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. If you feel like you have to keep running to keep up, you’re not alone. We want to talk to you. You can use the form below to get in touch.