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Exhaustion

Posted Nov 16 2010 5:35pm
The last week or so has been one massive slog through writing, editing, revising, interviewing, and writing some more.  It is, in a sense, a very good sign that I'm rather swamped with stuff.  It tends to make paying the bills easier (although some of that writing is for a freelance gig that I'm "auditioning" for at this stage, and therefore no payment is guaranteed. But it's a great career opportunity, and I'm excited about it).  I have a headache, I can barely keep my eyes open, I want to beat my head against my desk in frustration half the time as I'm trying to write about science I can't quite wrap my mind around.

I'm simply exhausted.  I just want to nap.  I took an hour or two this afternoon to read, as I had a brief reprieve in the never ending gauntlet of deadlines.  But tonight it's back to the computer and work, followed by more of the same for tomorrow.

This kind of grim exhaustion, followed by the deep inner sense that I have a job to finish, reminds me of eating in the early days of recovery.  I would have gladly eaten all of my exchanges at an all-you-can-eat buffet first thing in the morning so I didn't have to worry about eating the rest of the day.  I was just so sick of the endless slog through meals and snacks.  I wanted it to go away.  And that's what this is kind of like, although I do actually like writing, which I couldn't say about food back then.  It's this numb exhaustion, combined with the knowledge that the end result is rewarding.

Today's work really hurt my brain, as I'm trying to write smartly on science I'm not exactly sure I understand.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I don't understand it one bit, and I had to eventually phone the researcher and ask him to explain his work using words with no more than three syllables.  I still don't think it worked.

And this exhaustion has led a slight uptick in feelings of depression.  It's more of the anhedonia and apathy caused by being too tired to care much rather than an actual "I hate my life" feeling.  I used to deal with this in a very ED way.  First of all, I better not be tired because I still had to get through my exercise routine, and I was never too tired for that.  The exercise also served as a little pick-me-up, and as a vent for my stress.  It's hard not to turn to that when I know it's so effective--at least for the short term.

I suppose this is part of what recovery and life are all about. Surviving the crappier times without resorting to unhealthy behaviors.  Recognizing that said crappy time won't last forever.  Integrating self-care into your life (such as my reading and blogging this afternoon).  And the acceptance that the ED won't change your current situation for the better.
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