Bit Burned Out

I am just a few days away from being on-schedule for one full calendar year! If you had told me in February of 2016 that I would be posting Tuesday/Friday every week (except for the weeks where I attempted Monday/Thursday) for an entire year, I would’ve laughed because I have never been that regular with blog posting in my long blogging life.

There are a lot of posts I have brewing in my head, and I want to share them with you so badly. There are many more China travel posts, the Europe posts I swear to everything are in my head ready to be put to keyboard soon, more general posts, etc.

But I’m experiencing a bit of burnout.

I’m not sure why. I don’t think work has been particularly stressful or high-pressure. I was with my family for 2 weeks in China before coming back.

And yet, ever since getting back, I’ve felt very off. The simplest way for me to describe it is that I’m mentally exhausted. The current political climate does not help at all, but I just desperately want to turn off my brain. I actually started working out in January, and I think I’ve been throwing myself into that because I can do something that feels productive without thinking much at all. Then I go to work sore, unmotivated, unable to concentrate, unwilling to eat.

Even when I socialize with people, the textbook extrovert I tend to be, I’m only half there. I hear how fake my laugh sounds. Whereas I always have a hard time ending a conversation, I find myself wondering how much longer I can keep one up before I just stop being able to. I feel like it shows in my face, that the conversations are wearing me down from my already worn-down state.

My head hurts often and so does my belly. I’m lethargic and sleepy, and I don’t think it’s just because of how early I’m waking up to work out. I’m breaking out. I’m gaining weight. I’m taking a long time to recover from exercise.

So I will make it to one calendar year, but I will need to take a break after that post. Blogging on schedule has been really great for me and for this blog. NOt only do I have that great aesthetic pattern on my WordPress calendar but it’s good to write twice a week. Nowadays, though, I’ve been scrambling to put together low-quality posts the morning of my deadlines and I hate putting out these bad posts for you. I hate that this has become a burden and not a fun outlet.

I’ll be taking a little break very soon, and I hope I find my way back to normal soon and can finish sharing all the things I was so excited to share with you all just a few weeks ago.

I apologize in advance if post quality continues to be lower over the next few posts, but I hope the break will fix that.


Do you have any tips for burnout?

Also, I really want to stress that it’s important to stay active and woke and call your representatives and remember that you are a part of history regardless of what you do or don’t do but you can help make history if you are active about it. This applies no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, I encourage even those of you whose views differ from mine to stay informed and stay active. I will always defend your right to do so.

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10 Lies Depression Tells You

Originally posted by Anne Thériault on Thought Catalog.

I felt this was so crucial to share. There are too many days that I spend thinking that most or all of these statements are true.

This is important. It is important that you, and I, and anyone we care about know: None of these are true.

1. You are a bad person who deserves bad things.

2. You are unhappy because you are lazy or lacking in willpower. Happiness is a choice, a choice that you have failed to make. Somehow, somewhere over the course of your lifetime, when faced with some metaphysical fork in the road, you chose the wrong path. You brought this curse down on yourself.

3. Your sadness is the baseline by which the rest of your life should be measured. This sadness is your norm, and any other emotions, especially positive ones, are exceptions to the rule. Yes of course there will be good times, of course there will be flashes of joy; you will certainly, on occasion, experience the pleasure of a good book or a ripe juicy peach, However, those experiences will be few and far between. Your bad days will always outnumber the good.

4. Your family and friends do not love you. Your family are people who feel obligated to spend time with you because as luck would have it you share a similar genetic makeup. Your friends are people that you somehow tricked into thinking that you, as a person, have some kind of value, and now they don’t know how to extricate themselves from your pathetic, needy grasp. No one spends time with you because they enjoy it; they do it out of a sense of duty, a feeling of pity. Whenever you leave a room everyone breathes a sigh of relief.

