Respecting the Crash
By noon last Tuesday, I was exhausted. This is not a good sign two days into the work week. I kept going, pushing through the haze of tired and somehow made it to the weekend. Saturday was spent moving in glue and looking with dread at a week filled with entirely too much, but not knowing what to do about it.
When people ask, I say I work part-time. Sometime in the past week, I realized that isn't true. The job that pays me may be part-time, but when you add all the other projects in which I'm involved, you end up with the equivalent of a full-time-and-then-some job. This was a bit of a surprise to me. This also made me feel less freaked out about being so tired all the time.
Which brings us back to this past weekend. On some level, I realized I was crashing - starting the day with a Coke to get that shot of caffeine three mornings in a row and it not working was a huge clue - but was at that moronic stage where I was fighting it. I looked at all the meetings and deadlines this week, trying to tell my body "just make it through this week and I'll give you a week off," absolutely convinced that nothing could possibly be canceled.
Believing you’re indispensable is the first sign of an impending nervous breakdown.
And then, shortly after getting up on Sunday and having nothing left in me to do anything, the lightbulb went off. It was so bright that I'm sure scientists are currently studying satellite photos of Toronto trying to figure out what that flash was. I realized that this is what usually happens when I get sick. The "just one more week" syndrome. The part where I make myself work like a demon for five days, believing that I just have to get X, Y and Z done and then I can take a week off. And then a nanosecond after I cross off the last item on The List, I get sick and lose the next two weeks or more.
I realized that I was a juggler who had added one too many balls, desperately trying to keep control. Yelling "I've got it, I've got it!" while everything is crashing down around me, I very clearly don't have anything other than a raging case of exhaustion and an overinflated idea of my own capabilities.
I'm starting to think that despite 30 years of having a disability, I'm still in denial about the reality of having a disability.
So I sent some e-mail, among other things taking this week semi-off from work, canceled a meeting or two and continued to grump my way through the next few days. Because although I am not officially working, there were certain things that couldn't be canceled and let's just say I'm working part-time.
And yes, this is another in a series of posts about me doing too much, crashing and trying to figure out how to avoid that in the future. I'll get there eventually, but it'll probably be a while.
Still, progress. Of a sort.