During my days as a witness, which was only about 10 years ending circa 1981, most of my memories revolve around how totally exhausted I always felt. Toward the last, I was dragging my family out to the five meetings a week and working fulltime and getting my quota of publisher hours on the little sheet every month, even doing the temporary pioneering bit now and again. When I had the ministry school, I even worked a four day week to be able to give every talk on the program in case someone did not show up, which frequently happened in our little congregation west of Fort Worth, TX. I then moved further west to the Wichita Falls area, where the need (and demands on my time) were even greater. At the urging of the circuit overseer, I began attending meetings at a very small congregation in Vernon, TX, where I recall there were only a couple of elders, and I was kind of a floating "utility" elder, wearing lots of hats, not to mention driving about 40 miles one way to meetings. After what seemed like an eternity of this, (a couple of years), I just couldn't do it anymore. The first opportunity I got, I accepted a job out of state in Alabama. While I was waiting to move my family out, I did not attend meetings, and it felt soooo good! I determined that I had to get out, so after years of not having a cigarette, I started smoking again so I would be disfellowshipped...that worked. I know how stupid that sounds, but you would have had to be in my skin to understand. I stopped smoking again about a year after I escaped. I have had lots of rough patches since then, recovering from alcoholism and losing my family (my ex is still a practicing JW). That being said, I have not looked back. My daughter once asked me if I was concerned about not living forever. My reply was "honey, I am so tired, I will welcome the rest". Even today it makes me mentally tired to think about how I ran myself and my family into the ground back those many years ago. Anyone else had that experience? Or was I just a wimp?