20 Chapter One appearances, but something is missing. You find it hard to care as much, or as deeply, as you once did about your work. As time goes by, you realize that you’ve been down so long that it’s hard to remember up. You feel depressed. That feeling may be fleeting or it may hang on like a nit to a strand of hair. If your feelings of depression are ongoing, it is important that you reach out for the help you need. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. escaPe acTiviTies At times the feelings of stress and anxiety build to the point where you need to take the edge off in order to function at all. There are times when you simply need to escape from your its. Methods of escape vary for each of us. Maybe you take the edge off with chocolate, wine, or exercise. Maybe you need to veg out with a few hours of Law and Order reruns a few nights a week. Maybe cruising the Internet helps to clear your head. Maybe five minutes alone in the bathroom without someone twisting the doorknob and asking, “whatchadoin? whatchadoin? whatchadoin?” is your idea of escape. As stress builds, we begin to feel empty, and escape activities are a quick way to put gas into our tanks. addicTions Chronically stressed people often rely so heavily on their favor- ite escape activity that it becomes an addiction. A few pieces of chocolate now and then can turn into an eating disorder; drinks after work once in a while can turn into alcoholism; buying a sexy pair of shoes every few weeks can turn into an uncontrol- lable urge to shop. Escaping from your stress feels good and you want to feel good all the time, which can end up in your losing control over your life. Tensions WiTH faMily and friends The tension with family and friends that Tasha and I experi- enced while we were burning out was incredibly painful and numbing. It’s sad, but the more stress and burnout increase, the