Too much, for too long

March 5, 2019

Sometimes it – life, work, family, health, future – all seems like too much for me to handle. Sometimes I just want to, and do walk away and disappear.

I'm consistently mentally and emotionally overwhelmed and exhausted. Like a jug, sitting in a sink with the faucet turned on and water overflowing its sides. The water keeps running and spilling over, but the faucet doesn't get turned off.

I generally don't feel anxious about stuff. I never really have. The moments I can feel worried are before a bike race or some other competitive event but I know from experience that feeling will go away once I start.

I was feeling anxious about participating in the Yukon Ski Marathon this past weekend, but I put my skis on and managed to ski the whole 50 km route. I got last place in my division, but I finished. During the nearly 5 hours and 30 minutes I was on the trail, I only thought about survival...which was honestly a pretty nice way to spend a Saturday.

Somewhere on the xc ski trail, mid-race
Somewhere on the xc ski trail, mid-race

It seems like when I'm at work – and more specifically, physically at the office – my stress quickly returns. That stress vanishes when I work from home, or am at the cabin, with my family or out in the forest.

Work has been wildly stressful for years now. So many expectations, so much pressure, so many little but important details to keep track of and manage. I've been able to consistently deliver despite these circumstances, but my tipping point comes much earlier than it used to, I've realized.

It doesn't take long for me to be at the office before I feel pushed to the brink. More and more, I respond negatively and in a critical way. This is not who I am, but it's who I've become; the person you dread to have as a teammate.

Even small everyday tasks feel like too much to cope with and constant social situations (part of office life) can seem overwhelming. That desire to walk away and disappear comes on strong and fast.

I very clearly need to find a solution and soon. I've never been here before and it's somewhere I don't want to remain.