Fatigue: Success Saboteur

I. Am. Exhausted.

Starting any new endeavor takes an enormous amount of energy, and it doesn’t matter what kind of endeavor it is: weight loss, new job, new baby, new puppy, new home, whatever.  You know this.  I know this.  Of course, there is knowing and there is KNOWING.

With my new professional position, I am moving into a state of KNOWING.

New knowledge, friends, clients, situations, and experiences are invigorating; however, I am a middle-aged woman, not the battery bunny.  Long hours away from home are wearing me out and are beginning to have some not-so-great effects, a few of which I noticed yesterday:

  • overeating,
  • bad food choices, and
  •  over-analysis head trash.

My body is tired.  But, because it doesn’t know that I’m doing this on purpose, it is now beginning to register the fatigue as a threat to survival.  As a threat response, it’s telling me that it needs more food.  My hunger alarms are blaring like it’s a London air raid and I need to Keep Calm and Get My Fanny into the Tube.  I know that the threat is not real; however, my basic life functions don’t and right now they are buying all the air time and running commercials for food in my brain.

drive in intermissionAnd the commercials they are running are not for apples, mangoes and lean meats, either.  No, sirree!  I’m getting messages that my organism is in danger and we need high calorie items! It’s like the old drive-in commercials: I’ve got peanut butter cups, ice cream pints, and pastries dancing across my mental screen.  My conscious mind knows that the danger isn’t real, but my brain is still creating massive carbohydrate cravings.

My brain is also thinking too much.  It is my nature to over-analyze.  You can stop reading now because I’m certain you don’t deal with this same issue (yes, I’m rolling my eyes). I was doing a mental post-mortem driving home after an event last night.  I concluded that during the evening, I had likely developed a bad case of what my mother always called Diarrhea of the Mouth.

Speaking with these three really nice women, I realized that I was probably talking non-stop, but I could not shut up! A good conversation partner talks, then listens.  A poor conversation partner talks, then talks, then waits until it’s their turn to talk again.  I’m pretty sure I was the latter, not the former. Laura, Linda, Katherine: I promise that I will bring duct tape to the next function and you can just slap a strip on me when I start running off like that again.  My apologies, ladies.

Alienating people is bad; but, that’s really not the big, long-term danger for me.  The real danger was in berating myself as a boor on the way home.  The head trash – I’m a jerk, nobody likes me, I might as well go in the backyard and eat worms – will sabotage any and every effort, whether social, personal, external, or internal. Just like I said yesterday, I have to recognize that the trash is there and pluck it out before it does damage.

At the moment, I am not so tired that I don’t know the source of my hunger, cravings or self-doubts.  Because I know the source, I can (and, really, must) correct it.  I must address the fatigue before it causes some real harm.  I must take care of me.

Now, for those who have nodded your heads throughout this piece, who is taking care of you?

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