workaholic anonymous! 21st August 2012

I can’t believe its August all ready, I’m still getting used to it being 2012.  When you are 41, time is like this.  The months speed by, but its not bad thing because it makes you realise how precious each day is and how important opportunities and chances are, and that you need to grab each day and make it the day you want it to be.

Today, as some people know, because I complained throughout, I was proof-reading and worked non-stop for 7 hours, pausing only to quickly sip cola between corrections.  When I work, I have no middle ground.  I throw myself into it, and stretch myself to the limit and then beyond the limit.  The last 2 hours of corrections were done with a migraine!  When I’m not proof-reading, I’m gardening and am currently digging out my entire enormous garden, leaving nothing but soil, on my hands and knees, with a handtrowel.  I can be at this for 9 hours, forgetting to eat and drink and usually one of my sons (they are 19 and 20) comes out eventually to tell its time to stop and eat, but I can’t stop and eat.  I’d continue until it got dark if they’d let me.

This apparently is not unusual in people with ptsd.  Its a mechanism that is used to stay occupied, to keep busy, to empty the head of any thoughts but the work in hand.

It means you get stuff done, and it means you get high marks at uni etc, and make a good impression when you’re doing work for people, but obviously it has its downside.

It can cause you to disconnect from everything around you, to get dehydrated and dizzy, to get burnt out so that you fall into a depression.

There is also my obsession with creating something outstanding.  I’m not interested in ;good enough’, or a simple ‘pass’, or ‘getting something out the way’.  I always go for that 110%.  That’s bad too, because its so much pressure on yourself.  When things go wrong, when you make a mistake, it throws everything into disarray.  I’m very quick to think of myself as crap and useless, and I suppose ‘doing a good job’ on something bolsters my self-esteem.

So that’s a heady cocktail: ptsd plus high self-expectations.  I gave myself a migraine today.  Not only did I want the proof-reading to be of outstanding quality, but I also wanted to hand it in 2 days early.  For the £35 I’m being paid its doesn’t have to be either, but I can’t not do things that way.

Its odd the things we do to sound out our mental health problems.







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