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Core Ideas
  1. Task completion takes precedence over my mental and physical health.
  2. I engage in actively self-destructive behaviors, like emotional eating, to feel alive and dull the pain, while I continue working on tasks.
  3. Things are not helped by engaging in project initiatives spanning years, and where far too much of the time is spent lost in emotionally sterile, often highly technical, weeds.
  4. Part of me knows my perspective and pattern of behavior is insane, and yet at the same time, another part of me believes it is necessary and inevitable...
More Detail

I am becoming more and more aware that at some level I put task-completion at a higher priority than my own mental and physical health. In a more extreme phrasing: My survival as an organism is put as subservient to my todo list.

This is true whether the tasks are externally-generated (say meeting the needs of a client) or entirely self-generated, arising from work on a project whose completeion I care deeply about (like this creation, δroplets).

 

To be more gritty and experiential: It is a frequent experience to find my mind screaming at me that I have been in the technical, emotionally sterile weeds far too long and that I need to feel something (and to simply rest my head and heart). Similarly, my body is screaming at me to move — to run, cycle, dance — again in order to feel something.

Far too often, instead responding to these obvious cries in a healthy manner — exercising, having a deep emotionally connective conversation — I subconsciously (sometimes even consciously...) say to myself that the task at hand is only 1% complete and that that is what matters, that is the priority. And so (for example) I grab a box of , whose ongoing consumption makes me feel alive at a visceral, moment-to-moment, animal level and allows me to "stand" continuing to sit in front of the computer (or similar) for additional minutes, hours, days, weeks — lifetime...

 

A current goal: To truly, genuinely, with creativity and kindness, ask myself the question "How can I make progress on this task, no matter how long it takes, without becoming collateral damage in the process?
(My longtime S.O./girlfriend suggests the right question to ask, more ambitious, is how to have fun with everything, whether work related, a health concern, etc. I have been working on that, including handing out fun Squirrel++ postcards at recent medical appointments. 🙂 )

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Additional thoughts, caveats, references, etc.