This won’t be fancy and might not even make sense. (And is going to be conversational in style — you’ve been warned.)
It is Saturday morning, and the storm known as Issac is projected to hit us probably Tuesday morning. My plan is to load up the kids and my pets to leave on Monday morning. We are heading north to my mother’s house. My husband, who is in the military, will have to stay here. He’s stressed by his work, and his obligation to stay here and put “Service before Self”.
I have spent the last two years in graduate school. That sounds so simple and basic that I’m struck by how that really is not adequate to describe what I have been through…what my family has been through. I’ve spent nearly every waking moment that I’m not doing something else, working on my resume and trying to find a job. This has caused me to push to ego-depletion. The abstract for Baumeister’s work says:
Effective self-regulation is an important key to successful functioning in many spheres, and failed self-regulation may be centrally conducive to substance abuse and addiction. The program of research summarized here indicates that self-regulation operates as a limited resource, akin to strength or energy, especially insofar as it becomes depleted after use-leaving the depleted self subsequently vulnerable to impulsive and undercontrolled behaviors (including increased consumption of alcohol). The self’s resources, which are also used for decision-making and active responding, can be replenished by rest and positive emotions.
Ah yes…vulnerable to impulsive and undercontrolled behaviors. Certainly this is true. I’ve felt this in my own life though not with substance abuse. I hear you though, you are saying “But what does this have to do with anything?”
In the coming days and weeks, assuming I make the effort, I plan to post a flurry of blog posts I’ve started and stopped, or just shelved due to being in grad school and what publishing them might mean. (Which I can only explain by publishing them.) So for now, take the leap of understanding.
Ego depletion + Low self esteem + physical and mental stress + CRUSHING PRESSURE = crisis or collapse.
I might collapse, I’d really like to, but I can’t because I have too much to do and too many people for whom I am responsible. So I’ll buck up like I have always done and get things ready for us to leave. It will be over 9 hours of driving to get where we are going, and we will be crammed into the vehicle in less than first class accommodations for all of us. I will have to pull out of the driveway and leave my husband here to ride out the storm.
If I could paint a picture of how I’m feeling, I suppose it would be the frame of a woman, and inside her chest is a vessel…it should have glitter, flowers and butterflies spilling over the top — but mine doesn’t. Mine looks like something you’d find in an attic maybe. There is some dirt, dust, a few cobwebs and an old paperclip in the bottom. That is ego depletion and that is crisis. Collapse isn’t far behind if I can’t repair, replenish, and nourish.