This Sunday, I have hit an adrenaline crash. The worst I have had. In fact, I am not sure I have even had such a thing before. Typically, a big deadline finishes and I run straight into the next one. Because it is about the journey of working through it rather than just the emotion of getting somewhere, my road keeps on going.
I think this time, the adrenaline peaked so much that it got me to a different stage. Both at work and at UPG, I pushed it so much beyond the limit, in parallel, that it did become about making it through. The big gala on Friday night was the peak of it. And it was a success.
On Saturday, we still had some of the euphoria so I continued my normal schedule, quickly making my way to the next task ahead, the refit of our annual report, making use of the little energy I had left to efficiently work through the 1.5 hour delay on my flight and 1.5 hour commute from Luton to my home.
As Sunday came, my body realised I wasn’t going to take any break. So I crashed.
What does an adrenaline crash mean?
Nothing bad happened, don’t worry. But through the day, I reduced my activities to minimal effort. And through the 3 times Hubby B asked if I was ok, my only answer was
‘I am just really tired’
It is not unusual for me to be tired (duh); what is unusual is that it makes me unresponsive.
I went into withdrawal quickly. My mind took the same train as my body and wanted nothing to do with any sort of emotions. I managed myself to a 6 year old birthday party with 23 kids playing bowling and restricted my interactions with the 2 mothers I usually hang out with, or none. Yes, at some point I chose to sit in a separate table and hang out with some french fries. When not even the fries tasted good, I knew I was truly off.
What to do with it?
Awareness and acceptance. Usually I am AAA – awareness, acceptance and action. In fact, ACT is all about action. And I have mentioned before that doing or getting things done is often the best way for me to deal with mood swings. But there was no swing here really. I was down in a hole and there was not even sight of a rope. Luckily, it was not a dark hole, as I came into it post the joy of the gala.
But I was definitely sitting down, and the only movement my body or mind would allow at that moment was to lie down.
So that’s what I did. It really was a proper hangover. I used the least amount of resources possible throughout the day and just laid down in bed with my journal (and admittedly my WhatsApp) and that was the plan for the night. I went to sleep early (granted not as early as another human being would have gone) and took a hot water bag to give my muscles some comfort.
The next day
Even though I did not wake up refreshed – you don’t recover sleep or adrenaline in a day – I felt closer to normal. I feared this would not be a good day at work because I had so much to go through after having been out on Friday. And topped with having no energy I was not looking forward to start the week behind.
It is funny the mind and the body and how they interact. I started the first few hours of the day with a migraine wanting to kick in, and that immediately made me not speed up. I deliberately avoided any strong emotions or any feeling of stress. By the afternoon, the migraine did not kick in and actually disappeared and there was also no point in rushing by then. Whatever was not done was just not done. And Mondays are just like that anyway.
After the Crash
My body and mind have clearly had a rush that is unusual. I am a ‘busy’ person but I rarely put myself through stress. Pressure, deadlines, multi-tasking, challenges – those are things that generally make me perform and do all the things I do. Not stress. More often than not stress stays away. There is no space in my life for peaks and crashes.
I trust this will serve me a lesson, so I can brace if I ever adrenaline crash again. Or maybe book myself a spa day before I do so.