Monday, September 3, 2012

TAKING ON TOO MUCH? BURNING OUT? WHY?




I'm bracing myself for tomorrow. Tomorrow, my free time comes to a halt as the children return to school and I resume daily, and every 2 weeks, nightly care of my grand-daughter. From tomorrow on, it's get her to school at 8:30am, pick her up at 2:45 pm, give her that afternoon snack, stay on her  to get her to do her homework before taking her back to her mom's at 6pm. And there goes the day.

For me, that means all the additional projects I took on over the summer i.e. writing my book, "Coming Out from Under", this blog (and several others!), my Facebook group at OUT FROM UNDER, and my online jewelry business/hobby are going to be limited to a 51/2 hour block of time daily ... and that's between trying to get in a workout swim 3 times a week, a daily workout walk, preparing meals ... not to mention time for simply resting. What is it with me? Why do I take on so much?

I've always been like this. I truly don't know how not to keep busy. It's almost like I'm afraid to have time on my hands. Why? I've come to realize that it's coupled with my need to feel wanted, my never-ending need for approval.  So many years of trying to please a man who wanted so much more than he had the right to ask, so many years of hoping what I was doing was enough has left me permanently trying to please everybody everywhere. It's a hard road to walk. It's tiring, draining. But ironically, it's also fulfilling when you know someone is benefitting from the help you are giving.

One of my fellow-survivors complained of the same thing this morning on Facebook. She is burning herself out, taking on way too much. I can sense she's angry with herself for doing it, but like me, she has that deep-seated need for acceptance and approval. And when that acceptance or approval comes, oh how good we feel. How we glow! Someone loves us. Someone thinks we're great. Daddy approves. Daddy isn't angry with us. Daddy might not hurt me this time because I was his good little girl ...

I've met others like me. They work round the clock, attend every function going on to show their support of other's endeavours even when they're exhausted, always putting others before themselves. This is what abuse has taught them to do. It's how they've survived. It's how they feel good about themselves.

And so we go on, addicted to being busy, addicted to taking on too much because we fear the times in between being busy, when we're not feeling useful or good for something or somebody. Like I said, it's a tough road to walk and it's exhausting. But somehow, it also fills a huge hole inside us.

I really envy another lady who recently mentioned to me how she copes with being abused. Unlike me trying to please everyone, she doesn't give a damn. She won't let anyone walk over her, tell her what to do or where to go. She's feisty. She also never stops being busy, taking on too much.

What about you, dear reader? Is there a pattern here? Are you like this too ... always putting your fingers in too many pies just to feel appreciated, wanted, loved? Or have you even ever analyzed, as I am doing here, why you are this way? I'd really love to hear your thoughts on this.

It's labour day. Today we are supposed to rest from our labours. Are you resting or are you, like me, trying to get everything done before tomorrow ... and the next tomorrow... and the next tomorrow...


2 comments:

  1. Yes I'm always burning the candle at both ends and I feel it gets worse the older I get. Maybe it's also a fear of never getting there, like subconsciously our brain is telling us-time is running out as we age? I don't even know where there is? Maybe it's because we never allowed ourselves to love ourselves enough for Me Time? Maybe keeping busy gives us a feeling of purpose and accomplishment too. Maybe we just think too much :)

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