Introvert Exhaustion

October 25, 2017

in Confessions

I've been gone a while. 

I needed to do some major reprioritizing in my life.

And I can't do that if I'm continuing to do all of the things I have decided I will do.

So I left. But I'm back. I think.

This is a long one so hang with me here.

I like to think of myself as a creative person with an entrepreneurial spirit. I get crazy ideas. I have things I REALLY like. And I like to try to turn those things I love or those crazy ideas into a way to make money. Because who doesn't want to do what they love and get paid for it?

I've had many schemes over the years because I know I've always been paid a whole lot less than my educational credentials say I should. I've always needed a few extra dollars. I've tried selling makeup and purses. Neither went well. They should have a warning label on anything that asks you to sell a product. "No matter how much YOU like this product, you will have to talk to lots of people to sell it. Introverts need not apply."

So I failed at sales. 

I love makeup so I started a YouTube chanel. And it was really fun for a few years. Until I got to the point where I realized I am just out-financed. I do not have spare money to go drop a grand at Sephora. Or even to pick up all the new things at the drugstore. And while I like panning projects, they do not spark joy (to use a KonMari idea). I didn't want to end up in that pigeon hole. So I just quit making videos one day.

I also love to cross stitch. I started filming floss tube videos. But I realized that this too fueled my desire to have more. I want to more and more projects, where as before I was satisfied with just having one really big project that would occupy me for a while. The last large one I did took 4 years.

I really love writing. That's why I started this blog in the first place. It's had many directions and faces over the years, but it has remained truly mine. A space that I acn change at will. A space that doesn't make me want more. Writing is entirely free (once you have writing materials of course). I can sit down at my computer or at the table with a pen and paper and just write. 

But I've gotten away from that.

I've tried to make this space too commercial and in that, tried to write what I thought other people wanted to read.

I tried to cook dinners my family would eat.

I've kept up with feeding and care of all of our reptiles and bugs (to feed to the reptiles). Another money making scheme. But at least this one has cute reptiles and Ryan (my SO) is doing it with me.

I tried too hard to please people.

And what was happening is that I was neglecting myself entirely. I was spending all of my time trying to make sure my household is running and everyone is safe, healthy and happy after I finished working at my full time job (which has odd hours as I attend local events). I would try to squeeze in things like filming, exercise and writing into the time I had left. Which was at the end of my energy.

But I'm a self-starter. No matter how bad the day before was, I'm going to start each day with a fresh attitude until I find a reason to be otherwise. I also don't get to see Ryan during the week because I work days and he works nights. And that means that if I'm really upset one day – like I don't want to discuss this over the phone upset, I've usually gotten over it temporarily by the time the weekend rolls around. 

Then one day I was getting ready to film a makeup video around midnight and discovered I was dreading doing it. If I dread it then why am I doing it? Sure some things I dread like putting away the laundry or cleaning the boys' toilet just have to be done. But I did not HAVE to film a video.

So I didn't.

I have introvert exhaustion.

I am almost never alone. I go to work, there are people there. My job is to talk to people and write news stories. We have 4 kids. Someone is always home. I get a couple hours a week while the boys are at karate. And that hour goes by so fast! I almost always spend it cleaning.

There are 3 major signs of introvert exhaustion:

1. You lose interest in things that once excited you. Life in general isn't interesting to you anymore. You just feel sad. This looks a lot like depression. And it may go hand in hand with depression. But it may also just be exhaustion. Honestly, depression medications short term can help with exhaustion in my experience. Talk to your doctor if you think you need some extra help.

*If you feel like harming yourself or others, please get help immediately. Call 911 or 1-800-273-8255.

2. You are actually exhausted. No matter how much sleep you get it doesn't feel like enough. You may spend days feeling like you are in a dream or in a brain haze.

3. You feel anxious or on edge. Things that normally wouldn't be a blip on your radar are now causing you to feel stressed and anxious. You may feel stressed and anxious about nothing, or feeling exhauted (letting someone down), or if you have finally gone crazy, or anything at all.

I'm exhausted.

So I took a giant step back and looked around. What I saw wasn't good. It was too much. Too cluttered. Too busy.

So I started simplifying.

And once I got started, it was like a steam roller.

I did not document any of the things I did.

In order to purge emotionally, I must purge physically. So I did.

And I was not purging emotionally because something is terribly wrong. I am quite happy with my life. It just had too many layers so I couldn't focus on the things I truly love. My family, my friends, time to just be.

So I'm not going to be filming for my YouTube channel anymore. At least for now. Nothing is impossible. But for now, I'm decluttering YouTube. I may not watch YouTube for a while either. I'm working on changing my entire mentality and YouTube won't help.

Also, I'm not going to stress out about how many blog posts I have. I may have one a month, I may have 5 a week. I'll write when I have something to write about.

If you have made it all the way through this post, thank you. If you have experienced introvert exhaustion or have some great tips to avoid it, leave a comment!

I'll talk more about the physical purging and what changes are going on with my house and my family in a later blog post. 

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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Angela S. October 25, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Hey, I feel you -I struggle to find what I want to do and the time and energy to do it. I've tried the selling things gig -and yeah as an introvert not really my thing even though the being my own boss/not typical work hours appeal to me. Currently I have a job at a school but, I know eventually I will have to figure out something else -or winning the lottery would be great too   😉

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