On Balance

I had a really stupid revelation today.

I frequently feel like I’ve used up my stores of energy, and all I want is permission to just stop, because living the rest of my life just sounds exhausting.

I’ve lived my life in cycles of intense motivation and total hibernation. I’m happier in the motivated periods, but they only last until I get ill and depressed, and have nothing left in the tank to heal myself.

It finally occurred to me, today, that if I exist in these cycles, it is possible for my health and energy levels to replenish themselves, but that I drive myself so far into the ground that it takes weeks/months to recover.

So…if I just make a point of taking care of myself all along…will I recharge as I go?

This seems like a really obvious, simple concept, but I’ve always been an all or nothing person. If I’m not working my ass off, I feel like a failure.

I’m trying something new. At this point, I’m so tired and worn down that I’m not even excited about school or my future career anymore. This is not okay. So I have no choice but to change, and I think the answer is to actually prioritize my Self. Instead of sacrificing myself to do everything I think I should, and everything everyone else thinks I should (even though it doesn’t feel like enough) I need to make sure I have time for the basics: sleeping, eating real food, switching my brain off for a book or a puzzle occasionally, and exercising. This requires significantly more free time than I’ve had, but my hope is that once my life is more in balance, the time I do spend working will be more efficient.

I hope that this will not lower my level of achievement. But even if it does, if it allows me to be sustainably happy and to enjoy my life’s work (which is the point of putting myself through this in the first place, to have work that I will love) then I will learn to be okay with it.

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