What have I learnt from persistent mental tiredness?

Long post warning.

I’ve had an introspective afternoon and felt the urge to write shit down. Be warned this is a long post of self loathing, self discovery, a bit of swearing, but mostly self loathing.

Breaking this post down for those not interested in reading long form writing is as follows:

If there is one thing that working in the job I have for the last 12 months has taught me, it’s that mental tiredness is more difficult to overcome than physical tiredness.

For those happy to read long form posts, feel free to read on.

When I worked on a fruit farm, I was active, on my feet, lifting, moving, building, digging, planting, pruning, picking and packing stuff for 8-10hrs a day, 5 days a week. Nothing herculean, but all the same, pretty active.

On top of this though, I would also lift weights (medium to quite heavy weights – 1.5 x bodyweight on most compound lifts) 2-3 times a week and sometimes go for a short distance sprint once or twice a week too.

All of this was physically demanding, but I grew to live with it. My body would ache, twinge and generally moan at me most days, but I grew strong from it all, both physically and mentally.

For the first few years of working on the farm I didn’t really exercise outside of work. I had taken a few years off of exercising to ‘find myself’ as it were and eventually I came back to exercising after a couple of years of working on the farm.

After 3-6 months I started to feel physically tired most days. Until I realised that it was due to me under-eating and so I changed my diet (e.g added more food in) and I no longer had the day in day out tiredness. I would find I had some kind of muscle ache from my workouts or working on the farm pretty much most days, but the physical tiredness disappeared (except for exceptionally heavy weight lifting days – e.g squat and deadlift 1 rep pr’s) once I upped my food in take.

But I realised that I was under eating pretty quickly really and was able to change my habits accordingly.

Skip a few years and fast forward to 12 months ago, when I changed jobs to one far less physically demanding and one more mentally demanding and things took a massive diversion and for the worse.

A little enlightening for those that read this and don’t know what I do:

I get up in the middle of the night at 2-3am for 4 out of the 5 days I work and I work for anything between 8-12hrs. I drive for 2 to 5hrs each of those 4 days, delivering our orders and then I get back to base and work in the kitchen making fresh organic cold pressed juices for the rest of my daily hours.

Not so difficult you might think? Well, that’s what I thought when I first started anyway. Compared to the farm work, this was going to be a walk in the country.

Fucking idiot.

I’ve struggled to get to sleep before 9pm most work nights for this whole 12 months, barely getting 5-6hrs sleep most work nights. And believe me I have tried various different wind down patterns in the evenings, changing my eating, relaxation techniques, supplements etc.

But slowly and surely I became mentally exhausted as the weeks and months went by.

I’ve gone from doing 2-3 workouts a week at the beginning of this new job, using the same weights, reps and sets that I was doing on the farm to doing 2 to 1 to zero some weeks of far less weight, reps and sets.

I’ve ignored the slow but obvious signs of mental exhaustion creeping up on me and then also tried to ignore the negative physical signs this mental state was then having on me too.

It’s taken me pretty much this whole 12 months to properly realise what affect this is having and has had on my overall health, which is fucking stupid, considering the experience I have gained over the last 10-15yrs.

The previous 10-15yrs I’ve always used myself as a guinea pig to try new workouts, new foods, new supplements etc, trying to find a way of being fit and healthy that fitted in with the lifestyle I wanted to lead.

And I’ve done pretty well.

Up until this last 12 months though badger balls.

Well, let’s not be too hard on myself (my mood is brightening as I write) I have still done pretty well the last 12 months if I compare myself to most other people.

Apologies to most other people.

But, then I’ve grown to consider myself not like most other people.

Thinking about it maybe I am like other people, but they just don’t write their mental shit down like me?

Fuck knows.

In no way, shape or form do I think I’m an athlete, nor do I want to be. That shit is for those people far younger and way more talented sporting wise than I’ve ever been.

