Listening to my body through a period of burnout, part 1


Recently, I realized that ever since I lost my job in March of 2021, I've been going through quite a period of burnout. Whether it was triggered by finally forcing myself to rest and address the weird workaholism that I was definitely developing through high school and university, my brain begging me to really sit down and consider the impact being late diagnosed ADHD had on my life in the long run, or a bit of both, my body was simply not allowing me to do things I'd once been able to do (after 4 cups of coffee, mind you.) It's been so easy to be upset with myself about this, and the want to find some dead-end job just to avoid facing the fact that, well, I'm exhausted and a little afraid of making my life everything I want it to be, but I like to think I've been sticking it out and learning how to really listen to my body and my mind along the way.

The biggest challenge in a while has certainly been the 2 weeks in my life where I had some design work and preliminary painting to send off for a new mural job I have coming up. They requested some visual representation of my ideas so they could sign off on it and I could get going, and that sounds easy enough, right? Yeah, I thought so, too. And yet, I found myself pretty quickly in this weird cycle of hell where I would start my morning with the simple thought of "I should work on those sketches at some point today", while my day always ended up 90% thinking about the sketches and how I was SO awful for not doing them, and 10% actually doing the sketches, always ending frustrated and discouraged with the small amount of output I was able to achieve. Yet, even though I knew that once I got started on them I would stop dreading it, the act of starting them, of sitting down and getting my paints out and facing the miniscule, very-behind schedule amount of progress I'd made on them so far, was simple too much, And so, I didn't, or at least not nearly as much as I expected myself to, and that made the day after worse, and the next one worse than that. In hindsight I can see my body was screaming for rest, but I was too caught up in needing to be doing something to recognize that, and it made the entire process very awful and discouraging in the productivity department of my life.

Before getting into how this all ended up going, which I will do tomorrow, I will say that I did eventually get the damn things done. It wasn't easy to fully realize that listening to your body is important for the first time in 24 friken years, but it did make me feel better equipped to handle something like this the next time it comes up, and I didn't get there by ignoring it and pushing through all the agony. Balance is a weird thing that I think we all need in our lives, and accepting our limitation is a great way to work with what we are able to do in any given moment to the best of our ability.

Tomorrow I'll explain the endgame of this whole scenario, and like I said, it DOES have a happy ending, thank fuck.