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  1. #1
    Senior Member jimrckhnd's Avatar
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    Default Beating fatigue and getting beat

    I’m reaching the end of a long hard two year grind at work. During that time six day weeks and 55 hour weeks were not just common but the norm. The project involved me being away from home with infrequent visits and frankly stressed my skills past where I thought they would fail: the complexity is way beyond what was expected and past what I ever dealt with before. Results have been good and I’m close to wrapping up and going home. But I’m not sure how tough these last few months will be and, frankly, what I’m going to be and be like when its all over. I should feel great, perhaps exhilarated but I just feel empty.

    As you might guess there are several axis of stress at work. The first obviously physiological stress: I’m tired, really tired, I need three weeks on the beach doing nothing tired. There is psychological and intellectual stress of pushing the envelope for so long: this thing has literally taken over my life and I’m nearly always thinking about it. The last axis of stress is emotional: this place has never been home and I’ve always lived with a light footprint. I know I miss my books, my music… my stuff. I also miss my wife or at least the idea of having a normal home life.

    Lately I’ve found my emotions are getting harder and harder to manage. My temper is a bit frayed, and I find my emotions in general are oscillating at a level that is becoming a… distraction. I’m getting episodes of despair that can last anywhere from 5 minutes until I can get to sleep. I’ve struck up a friendship with a woman that is not inappropriate but is very intense: a phone call or a visit can elevate my mood instantly. A very empathetic friend of mine tells me that the intensity of my friendship is an artifact of physically and emotionally isolating myself for such a long time from friends, family and the familiar. This is a bit out of character for me: I've dealt with stressful situations before and I've always been able to compartmentalize my emotions and manage them.

    The question is for the other NT’s is: have you ever found that deep fatigue can make it difficult to manage your emotions. If so – how do you go about managing them effectively at times of intense stress? Additionally how do you go about recovering and are there are any approaches or strategies you have found effective?
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

  2. #2
    Senior Member Helios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimrckhnd View Post
    The question is for the other NT’s is: have you ever found that deep fatigue can make it difficult to manage your emotions. If so – how do you go about managing them effectively at times of intense stress? Additionally how do you go about recovering and are there are any approaches or strategies you have found effective?
    Posting in threads about Feminism.

  3. #3
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Usually a period of time where I just get back to doing the things I enjoy. The outside world - work, friends, family, circumstances, etc. - have a way of taking you out of your zone. And that's good at times but, ultimately, you have to get back to being you.

    Whether it's taking an entire weekend to yourself and just tuning things out or, in a case like yours, maybe taking a couple weeks and kicking back and getting rejuvinated, it's important to do that. I remember years ago after getting out of the military, I just went to school and relaxed for a solid 6 months. Wouldn't you know it, I started to feel like myself again.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  4. #4
    Senior Member jimrckhnd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    Usually a period of time where I just get back to doing the things I enjoy. The outside world - work, friends, family, circumstances, etc. - have a way of taking you out of your zone. And that's good at times but, ultimately, you have to get back to being you.

    Whether it's taking an entire weekend to yourself and just tuning things out or, in a case like yours, maybe taking a couple weeks and kicking back and getting rejuvinated, it's important to do that. I remember years ago after getting out of the military, I just went to school and relaxed for a solid 6 months. Wouldn't you know it, I started to feel like myself again.
    So... the answer is the obvious ("Doc, it hurts when I do this." "Then don't do that!" ).

    Actually I just did take a weekend with friends - two days off with nothing but the pool, a good book and lots of good food (left the cell off and the laptop at home). Oddly enough today I'm exhausted - but feeling as good as I've felt in months.

    I had a similar experiance to your when I got out the military (compunded by a concurrent divorce) - it took me a year of being engaged just enough with the outside world to not get fired and just reading and resting to feel good and normal again.

    I have had this image in my head that I had thought was more escapist fantasy than anything else: two or three weeks alone on the Cape or down in St. Martin sitting on the beach. If you are correct that "fantasy" may be less immature than I thought and may well be not a bad idea.
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

  5. #5
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    1. Being at a pool *with friends* wouldn't necessarily count as "downt time" for me. I'd be exhausted the next day from the interaction - just like you mention. I've learned that the absolute best way for me to truly recharge my batteries is alone time. Sometimes I get alone time at work - which is great - because then I'm able to go out with friends on the weekends and at night during the week. In careers where heavy extroverting is required, I would spend all weekend trying to recharge and getting ready for Monday. You have to know what truly recharges your batteries - you have to know your own body and yourself. If I don't get any recharge time for several weeks and I'm just going, going, going all the time - I sometimes end up getting sick.

