Workaholic (noun) /wəːkəˈhɒlɪk/
A person who compulsively works long and hard hours.
You must be wondering why I have decided to make a pseudo come-back with this topic. Well, I have because it is one of the solid excuses I gave to myself for not publishing any posts in over a year. I told myself that I was a workaholic and all I wanted to do was work long hours into the night in pursuit of my budding career as an Architect. Make no mistake, I have achieved some great milestones from this relentlessness and I don’t regret the hard work. But, I somehow believed that I was a workaholic until the COVID-19 pandemic forced us all to work from home.
Then I found out the real truth about myself…
I had become an escapist and not a workaholic. Matter of fact? I was far from being a workaholic. All I did was work because it was the closest earplug to the audio from the outstanding issues and empty spaces I had within my life.
Closing your eyes isn’t going to change anything. Nothing’s going to disappear just because you can’t see what’s going on. In fact, things will even be worse the next time you open your eyes. That’s the kind of world we live in. Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes. Closing your eyes and plugging up your ears won’t make time stand still.”
I currently live alone and all this while, I tried my best to keep myself occupied and steadily accelerated to avoid my revs going too low to the point where I had to actually confront the issues I necessarily had to confront. I was always on the move and didn’t pause or stop to allow these issues come to me.
Well, I guess the universe had other plans for me because although I tried to hold myself up, 2 weeks into the lock down, I broke down. I was on auto-pilot for a whole week. I slept through the days and dreaded the nights. I fell back on my job delivery times and I wasn’t meeting up with work at all because my mind had became a tray full of things I didn’t want to look at.
I ignored my own mind for a whole 8 days until I decided to take my shades off and actually look and men was it a crime scene! Apparently I had created a trap door from the first floor of my mind to a dump site in the basement. I created a space in my head and just threw any unpleasant situations through the door. I forgot that piling dirt up was foreplay to decay. The situations had grown worse and reeked from sheer lack of attention.
For a while, I stood back to stare at them and for those 8 days, tried to cover them up but they didn’t go away. I was angry with the fact that I couldn’t “handle my business” and I began to judge and punish myself for my “weakness”. I mocked myself and gave in to shame and momentary depression and it unfortunately coincided with the worst part of my cycle. I tried music, diving head-on back into work, crying and whole lot of other things to just make the thoughts go away until I just stopped.
I found a guided meditation video on Youtube and then my journey began. I started to recognize these issues through the stench, the flies and the heat and I realised that I just had to confront them to make them go away. I currently am not even done recognizing them but best believe I am going to see this through for my mental health. I guess the universe gave me a blessing even in these trying times and everyday I wake up, I express gratitude to the universe for giving me this opportunity and to myself for accepting it.
If you are in a situation where you keep telling yourself and people around you that you are a workaholic, think again and be sure that you are not just an escapist like me.
Thanks for taking the time to share this post with me. I also look forward to many more as time unfolds.
Nduka Ifeoma C.
Architectural & Graphics Designer
N/B: Please stay safe and updated about the pandemic and how it affects you and your location. I pray we get out of this situation unscathed and stronger.