Tired

Tired head image

Appearance of actual frog may vary

Those of you who have been reading me for a long time know that from time-to-time I have relapses of anxiety and/or depression. This has been going on all my adult life so it’s really not a big deal. I manage myself as best I can, take a low dose of meds constantly, and look out for triggers and warning signs. Signs that I’m heading down that slippery slope again.

Last year was a huge work year for me and at the end of last year I was very, very tired. I was so tired that each night before a work commitment, I prayed that it would be cancelled.

I still had so many urgent things on my to-do list by the day before Christmas, that I wanted to cry. Most of those are still there – in fact the list is growing daily.

The sense of despair I felt just before Christmas was my first warning. Overwhelming, bone-crushing fatigue was another.

My finger nails have started to split and peel in layers. My mouth is filled with ulcers.

The idea of having to start work again in January made me teary and filled me with anger and resentment.

My system was trying to tell me something.

It was something absurdly mundane that finally made me pay attention. It’s three-quarters through January, and my Christmas tree is still up. I’m not someone who rushes to get the tree down the moment January 6 arrives, but having it still up at this point is unusual, even for me. I keep looking at it, registering that it needs to come down. Anxiety and exhaustion grip my chest and so I walk past it. Tomorrow. Or the next day. I’ve stopped turning the tree lights on. Isn’t that enough?

I had a much-needed holiday in early January, so I know how ungrateful I sound. That holiday was not enough. Having another break is not an option (did I mention my to-do-list?)

Here I am, at the start of the year, already struggling; already barely dragging myself from week to week. Fatigue is the biggest trigger for anxiety for me and I’m well-and-truly heading for a crash.

What to do?

Right now I’m doing as little work as possible, given my workload, and spacing it out. I’m trying to get more sleep. I’m setting myself one small thing to do each day. I’m taking iron and Vitamin C.

There’s another part of me, though, that is screaming. Not only is it looking at my to-do list and having an aneurysm, it’s telling me countless other things as well. It’s telling me I have to stop doing superannuation work, because that’s not why I set up my own company. It’s telling me I have to write my own training material and market that. It’s telling me to get that stand-up routine organised. It’s telling me I have three books to write, a blog to run, a comedy blog link-up to organise. A speaking career to investigate. It’s telling me I don’t spend enough time with my son. It’s telling me I’ve neglected my creative side. It’s telling me it’s time for a new career (again).

My brain is yelling at me to take action while my body is telling me to slow down.

I suspect I’ve seen the signs that I was on that slippery slope a bit too late, and I’ve already got my toes in that craptacular depression/anxiety pool. Time will tell.

I’m off now to try – again – to take down the Christmas tree. It won’t matter if it’s still up in February, right?

How have you started 2014?

 

Conversations with my brain – ain’t nobody got time for that

sweetbrown2

My brain is a mental arsehole, and I ain’t got time for that.

Brain:      SHIT!
Me:         What?!
Brain:      I can’t remember whether I left the oven on.
Me:         I’m sure I turned it off.
Brain:      How can you be sure?!
Me:         I always turn it off.
Brain:      BUT WHAT IF YOU DIDN’T? THIS COULD HAPPEN:

Me:         Wow she’s great. I wish I was her. As I was saying, I’m sure I did turn it off… I think.

Me:         Shit.
Brain:      See? You’re not sure. YOU LEFT THE OVEN ON AND NOW THE HOUSE WILL BURN DOWN AND WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! Or maybe get bronchitis.
Me:         It’s 2am and I don’t want to get out of bed.
Brain:      What part of ALL GOING TO DIE don’t you understand?
Me:         Damnit. It’s cold. And it’s dark.
Brain:      ALL. GOING. TO. DIE.
Me:         I won’t be able to go back to sleep.
Brain:      ALL… GOING…
Me:         OK, OK, I’m getting up. Fascist.

Me:         I was right. It’s 2am, cold and dark and I didn’t leave the oven on.
Brain:      Really?
Me:         Yes.
Brain:      Are you sure?
Me:         Yes. I think so. I just checked.
Brain:      Were you paying attention when you did it, or were you thinking about how cold and dark it was instead?
Me:         I’m pretty sure I checked it.
Brain:      ALL… GOING… TO…
Me:         I hate you.
Brain:      …DIE.

I wish I was more like Sweet Brown. Her brain wouldn’t dare be an arsehole.

Is your brain an arsehole?