Burnout

As I said yesterday, I am so burned out that it’s not even funny. Unfortunately, that just continues to get worse. I guess in that regard, I can really relate to what Dyl’s going through right now.

Last night at dinner, Chloe said that I seem to be busy from the time I wake up until I go to bed. I asked J if it seemed that way to him too and he said it did.

The problem is that I don’t know how to stop. I don’t know how to let myself just relax. It always seems like there’s still more to do. I always end the day with more things I still wanted to do and just couldn’t get to them. I don’t know if that’s a normal feeling and if I just have to get more comfortable with leaving things undone.

I do know that a lot of it still goes back to something my dad told me when I was 18 or 19 (which may be a story I’ve told here before; I know that I’ve told it a lot in real life.)

I was working two jobs, one full-time and one part-time, and he suggested that I take a third-shift job, too. (Mind you, he himself has never even held two jobs at the same time.)

The me of today thinks that I must have misunderstood him. Maybe he was suggesting that I get a third-shift job instead of the other two. That seems much more reasonable. However, my impression at the time was that he was definitely telling me to take a third job.

But nonetheless, it created this never ending sense of pressure, that whatever I was doing wasn’t enough and I could always be doing more. And that has been extremely hard to break. Even when I’ve held full-time jobs, I still continued to freelance on the side.

It’s not really about money, although that’s part of it, for sure. There’s always a reason that I think I could use more money.

But really, it’s primarily that I can’t let myself relax. I beat myself up and call myself lazy, no matter how much I’m doing. And there’s never a point where I can give myself permission to relax.

Right now, I am really pushing myself far past my limits and I know it. Ordinarily, after last weekend (which had me make two trips down to where my son goes to school and back), I would have taken a couple of extra days to sleep late to recover.

But I didn’t, in part because I couldn’t. Chloe had several appointments last week and I also had errands to run. And I still have more errands to run, so I don’t know when it will slow down.

Yesterday, I woke up to a message from Dyl expressing his health concerns. Then I actually fell back asleep for a couple of hours but woke up to yet another message from Dyl, about wanting to get the shingles vaccine—which they don’t give out to people here until they’re 50. I told him we’d be better off trying to get him a chickenpox booster shot (he had the virus naturally when he was very young.)

At the same time, I was kinda thinking, seriously?! I am always patient with him and take his concerns seriously. But his health anxiety is out of control and it’s significantly increasing my own stress levels.

I’m enormously grateful that he feels that he can talk to me and I don’t want to do anything to discourage that. But I’d be lying if I said his concerns weren’t weighing on me heavily.

I don’t honestly know what’s going to happen with my health as a result of pushing myself so hard. J thinks I’m risking that I’ll end up in the hospital again and I don’t think that’s entirely unfounded.

I just don’t know how to stop.

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