But the consistency and habits that I’ve formed over the last 15yrs really were starting to show 12 months ago in that I rarely if ever got ill. I rarely if ever got injured (unless I was getting a bag of sugar out of the cupboard at a funny angle – don’t fucking ask!) and I always felt confident, strong and healthy and just as important, I was mentally strong for one of the first times in my life.

When life got me down, I simply turned to some form of exercise to cheer myself up and it would normally work. A heavy squatting or deadlift session would lift even the dullest or foulest of moods.

A quick 5-10 min sprint on the treadmill would awaken my mind like not even the strongest coffee could.

A sluggish start to the day for my body could be awoken with a healthy meal and a few pints of water and the day was mine to boss.

And yet the last 12 months I seem to have forgotten all this. I seem to have allowed my health, fitness and mental abilities to wane, become clouded and misguided. And when I say misguided, I literally mean misguided, but strangely by myself none-the-less.

My own mind has played tricks on me the little watery, weird, tubey, fleshy fucking thing.

But then I suppose my brain hasn’t experienced the mental exhaustion that it has these last 12 months, so how was it going to react?

Like a sloth that’s smoked an ounce of the finest Dutch weed, that’s how.

Anyways. I’m back, I’m me again, fucked if I’m going to let this shit continue any more. I’ve seen the fucking light and I’ve pulled my brain out of the darkness and towards the light, screaming, shouting, crying liking a little fucking baby, thrown myself through it and landed on my fucking head with my dick in my face.

Ahem, excuse me, I got a bit carried away there.

I mean, I’m bendy, just not THAT bendy.

The reality of it is that I got a shiny sharp razor blade and scrapped the slimey membrane of shitty darkness that had covered it from 12 months of consistent lack of sleep, lack of a proper, moderated, balanced eating as well as a lack of regular exercise and realised that the real me is still here, the real me that I worked so fucking hard on for a decade and a half.

I’ve had new experiences in the past and I’ve learnt from them. I’ve just had a new experience and it’s now time to learn from it.

The best thing I’ve learnt?

I’m still fucking here!

In all my balding, midget, feisty gloriousness and I’m not going anywhere you hairy badger balled motherfucker.

Ahem, right, I feel better now.

Where was I?

Ah yes. So consistent mental tiredness has been one of the single most toughest things I’ve ever had to overcome. End of.

And you know what? I’ve had to overcome some tough obstacles you know.

Not so tough as a surviving a war zone, or an oppressive government, but you know, some tough western shit.

And I’m going to lay it all out here, because I need to. I don’t give a fuck if no one reads this, I just need to write this shit down, it’s time to dim the lights.

Drug abuse. Imprisonment (not drug related). Yet more drug abuse and even some drug dealing too. The loss of school friends taken away by judgmental parents not wanting their dear one’s to mingle with trouble makers. The death of a father that I never knew of until it was too late.

And there’s even personal shit that I’m too scared to write down at the moment, even how I feel right now isn’t dark enough to admit that I need to write it down. Maybe another day. Fucking chicken shit.

So.

Fucking rainbows and unicorns. Mothballs and butterflies. What the actual fuck?

Life is fucking amazing and fucking shit all at the same time.

I’m a westerner living a life of luxury most easterners (and some westerners) can’t comprehend and here I am self loathing and wallowing in shit.

Fuck it. It is what it is. It’s a big fucking world and we all have a life to lead.

Here’s mine, for you to read about or to ignore.

Fuck me. Where’d this post come from, go and end up?

Border line narcissist? Possibly. If I knew what it meant. Most likely I’ve just written it down to try and sound clever.

Mentally unstable? Quite probably. But I blame the lack of sleep.

Fucks given? None.

I am what I am. My mood needs lightening. Fuck a weights workout, I’m putting on my 20kg weights vest and doing a 20 minute walk on the treadmill.

Yeah. I’m back. Fucking hardcore.

Until next time…

WeeMike

 

 

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