Exhausted, stressed and need some coping strategies for hard times
February 20, 2014 12:18 AM Subscribe
I'm exhausted and burned out from a work project that's been going on for the past six months and won't be done for another 2-4 weeks. A week and a half ago, my dad was diagnosed with cancer, and his prognosis is not good. I need some strategies for dealing with all of this when I already feel like I'm close to the breaking point. Details below.
posted by SockISalmon to Human Relations (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
1. My work. I've been doing litigation support for a trial. It's been tremendously stressful for a lot of reasons: The litigation team is really demands perfect work done in a ridiculously short time farm. My boss for this project is a terrible communicator. The hours I have to work are long and super-inconvenient (evening and weekend shifts mean that I miss out on the only time I have to spend with my husband, late hours mean that I don't have a consistent sleep schedule.). I feel like I have very little time to myself, that most of my non-work hours are spent exercising or doing the laundry or other mundane chores. This has been going on for more than six months now and will continue for at least a few weeks. I'm already burned out and exhausted and was looking forward to some downtime once the case is over. I've been told I can take as much time off as I need, but the team is small and if I take an extended amount of time off before the case is over, it will be extraordinarily difficult for my co-workers, many of whom have helped me a lot through the past months.
2. My dad's illness. My mom is not being super-detailed about this, but I understand from her that the prognosis for him is not good. I don't know what the time frame is for him. I'm starting to make plans to visit in mid-March (mom's suggestion).
I love my parents dearly, but I find interacting with them utterly exhausting. I'm an introvert and need quiet alone time to recharge, and they fundamentally do not get that. There is always enormous pressure for me to interact, not just with them, but with whatever random people they want to spend time with. They live in another state and if I visit, I have to stay with them at their house, or it will be A Thing. And the last thing I want is to create hurt feelings right now.
I feel particularly awful for feeling this way right now. I love my Dad and am devastated that he doesn't have much time left. I know this isn't the sort of thing that can wait until I'm emotionally ready to deal with it, and the only answer is to keep pushing through. It's just that I already feel like I've used up all of my emotional energy for work for the last few months, and am pretty close to falling apart. I'm terrified that I'll do or say something awful because I've just reached my limit of my self-control.
Since I got the news about my dad, I've had trouble sleeping, which of course doesn't help with the exhaustion.
If anyone has felt something similar to this, and has some coping strategies for getting through something like this when you're already stressed out and exhausted, I would greatly appreciate it.