Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Feeling exhausted

I promise this will be the last post about my move, because I feel sure everyone is sick to death of hearing about it.

I have been exhausted, on a very deep level.

I came to the conclusion, a few days ago, that once the moving process ended and I was sleeping in a regular bed, in a real house... I pretty much died. A move like the one I just completed is a bit like running a marathon.

Running a marathon takes an extraordinary amount of training and preparation, ahead of time. In a sense, this is very similar to a major life-changing move. Then there is the race, itself. It's both tiring, and exciting, at the same time. At the end, you feel exhausted, but for a while you continue running on "residual adrenaline." Many marathon runners will rest for a few days after a race, and then "pretty much feel OK." So it was with me, once all the stuff had been unpacked, and I got settled in.

But there's a reason why marathn runners only run a few races a year. After a few days, a sort of "deep exhaustion" sets in... a long-term lethargy, as the body works to recover from a period of extreme effort and stress.

All told, I probably spent two years packing, reducing, downsizing, renovating the house, selling the house and a variety of other tasks before actually physically moving. All these things, while also going through the "normal" parts of life, like working to fund all the associated expenses. Then followed six weeks of frantic activity. Sure, it felt good to get settled in... but I found myself being happy, but completely lacking motivation. I basically found that I just wanted to sit and relax. A "busy day" was going to the grocery and walking on the beach.

As I write these words, I am slowly coming to life again. I have been "gone" for about three months... in a sense, that's how much the move "took out of me." Fortunately for me, I have been able to afford myself the relative luxury of being able to take the time to recover. I realize that not everyone can do such a thing.

Elaine Aron, in The Highly Sensitive Person, writes about how HSPs tend to have "in" periods and "out" periods. I realize now that I had been "out" non-stop for almost 24 months, so the three month "in" period was long overdue.


  1. Dear Peter, morning to you. Someone introduces me to your web page, which I find interesting. How would you define mental exhaustion? Mary

  2. I would characterize it as feeling physically healthy while lacking the ability to focus and engage with the world around me because it's just to tiring to *think* about anything.

  3. What if someone lost interest in life and wishes his life would just come to an end to stop the agony he is going through, would that be mental exhaustion as well?

  4. No, I'd call that a major depression, which would most appropriately be dealt with by consulting a mental health professional or physician.


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