    2. If you hate your career, then no matter how many vacations you take to St. Martin, you're always going to have to go back to work eventually. So, it's been my experience that while you're on vacation, you'll have work in the back of your mind. "10 more days and I'll be back at work again. Wonderful!" So, it's important to find a career, a niche, that you don't absolutely hate and dread going to - otherwise no amount of vacation is going to cure the dread. Vacation helps, but you still have to go back. If you can find something that you have some passion towards, start working towards that. I still say entrepreneurial would be much more enjoyable to INTP's than most of us realize. Reason: We get to call the shots, creative control, be your own boss, you can create "built-in" flexibility, etc. And yes, owning your own business would mean that you would have to "work hard."
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  6. #6
    Senior Member jimrckhnd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    1. Being at a pool *with friends* wouldn't necessarily count as "downt time" for me. I'd be exhausted the next day from the interaction - just like you mention. I've learned that the absolute best way for me to truly recharge my batteries is alone time. Sometimes I get alone time at work - which is great - because then I'm able to go out with friends on the weekends and at night during the week. In careers where heavy extroverting is required, I would spend all weekend trying to recharge and getting ready for Monday. You have to know what truly recharges your batteries - you have to know your own body and yourself. If I don't get any recharge time for several weeks and I'm just going, going, going all the time - I sometimes end up getting sick.

    2. If you hate your career, then no matter how many vacations you take to St. Martin, you're always going to have to go back to work eventually. So, it's been my experience that while you're on vacation, you'll have work in the back of your mind. "10 more days and I'll be back at work again. Wonderful!" So, it's important to find a career, a niche, that you don't absolutely hate and dread going to - otherwise no amount of vacation is going to cure the dread. Vacation helps, but you still have to go back. If you can find something that you have some passion towards, start working towards that. I still say entrepreneurial would be much more enjoyable to INTP's than most of us realize. Reason: We get to call the shots, creative control, be your own boss, you can create "built-in" flexibility, etc. And yes, owning your own business would mean that you would have to "work hard."
    Interesting you mention getting sick. I've had an odd (for me) collection of opportunistic infections since I got here - a couple of bad cases of bronchitis, an actual case of H1N1 and two staph infections on my legs (thorn sticks from field work). I haven't seen the doctor this much in this space of time in my life. I have a bad tendency to think I’m “bullet proof” and can handle anything – until I realize I can’t. I put great stock in the power of the will and while for the most part that is okay – a large can of “suck it up” goes a long way to solving many of life’s problems.

    Taking the time to spend the weekend with friends was exhausting on one level. On the other hand it’s the first time I spent an entire weekend doing nothing work related in months. I felt the psychological benefits of reducing my social isolation and getting away from work were worth whatever extra fatigue I might have felt. It also helped that I was spending a great deal of time with somebody I have grown very fond of in the past several months. I did the cost/benefit analysis and felt that, in balance, it was a good deal.

    But I take your point that time alone is probably in order. The issue being I need the space and time to be alone where I won’t be consumed with work. I think it would require that I change physical location as well – sitting in my apartment for the weekend would be a disaster I think: I’d end up bored, lonely and still thinking of work. That may not be possible until this is over.

    I really love the work I'm doing and am more than satisfied with my career. It's just its been so intense the last couple of years - esp. the last year - that I am finding myself well dug into a rut in the sense that I am almost always "working" in one way or the other. As I mentioned 6 days a week is the norm and when I do socialize it’s normally with my team: meaning you always end up tossing ideas and issues around.

    Blah. I seem to have painted myself into a nice corner. Maybe the best thing I can do is just put my head down, power through this last few months and just tell the boss “see ya in three weeks” when I wrap up. Go sit on the beach and eat clams.
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

  7. #7
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimrckhnd View Post
    Interesting you mention getting sick. I've had an odd (for me) collection of opportunistic infections since I got here - a couple of bad cases of bronchitis, an actual case of H1N1 and two staph infections on my legs (thorn sticks from field work). I haven't seen the doctor this much in this space of time in my life. I have a bad tendency to think I’m “bullet proof” and can handle anything – until I realize I can’t. I put great stock in the power of the will and while for the most part that is okay – a large can of “suck it up” goes a long way to solving many of life’s problems.
    Yeah, I know for me, it's like my body starts to "break down". As a child I got sick all the time - I was constantly sick and, looking back, I know why. It's because I was constantly in extroverted environments with my extroverted family - and I often felt drained and overwhelmed - and sick. As soon as I got out on my own and got my own place as a teenager, I started taking a lot more down time and I stopped getting sick. I hardly ever get sick anymore. If I do get sick once every 3 years or whatever, it's almost always when I haven't had down time for long periods of time. Many extroverts like to say it's "in your head", but a lot of introverts understand very clearly the consequences of not getting enough introvert time.

