Too Much Of A Good Thing

People describe me as someone who has a lot of balls in the air. I like trying new things so there’s always something going on. I feel like I’ve been waiting for things to slow down for most of my life. Several months ago the busyness reached a fever pitch.

I was working full-time with another part-time business on the side. I volunteered in a recovery program and was dealing with my own relationships and trying to stay in touch with my family on the weekends. These were all things I loved, but I felt the stress of a full schedule. Then insomnia set in.

I kept going. What was the alternative? I couldn’t stop. I had to work. People needed me. I had to see my family and friends. Medication helped me sleep some of the time. Supplements kept me functioning during the day. Every night I’d climb into bed afraid that I wouldn’t be able to sleep, which just added more stress to my overloaded brain.

Busyness was common for me so I kept up the schedule, thinking everything was fine. I was just tired. My co-workers could see that I was trying very hard to keep all my ducks in a perfect row. I kept apologizing for forgetting things. But no one really knew how bad the stress had gotten. Looking back, events with family and friends are a blur. Several months of my life seem like a continuous fog. One day blended into another with very little rest.

I couldn't stop. I had to work. People needed me.

Not surprisingly, I burned out. I woke up one morning after surviving several days on only a couple of hours of sleep and all I could do was cry. I was so tired. The thought of facing another day was completely overwhelming. I just wanted to sleep and my brain wouldn’t let me.

I went to see a friend who is a counselor. She ran some tests and determined that I was depressed, and very close to being severely depressed. I needed to take immediate action. I took time off of work. I begrudgingly let go of my second job. I talked to my boss and he agreed to take some responsibilities off my plate. My doctor prescribed an antidepressant and I started counseling.

I needed someone to help me sort through the reasons I let myself get to this place. I had to come to terms with the fact that I am just one person and I have to take care of myself. That sounded so selfish at the time, but I’ve found it to be true. I was not made to live the crazy way I was living.

The truth is that the activity in my life made me feel valued and needed. I had to learn that I am valuable not because of all the things I do, but because of who I am. It was time to slow down and learn to love me. I heard it said once that, “we are human beings, not human doings.” It’s not easy to shut out the noise and busyness and just be still. But I realize now how important it is.

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