The regulars on the blog will know that I absolutely love blogging when I should be working. It’s an amazing past time to take up when one should in fact be engaging in activities that warrant one’s salary. Nevertheless, it had become my favourite thing to do to break the monotony of poo-farming. As I took a very irresponsible break from employment, I of course had no time for blogging! But since I have some time on my hands (new job, YAY!), it was time to pick up the proverbial pen again.
Firstly, for anyone who has ever felt like they need to breathe: holiday is amazing. There are very few places to be at specific times (therefore no pitching up at events 3 hours before it starts to make sure one is on time). The margins for error on activities such as “sleeping in” and “ice cream eating“ are considerably more tolerant than for buying very expensive equipment. Or ensuring the drinking water of a small town is not going to cause more love in the time of cholera.
After a few days of holiday and a lack of obligations, my body calmed down. My habits started to resemble something of their previous glory: I slept like the dead, ate like a piggy, laughed with reckless abandon and restored a lot of my spent energy. That being said, a state of blissful isolation from the world (apart from ice cream shops) is not sustainable. Inevitably, one needs to attend a scheduled event (dinner), in a crowded, noisy environment (a restaurant) and one’s spidey senses kick in. I learned that removing myself from consistent, challenging environments was great for my system and relaxation, but in doing so, I lost my tolerance for adrenaline rushes.
Having your system flushed with anxiety daily is extremely draining, as most of you amazing followers of my blog can relate to. But what it also does, is enable you to stay “fit”. A runner cannot just wake up and run a marathon after not training for a month. In a similar way, by staying in difficult situations, we hone our bodies to be able to deal with massive amounts of adrenaline, anxiety and stressors quite comfortably. And after not training for some time, as an example, and immediately returning to run 56km (or even just 5km), the brain and body takes a little beating. Especially if you find yourself in a new environment, quite suddenly, with many things to be anxious about. Like a job that is not only new, but requires travelling very often. And travelling requires packing, which means things can be forgotten and left behind. It also requires catching flights, rental cars and noisy airports, strangers in your personal bubble, chatty Cathy’s in line and not spilling coffee on yourself at the airport trying to wake up at 5AM to catch your flight to work.
I travel to remote locations from Monday to Friday every week for my new job. Travelling is amazing. And travelling with panic and anxiety is a terrible privilege. The number of things that can go wrong in just attempting to arrive at the airport in time is astounding, even if you lack an over-active imagination. This does not even account for your own inabilities and other emotional events that you have to obsess over and create completely unrealistic, yet devastating scenarios for yourself to navigate in the hell hole you also call your brain.
In short, my holiday from life and adrenaline came to an abrupt end when I started just preparing for the new challenge that is my job. The big D’s were back! General anxiety gradually increased to the point where is became disruptive and therefore a Disorder. Depression that had thankfully stayed at bay for almost 6 weeks made an unexpected visit, and my insane heart rate has justified me downloading an app to measure just how fast my frightened little heart can beat. I mean if this little guy in my chest were a sprinter, Mr Bolt would have some serious competition.
Since my diagnosis, I thought I’d have to take myself out of the rat race to live in a physical state that resembles some form of normalcy. But I very much came to terms recently with the fact that my baseline is just different to that of most people. And although I would always endeavour to be the best I can be, I’d rather work as a professional that is not the best that ever walked the earth than retire from the professional environment completely. As many unqualified philosophers before me have asked: What is normal anyway? After all, if gingers can walk among us, why should a little adrenaline prevent me from doing the same? I can’t hide from the real world if I want to achieve the things I aspire to, and I can’t expect the world to slow down to a pace I can manage at.
Therefore, in the remarkable catchy phrase coined by my friend Maverick: “I feel the need, the need for speed!”