    Taking the time to spend the weekend with friends was exhausting on one level. On the other hand it’s the first time I spent an entire weekend doing nothing work related in months. I felt the psychological benefits of reducing my social isolation and getting away from work were worth whatever extra fatigue I might have felt. It also helped that I was spending a great deal of time with somebody I have grown very fond of in the past several months. I did the cost/benefit analysis and felt that, in balance, it was a good deal.
    Yeah, you were around people you're familiar with and whose company you enjoy - which was a welcome relief to what you had been going through in previous weeks. So, I'm sure it felt refreshing on some levels. But, also, I'm sure you know how good it feels after you get a few days to yourself too.

    But I take your point that time alone is probably in order. The issue being I need the space and time to be alone where I won’t be consumed with work. I think it would require that I change physical location as well – sitting in my apartment for the weekend would be a disaster I think: I’d end up bored, lonely and still thinking of work. That may not be possible until this is over.
    Oh, I guess I didn't realize that it was still going on. I thought you were done with that particular situation.

    I really love the work I'm doing and am more than satisfied with my career. It's just its been so intense the last couple of years - esp. the last year - that I am finding myself well dug into a rut in the sense that I am almost always "working" in one way or the other. As I mentioned 6 days a week is the norm and when I do socialize it’s normally with my team: meaning you always end up tossing ideas and issues around.
    I see. You enjoy what you do - you just want to be able to get away from it once in a while. I think you've got to find a way to get away once in a while. One legitimate vacation per year - maybe more. To keep yourself fresh. I like taking "mini vacations" - where I'll take like a Monday/Tuesday off work and end up with a 4 day weekend. Or take a Monday off and get a 3-day weekend. I try to do this throughout the year, 4 to 6 times. And then if I have more vacation time on the books, then I'll take another week or two vacation on top of those. Spread it out.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  8. #8
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I've experienced this, I still occasionally experience it and I know also about the intensity thing, I've experienced that too.

    In my case the intense friendship actually turned into an abortive attempt at a relationship, with each of us at different times thinking it was a good idea and changing our minds, we're not in contact anymore and its not something I would have choosen but it has made me wary of my potential to behave like this when my own self is taxed to the limit or overtaxed.

    I think there's a physical and mental link, I'm convinced of a mind-body relationship to mood but besides just advice about getting sleep or exercise which is easier said than done I dont know what to say. I know that at the minute I'm tired a lot of the time, sometimes falling asleep when I mean to go out and stuff like that, fitful sleep during the night too sometimes. Its all an indicator that I'm stressed and need to slow down but I'm trying different things to see what works, also trying to generally improve my diet and exercise.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jimrckhnd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I've experienced this, I still occasionally experience it and I know also about the intensity thing, I've experienced that too.

    In my case the intense friendship actually turned into an abortive attempt at a relationship, with each of us at different times thinking it was a good idea and changing our minds, we're not in contact anymore and its not something I would have choosen but it has made me wary of my potential to behave like this when my own self is taxed to the limit or overtaxed.
    Both of us are married and I THINK we have put some firm boundaries around our friendship. However, I am very aware that at times of great stress that Fe can come roaring out and just roll right over top my normal controls.

    [/QUOTE] I think there's a physical and mental link, I'm convinced of a mind-body relationship to mood but besides just advice about getting sleep or exercise which is easier said than done I dont know what to say. I know that at the minute I'm tired a lot of the time, sometimes falling asleep when I mean to go out and stuff like that, fitful sleep during the night too sometimes. Its all an indicator that I'm stressed and need to slow down but I'm trying different things to see what works, also trying to generally improve my diet and exercise.[/QUOTE]

    No doubt there is a link. With the feedback I'm getting I've resolved to eat better and get at least a little excercise each day - even if its just a walk.
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

  10. #10
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimrckhnd View Post

    No doubt there is a link. With the feedback I'm getting I've resolved to eat better and get at least a little excercise each day - even if its just a walk.
    I totally agree with this. I know when I am stressed I want to sleep. I may have to be dragged out of the house but a walk or bike ride will do wonders too. Even mowing the grass makes me feel better afterwards.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

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