5. Your family and friends do not want to hear about how sad you are. No matter how sympathetic they may seem, no matter how sincerely they might ask how you are feeling, remember that it’s all an act. The more that you open yourself up to them, the more you pour your heart out, the more resentful of you they become. Do not fall into the trap of sharing your feelings; do not give into the temptation to draw back the curtain and, like a tawdry magician, reveal your grotesque sadness. Your sadness is a choice, remember? This burden is yours to bear alone.

6. Your friends and family deserve better than you. Everyone deserves better than you.

7. In order to make up for your unhappiness, it is your responsibility to make sure that everyone around you is happy. If you can manage to maintain a near-constant veneer of kindness, helpfulness and sincere interest in others, then that will make your presence more tolerable. Your amiability, though entirely inadequate, is the best apology that you can make for your existence.

8. Everything is your fault.

If you plan a picnic and it rains, it’s your fault. You should have been more thorough when you checked the weather. You should have learned to be an amateur meteorologist so that you could better read the clouds. You should have packed a canopy. If you go out for dinner, for your once-in-a-blue-moon, hire-a-babysitter-and-wear-a-nice-dress date and the food or service or conversation is anything less than exceptional, it’s your fault. You should have read more restaurant reviews, should have asked friends for more recommendations, should have prepared cue cards with talking points. If someone is unkind to you, it’s your fault. You should have smiled more, been more gracious, tried harder to be whatever it was that they needed in that moment.

Everything is your fault.

9. There is no cure for your sadness, no effective treatment, no way of managing your symptoms. There are, of course, doctors and pills and various therapies that help other people, but you’ve tried all these things and they don’t work for you. Nothing will ever work for you.

10. You will feel this way forever.

If you are depressed, experiencing suicidal thoughts or otherwise need someone to talk to, please call 1-800-273-8255.

Anhedonia

I feel like I end up blogging about anhedonia quite often, although those posts get lost in the archives of the blogosphere.

Anhedonia is defined as the inability to experience pleasure from activities that one usually enjoys.

As someone who indulges in the glamour of being sad, I experience periods of mild anhedonia from time to time. It’s frustrating to do day-to-day activities and not like them, but then to try to force yourself to do things that you do like and… still not find pleasure or solace in doing so. The tedium of the ordinary leaks into what would have and should have been extraordinary.

This got particularly frustrating for me lately because I was always able to take solace in my relationships with other people, being a social butterfly and an extrovert who draws energy from social interactions. During the last 2 years of college, I found myself feeling a bit weary of maintaining many of my friendships, which upset me because I felt like I was pruning my social circle, which would naturally shrink as I graduated.

Of late, I realized that I was feeling very emotionally distant from my boyfriend ever since I left for my family vacation to Europe. (Those posts are coming, I swear it.) (There are drafts and everything.) I thought that this would stop when I got back and got out of “family vacation mode” but… it lingered a little longer than I wanted and a lot longer than I was comfortable with.

Today, I realized that not only did I feel really guilty about this inexplicable distance I was putting between myself and my boyfriend, but I felt a lot of frustration with the fact that this was the one part of my life where my anhedonia didn’t run its ugly head and now it had. There was less pleasure in seeing him, in talking to him on the phone. And that frustrated me so much, because I want to enjoy things that I think I can depend on enjoying.

Imagine going to your favorite ice cream shop and ordering your favorite ice cream flavor. This has been your favorite flavor for a while, and even if you try other flavors, you always come back to this one. It’s always the best one.
One day, you walk into the shop, order your favorite flavor, and you find that…
… you don’t really know why it’s your favorite. It doesn’t taste bad, and it doesn’t even really taste different. But you don’t really like it more than anything else, and you’re not sure you want to order it the next time you go.

That’s kind of how I’ve been experiencing anhedonia.

In any case, I am working pretty hard on digging myself out of these little trenches of apathy. Apathy is not a good emotion (or lack of emotion) for me, as a person who really experiences the world by feeling and caring too much rather than too little.