"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting different results". – Albert Einstein
You know what happens when we don’t allow ourselves to take a break? We get sick. You know how I know this? Because it happens to me all the time.
The fact is, I’m used to having things to do. I can’t really remember a time when I haven’t been going non-stop; I was involved in plenty of extra-curricular activities during my school years, and I started working the week I got my work permit as a teenager. I have held a job consistently since, even in college. Often, I have held two or three jobs at once in order to make ends meet. Let’s just say I am no stranger to late nights and coffee-fueled mornings.
But the cycle is always the same. I feel that I have to work harder, be better and succeed at everything. I have found that I can multitask quite successfully and am able to take on a lot of additional tasks while still maintaining equilibrium. For some reason, however, equilibrium is uncomfortable for me. I make myself believe that if things are going well, if I’m getting to bed at a decent hour, have enough energy to make it through the day and am able to keep up with all of my work, then I’m just taking it easy. I’m not working hard enough. I don’t really need all that sleep ~ I’ve gone without before. I don’t have to pack myself lunches for work ~ I’ll just spend a few dollars and grab something when I get there. I don’t need to read, to watch TV, to visit my family, to laugh, to knit, to learn guitar. I can add a completely new job/task to my life during those precious hours. I can take on more ~ I can be a freaking superhero.
Aaaaaand then I crash. Not a little crash either. A big, falling out of the sky onto concrete splattering. Sickness in all its forms: mental, physical, emotional, spiritual. My body rebels in a sinus infection, nausea, migraine, muscle-ache fit. My anxiety returns full-force, making me feel worse than I already do. Mirrors become death traps and the thought of showering and seeing myself naked makes the physical symptoms worse. I am drained, lost, tired, angry. I suddenly don’t know what I want or where I’m going in life. I question everything that matters to me. Life spirals out of control. Instead of being a superhero, I am a blob, resigned to lying in bed, staring at the ceiling and making to-do lists that I never plan on completing.
It happens every time. This is the insanity.
But what is this blog if not a place to document change and show that it is possible? So, this weekend I stopped the cycle. I chose a different path; I tried something new. After a few long weeks of putting my body through hell, it started to wither. It was sick of long nights, of me putting it down, of dehydration, of being too busy to eat a proper meal. I started to crash, and for the first time I fought the crash by caring for myself instead of pushing my way through. I dropped everything. I cancelled my plans, took a hot shower and put on my most comfortable pajamas. I haven’t left my house in two days, because everyone can take care of his or her own crap for a while. I’m taking care of me. All I’ve done this weekend is lie in bed, drink tea, eat toast and fruit and catch up on “Gossip Girl”.
It’s been an interesting experience. Of course, I’ve felt some anxiety. Whenever I sit down for a moment I feel that I should be doing something for goodness sake, you lazy lump. But I’ve been down that path hundreds of times over the years, and I always expect it to work. It will not work. I’m trying this instead. So far, I like it. I like knowing that I am listening to my body and giving it what it wants. Not that I will always cut myself off from the world when I need it, but if I can find that ever-elusive “balance” that some people seem to have, maybe I can work and play and relax all in the same day.
And then maybe I won’t crash anymore.