Monday, January 12, 2015

The Epic Burn out of Summer '014

What is exhaustion?

Got my coffee on my desk, a day off and a mind full of words.

In many ways I am coming back into myself and in many others I have this new personality developing within me.  My HR manager would argue that our personality is something we are born with and does not change.  I am not sure I am on that same train of thought yet.

I do know that I am almost at the end of a tremendous growth cycle.  My writings wont be as much about where I am at.   They will move back into things I am studying as oppose to things I am experiencing.  For me life is about cycles of experience and go get em' kinda of growth.  Then there are times of going within to rest and study up on what I just experienced or look into new areas to study.

That is where I am at now... going within.  Which seems odd as physically I am back at work now but mentally I am going within,  These past four months, physically I have slowed down and seemly experienced less but my mind was still processing my gigantic burnout crash.

The explosive dramatic burnout of summer '014.

I just read a time magazine article about exhaustion.  The writers take was factual.  Sometimes the facts hurt more then an opinion.  As a nation we frown deeply upon exhaustion.  Doctors don't buy into it and therefor people are not supported at all in their concerns of being over tired.  Employers continue to work their employees to hard and marketers continue to hypnotize people into believing they would feel better if they had this or that product.  Thus creating a viscous cycle of debt and the need to work more..... disgusting.

Did you know we are really the only nation that works this way?

We are easily lead pawns.  Makes me so sad.

So my crazy crash into a brick wall was apparently quite a norm in this society we have created for ourselves.  That does not make it any easier to deal with.  Strangely enough what does make it easier.... is the fact I am also a drug addict.

Does that not sound entirely strange to you?  Yay for being a drug addict.

With a drug affliction I was taken seriously by not only a medical doctor but a psychiatrist and a psychologist.  However if I was to just have burnt out.... nothing.  I would have had very little support.  How does one measure being over tired?  Tough I guess, doctors cant work with that maybe?  But have me fill out an assessment of what drugs I have used in the past twelve months and I am admitted into a world class womens treatment center for six weeks to rest up.

Our society is ass backwards. What we reward is ludicrous.

But holy Hanna this is not at all where I was intending to go with this post.  I merely wanted to share my experience with integrating back into work force after four months off and the struggles to re prioritize my recovery plans.  I guess I do love a good rant about society though.  So let me move on to what I really wanted to identify...

 How do you know when your exhausted, or over worked and how do you deal with that?

I have only been working like 20 hours each of the past two weeks but it feels more like 60 hours each of the weeks.  I am a landscaper and in my little northern city that means shoveling a shit tonne of snow.  So the work has been physically demanding.  No wonder I am tired after each snow fall, from four months of sleeping and hiding under my covers, to back breaking work... duh!  

What I was not aware of is what exhaustion feels like.  I can pound out my list of 24 driveways in a mere six to eight hours alone with no problems.  Physically I am still fit albeit grossly overweight.  Its when I get home that this extremely heavy feeling blankets me and my eyes wanna close but my mind is still awake and calm.    It makes sense that my body would be tired after working it like that, but what do you do when your mind isn't so much tired?

Drug it?  Yes, doc I will take some sleeping pills please.  Or wait I can just get some weed, much easier, thanks anyways.

The use of drugs or alcohol in this time magazine article stated that addiction was considered the leading cause of exhaustion.  Addiction to what?  The article suggested Street drugs and booze.  What about all the doctor prescribed drugs that change a persons moods and forces a person into states that are desired?

Please let me not digress here.  I have a strong opinion about medications and I don't want this to move into a me bashing them rant.  So let me just state the point that using prescription drugs is not the only answer to dealing with your problems.  Its the easy way and in some cases its is the best way for A person... but those some cases are less then twenty percent. Prescriptions are a drug that eventually lead to more exhaustion thus keeping us pawns in the life game of chess.

Physical and mental exhaustion go hand and hand I am noticing.  When I get tired physically from lack of sleep due to stress, I tend to eat more starchy foods which quickly escalates that over tired feeling.  This moves into exercising less because I am just to tired and then the really viscous cycle of weight gain and all levels of energy drop dramatically.  Leaving me no energy to deal with the original problem of grieving or an emotional upset.  Truly those are the basics to energy and low vibrations within the body and mind.

 From there depression sets in and all negative mind bashing thoughts which lead to the over use of prescriptions or street drugs.  An easy fix and when your tired, the seemingly only fix.

From my experience with proper eating after a lifetime of over portions and extreme starches, I cannot even begin to stress how important diet is to a persons mental state.  My four months off from a crash from being over tired threw all things healthy and good for me out the window.  I have been eating huge portions again and eating starches with little regard to healthy amounts.  I have gained twenty five pounds in four months and feel like the biggest bag of shit around.  I am reminded of how I felt before I began eating to the Canada food guide.

Going back to work is forcing me to eat better again just to get through my day which is good. Getting enough sleep has been the toughest thing, eight hours my ass... this girl needs at least ten on days I push my body.  Instead of sleeping pills to slow my mind I have used meditations and sleep hypnosis.  Already my mood is shifting from one of defeat and inertia from being off all those months.... yet now I am finding that the fear of crashing again is almost overwhelming

This is the true nature of the post I wanted to write about.  I am very aware now of when I get tired.  Physically and mentally.  I never want to burn out again like I did this past summer.  Over work, lack of nutrition, and addictions drained me entirely of my energy.  Not practicing any source of energy drawing activity just about killed me.
I have learned from my HR manager as of late that I am an introverted person.  I recharge alone.  Being around people drain my energy not increase it.  This has presented a huge problem as far as fellowship meetings for my drug addiction is concerned.  I have had a terrible time reworking my recovery plan to be kinder on myself.  Now I spend more time on the phone with my sponsor reading the daily meditation together.  That fuels me up.  I go online to meetings now, I get what I need information-ally but keep my energy from seeping out.

I love cooking for my girls I have learned during my time off.  I find I am gaining much energy from doing that.  I am back to yoga and meditations which are always wonderful for me.  Plus studying has these huge energy spikes that I had no idea of before.  I study what I am passionate about and this fuels my dreams and helps me visualize an amazing future which has a strange way of becoming my present.  Art and crafting things for my home bring me joy as well.

I think by keeping mindful of what makes me happy, will help me stay in balance with the work I must do in order to pay my bills.  I love working outdoors and truly enjoy my job.  In the past I have kept my passions out of line with my income because as soon as I attached dollars to what I loved doing, what I loved doing became a job.  Today I enjoy that I have passions and I work to support those passions.  If those passions make me a few bucks on the side, great.

Truly illuminating exhaustion for me is to accept that I work to live.  I cannot live to work.   There is way more to this life, way more depth then just working.  Love what I do as I spend 40 hours a week doing it, but know that there is a whole wide world beyond work.  Work has become my humbling experience, my hours to keep myself in check.

This is the end of my workaholism.

Wow took a long freaking time to get to that conclusion.  I said at the beginning I was full of words!!  Man I need to write more often, that might keep the topic a bit more simple and to the point.  If you made it this far.... thank you and I am sorry for the double rants.  Blessings!

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