You know those people who are always on the go? Maybe you are one of them. You just keep going. You battle challenge after challenge and you know you are strong enough to take it. So you just keep going. Then one day, something happens. Your body might show signs of revolt by giving way. Perhaps you hit the floor, exhausted. You have nothing left to give. You might discover that you now have an autoimmune disease. Chronic pain. And you just can’t get your mojo back. Your perpetual overdrive has petered out.
Some people call this picture adrenal fatigue, others might experience anxiety, or others might simply say they are stressed out. Whatever you call it, you have burnt the candle at both ends and now you are in a scary place. For some people, there is no coming back to ‘normal’ when the autoimmune sets in, but recovery to a better place is still possible. For many of us, there is still hope to return to your old self.
How do we get to perpetual overdrive?
We arrive at this place of burn out when the perpetual overdrive has run out of steam. This is usually through combating the challenges that life throws at us, and/or by striving too hard. Many clients I have seen for this kind of condition also have anxiety since childhood and fail to notice that they are struggling. They may simply believe that they are born fighters and that they can manage it. When it starts in childhood, that continuous fight seems almost normal, despite the trouble sleeping, the inability to relax, or the bombardment of worrying thoughts.
Sam’s perpetual overdrive, and crash
When he was a child, up to the age of seven, Sam was being raised in a highly dysfunctional home. They had lost his mum to cancer and his Dad was not really cut out for fatherhood. He was a drunk. He would tell Sam that he was not going to pay for any of Sam’s needs, anymore. If Sam needed food, he would have to buy it himself. If he needed toilet paper, he would have to pay for it. To a seven year old boy, the idea that he could starve to death, as well as humiliate himself by not being able to attend to his toileting needs, sent lightning strikes of fear through his little body. The fear for survival was very real for Sam.
Sam was fortunate to be fostered into a caring home, but still he felt alone as far as his future went, without anyone to set him up in life, financially. Anything Sam needed as a young adult, after the fostering was over, he would have to work for. And while that’s not a bad thing, his fear of failure was closely associated with disaster, and so his anxiety was high. Sam was already in perpetual overdrive since his mother died, and well into it by the time he left home. His unconscious mind was well acquainted with it. It was a pattern that Sam’s unconscious knew how to do. “We need to fight to survive or we will perish” was the message that Sam’s unconscious mind had learnt, and was perpetuating.
Sam became a relatively successful business owner, and he did it through striving every single day. Again, while that is not a bad thing in itself, and some would say admirable, it was based on fear. There was always a ‘watch out for danger’ subtext to Sam’s workday operations. He literally lived in fear. He exceeded the expectations of his role and made the satisfaction of his staff a key priority. He made sure everyone else was OK, and he enjoyed seeing it all pay off, but something had to give. He never slept well, since childhood. He was always worried about what could go wrong. He could never relax.
One day, Sam’s body just decided to shut up shop. He developed chronic pain and an autoimmune disease. He came in to see if I could help his get his health back, through tackling his excessive stress.
The most important thing we did was to connect with Sam’s inner child, and we did this through several techniques. We needed that little Sam to understand that he is not that kid anymore, and that now he has choices that he didn’t have when he was a boy. We also needed to tell his unconscious mind that Sam actually handled things well, and so it could stop doing fear and anxiety. While this was not true, it doesn’t matter. It is what the unconscious believes that it important. We also went through some pattern breaking techniques to help Sam release old, stuck responses to life, such as anxious thoughts.
There is a point with some individuals when the stress has gone too far and the body makes changes which are difficult to reverse. So action is necessary BEFORE we get to this stage. But even when a chronic illness sets in, hypnotherapy can help immensely to relieve a lot of that pain, both through pain management, and through emotional healing.
If you need help with perpetual overdrive, we can help. Horizons Clinical Hypnotherapy Sunshine Coast.