Habitforming

    
They say it takes three weeks to create a new habit. If that's true, I'm screwed.

I may have mentioned once or twice (or entirely too much) that things got a little busy during Arthritis Awareness Month. It all started at some point in April or maybe it was March - the specifics are a blur, so forgive the vagueness - suffice it to say, the planning and preparation was intense. And then things ratcheted up during May and there were times (too many) where I found myself working well into the evening, sometimes even popping in for an hour or so around midnight.

As you can imagine, this does not make one's chronic illness happy. In fact, mine got downright cranky about it and when I wouldn’t listen - because seriously, I couldn't or the whole thing would fall apart – it gave me a stomach flu. When that didn't slow me down, it started throwing other things at me and I don't really remember what they were, because I ignored them. I did try to prioritize and think about what would happen if I didn't do it, but I was convinced that if I didn't stay on top of things, we would have a giant flop on our hands.

Someone once told me that believing yourself to be indispensable is the first sign of a nervous breakdown.

On the very last day of May, the impact of all the pain that had been obscured by adrenaline hit and I spent a week limping around. I applied the home ultrasound device in which I invested several months ago and it helped enough that I was able to kick it into high gear again. Because as of this Friday, I will be on vacation for two weeks and have you seen my list of things that have to be done before then? I don't know if it's the ultrasound or the adrenaline again, but the pain is tolerable and I'm busy and now I find myself working well into the evening again. The fact that I seem to be losing my voice might be a hint that this is not a terrific idea.

Despite The List, I do know that working this much is not necessary now. It was necessary during May, but not now. However, the eight weeks or so during which I moved really fast on the hamsterwheel taught me a new habit, namely working well into the evening. Way longer than I normally work and I can't stop. Really. I try and it doesn't work. Even started watching Season 4 of The Wire and that show normally grips me so tight that I can't do anything but watch it. But now what happens? I twitch. I pause the program and swing by my computer only to force myself to move back in front of the TV. And repeat throughout the evening. You know it's pretty bad when your mother, your partner and your boss opine that maybe you should show down a little. I did promise mor that I'd only work two hours a day during my vacation. Don't look at me like that - I'll be editing The Book.

They also say that admitting you have a problem is the first step toward solving it. So here it is: I am a workaholic on a bender and I need help to stop. Is there a Workaholics Anonymous program out there somewhere? How do I arrange for an intervention team? I need to learn sloth.
   

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