Friday, February 16, 2007

Too Tired To Die or To Tired Too Die

I’ve been working thirteen hour shifts in a high stress law firm for the last three days. I’m ready to lock myself in the closet with a bottle of scotch and a pistol. But, I’m too tired to open the door. I’m so exhausted I haven’t even thought about my health. Okay, slight exaggeration; I’ve thought about it, but I’m too tired to care.

This all leads me to believe that I need a hobby to drown out the hypochondria. But, in the meantime, excuse me while I go drown in a bottle of scotch, before I have to report to work in the morning. Yes, that's Saturday morning...

3 comments:

jenni said...

Hi...... I hope his is just temporary. I know you have to be tired. I have been thinking about the same thing. I want to get a sewing machine and learn to sew. I dont really have any hobbies except working in my flower beds byt its to cold right now lol. Good luck!!!! Dont work to hard! :)

Barbora said...

Well, I hope you weren’t too tired to open the bottle of scotch : )

You’re absolutely right in your observation that it’s hard to be a hypochondriac during crunch times at work!

In my last job, I used to have three, separate crunch times each year. Each one involved about a week and a half of very long hours and frequently, one all-nighter. Never, during those times did I have episodes of panic. So, Yes! I completely agree that it is possible to “drown out the hypochondria.”

The problem for me is, that whatever I use to drown out the hypochondria needs to be thoroughly engaging for me. Work was great because not only was it something I was interested in doing, but it also involved risk, and I think this is an important distinction. What made my projects at work so absorbing was that my butt was on the line. I could have failed. I could have been fired or publicly humiliated. THIS is what is exciting, compelling, and absorbing! This is what can be more powerful than the bugs in my system.

I’ve had difficulty finding a hobby that fits that description. I love gardening and lots of other things, but none of them offer the kind of excitement and absorption as work…uu-gghh?…maybe, NASCAR racing? I dunno? I probably won’t venture there.

When I was your age, men and dating fit the bill for me. The thrill of a new relationship and the wild desire, combine with the fear of rejection really did the job. Yes indeed, I can thank dating for many months of blocking my hypochondria. Granted, I did have dry spells (thus the multiple, “unnecessary” HIV tests)….but it worked for a long time. Now, I am in a long-term, stable relationship of seven years. I love this man dearly, but hey, the wild desire and fear of rejection are no longer blocking anything.

The only other thing that has even come close to the man-thing was running. Yup, running. Long, long ago in a state far away, I was younger and thinner and (briefly) in good shape (being thin and being in good shape are two very different things). During that Camelot, I spent about a year, going on regular, hikes, trail runs and track runs. During that time, I experienced almost no hypochondriac/panic/OCD episodes. I also noticed that I was also able to think about regular, every day problems differently. I am a believer, but in spite of this, I stopped and let myself get out of shape (humm - about the same time I got into a stable relationship). Now, at 43, I am trying to loose some weight before I try running again (don’t want to blow out my knees). Being in shape feels great, but I didn’t maintain it. It’s like cleaning, I love it when my dishes and laundry are done and the bed is made and my floors aren’t crunchy, but that rarely comes together since I’m so darn lazy. It reminds me of the mantra "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." All I can say is who ever believes that crap hasn't been eating the same stuff as me.

Oh, well…yawn…I think its time for a nap. Please pardon any typos; I’m working on my third beer.

Barbora

Leila V. said...

Barbora:

You’re totally right. I don’t think any old hobby will do the trick. Cooking is somewhat of a pastime for me, but it doesn’t ease the hypochondria, and usually brings guilt after I indulge in my latest creation. Last summer we did a lot of hiking, and that really did it. Nothing like a seven-mile hike to walk the bad energy out.

Oh, and I must be eating the same food that you are, cause boy does it taste good!

***

Hey Jenni:

You and me both. I actually went so far as to get a sewing machine, but it has yet to exit the closet. On the bright side, it makes a great flat surface to store shoes on. I hear knitting is really therapeutic too, but have never tried it, and I’m much to lazy for yard work…