Thanks to Beyond Blue, I know that I’m not alone with regard to how my packed schedule contributes to depression.
Reader TJ wrote this in an e-mail to me:
One major factor to being suicidal was not enough time to recharge (regroup or downtime) between all my activities. I was feeling very overwhelmed and alone.
Reader Crissy wrote the following on my “What Makes People Relapse” post:
Those full plates that won’t go away just weigh us down–tediously staying in the back of our minds, or hiding in our hearts, or popping up in our dreams. Too many things to do, too many things to fix, no one to help. We do the small things and keep going, find something of interest and it picks you up . . . but that plate full of problems is still there. How do we thaw from the freeze and face that plate and wipe it clean? I wish I could quit feeling like all I am doing is procrastinating.
And reader Babs wrote this (also in an e-mail to me):
I spent quite a few years going to college, while teaching, and being music director of a church. All of my work was creative and I never felt like I had “down” time, and when I did I felt guilty that I wasn’t tackling another of the endless projects. Now that things have slowed down somewhat I find it so easy to let things slide. I used to have anorexia as a young adult, and again when I was reliving that part of my life in therapy. Well sometimes when I have to work hard to keep my weight down or try to get some of my former go-go-go to get things done, I wish I had a touch of both of those dysfunctional aspects of my life to pull up at will.
The thing that frustrates me it is that neither OCD or anorexia are a product of self-discipline….but sometimes I wish they were.
Babs hit on something that I hadn’t really thought of. Maybe I get the two confused—dysfunctional behavior and self-discipline. Maybe I keep myself so busy in an effort to not have to feel those things that you do by staying in one place—by packing my schedule so full that I won’t have time for friends or family vacations, and numbing myself by running from here to there, allowing no time for roots to settle.
Or maybe my self-esteem is still so shallow that I need a list of accolades and accomplishments to feel worthwhile. As if a prestigious journalism award or a book contract can validate myself—give me proof that I’m not a failure.
Perhaps I’m so scared of slowing down because it is when I did just that two years ago I fell apart.
At any rate, I’m getting sick of paying the membership fee (exhaustion) of the Full Plate Club.