Overdrive (Part 2 in the Date with Destiny Series)

by | Mar 9, 2015 | Anxiety, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Continued from Date with Destiny – Part I.
Please read Part I first.

I am proud to come from a line of hard working, stoic German farmers whose family motto was work hard, play hard.  My problem is that I have the work hard thing down cold. Play hard…not so much.  I once heard a cousin describe this tendency as Overdrive.  That word resonated so much with me that it became a prominent theme of my journey.

This is how Overdrive looks in my life…The idea of mediocrity screams FAILURE. There’s no such thing as giving up, just work harder to overcome any issues that crop up. Oh, by the way, asking for help equals giving up. Emotions are held deep inside because, frankly, they are awkward and don’t move me any closer to the goal. The norm is to become so obsessed with the achievement du jour that many other important aspects of life suffer. It doesn’t matter if it’s work or hobby. Overdrive does not discriminate.  Long hours, laser focus, nothing less than perfect will do. One of my therapists calls it Too Much Activity combined with Perfectionism. I call it Overdrive.

Here’s the thing about Overdrive. The world loves it. It  yields feel-good things like praise, promotion, and all kinds of success. Once you have a reputation for Overdrive, people want you on their team. You become the “go-to” girl, admired, respected, and celebrated. And after you experience that kind of recognition, you start chasing the high again and again.

Yes, perfectionism and overdrive are drugs. Just as addictive as popping pills or chugging drink, Overdrive becomes a way to numb the pain and fill the void. Except like drugs or alcohol, the high never lasts. Overdrive addiction is dangerous. Very dangerous. It does not carry the stigma of other addictions. You don’t try to keep it a secret. In fact the world just keeps offering more. More opportunities, more requests, more favors, more, more, more. And you are striving, and perfecting, and controlling, and consenting. You are building a kingdom that cannot stand.  The weight of it will eventually crush you. And this is the irony of it all. My kingdom would indeed fall, but then the quest for true freedom would begin.

The Date with Destiny Series unveils the story of my seemingly charmed life resulting in a physical and emotional breakdown.  It is coming, indeed.  But before my world falls apart, there is a past to explore.  Where was this Overdrive born?  When was the seed planted?  I have a few theories.  Stay tuned for those in the next chapter of the Date with Destiny Series:  Roots.

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