door to get groceries, but mostly i just want to lie in bed and do nothing. Maybe watch a show or play a computer game. Most certainly not catch up on Facebook or Skype with a friend or write mom an email or do anything that requires more human interaction than handing over some cash for basic staples. Sunday is when i finally have the energy to do something again, and that means i have one day to catch up on all the bullshit "normal" people have been doing all week long. Since that's the only day in the week i actually feel okay enough to do my most beloved thing in the world - dance to techno music - that's what i usually will do. And then my spoons are done. More than done. They're overdrawn.
So sorry, no, even when i don't go out on Sunday, i will probably not answer your email or your Facebook message or your WhatsApp. I will not let that take away my very last spoon of the week. Because it takes ALL I HAVE to hold down a fucking full-time, professional job. I have next to nothing left. I was a complete basket case for 10+ years because i had to deal with a job and a partner and friends and all that other bullshit. Now the partner is gone i am finally somewhat sane and stable. I can finally walk along the razor's edge. But even the slightest thing. One fucking innocent notification asking if i want to go out for a coffee can send me careening off course, and it can take days to get my shit back together.
It's not that i'm anxiety-ridden or introverted. I am a pretty entertaining and sociable person when i have the energy. I'm not afraid of going out in the world or meeting strangers or whatever. On the contrary - i actually find new experiences fun, and far less exhausting to deal with than family or friends. But either way, i used up all my spoons at work. I'm sorry, that's the choice i make. Work my life away and have no energy for anything except the tiniest sliver of a personal life on Sunday, or try to also socialize with people and then have a psychotic breakdown. Or, i guess, i could also just stop working, live on the poverty line and fall into major depression. Fun.
So. Don't expect me to pick up the phone. Ever. Don't expect me to answer your text message. For months. It takes a Herculean effort to keep me out of the loonie bin on a "normal" day. All my energy goes into my job, which i can't afford to quit because it's building my rainy day fund for the inevitable breakdown. Coming soon to a theater near you.