Nothing in me has the energy left to fake being okay. Until now I have not let myself let my hair down ANYWHERE or in front of ANYONE. You know what that did? I have randomly over the last month sent emails I regret, made social posts I wish I could take back and admitted defeat to my husband. All of the above have previously been things I just did not allow myself to do. None of this sits well with me. None of it.
I cannot take back the emails I sent to my bosses admitting that I cannot do what I am doing anymore. I told them I don’t find joy in it. I told them that I needed to make a change. They were so awesome and immediately jumped into finding me a new spot to spill my efforts into. So why am I still fragile about this?
There have also been a couple of fragile social media posts admitting that I am tired and frayed. I hate that I admitted it to the world. Why? Because I admitted to being weak? Is it weakness? I can tell you that in my mind it is okay to fall apart, but it is not okay to do it publicly. This is what I am judging myself for. Anybody else can fall apart publicly and I will run to help them up and remind them how awesome they are. The rules I have for myself are not this forgiving.
So what was I actually doing by posting publicly and talking to my bosses? I was reaching out for support and I was trying to change the circumstances that was pinching me. Did I change the circumstances? In terms of my work, yes. When I admitted defeat to my husband, I also succeeded in getting his support and we made changes to the home situation. So why am I still crying in the bathroom every morning and why can I just not look at myself in the mirror?
Failure has never been an option. Admitting defeat was just not part of my repertoire. But somewhere in the process of working through my own rigid, unforgiving belief system I identified where I was killing myself and I made changes before my old self could stop my new self. I am not where I was. It is easier to breathe now. I think I thought that when I take away the pinching the pain would stop, and it didn’t. Now I’m extremely confused. It’s better now. Why am I still crying?
The introspective part of me can tell you that I maybe let the pinching go on too long and I am dealing with post-pinch-fatigue. Much like a patient that recovers from the worst of his injuries in the ICU and gets moved to a general ward, but instead of looking and/or feeling better he feels worse and just wants to sleep. I keep interrogating myself, asking what it is I want? I’ve spoken to myself angrily saying that I need to pull myself together now. There is absolutely no reason to be so pitiful. I’ve been downright brutal in telling myself that I am a spoilt brat that doesn’t know what she wants and is unhappy with all the blessings she has.
There are moments when I look at the little faces of my kiddies and the handsome man in my life and I feel guilty for not being more, being whole all the time. I feel supremely ineffective and therefore by my own standards are failing miserably. My logical brain recognises the burn-out and depression. My emotional side is just so over the up-and-down. I long for an even keel.
Standing in the living room before we leave the house, after the scramble of the morning routine I must have looked really forlorn when my little girl, mid-play, turned around and said “you are a super hero Mommy. Yes, you are a super hero”. Unprovoked. I wasn’t feeling like a super hero. I took those words and still repeat the memory to myself when I break all over again.
Remember this: even super heroes forget their worth every now and then. Feeling useless does not mean you are. Dealing with burn-out is serious and just as real as any illness. Remember to apply the same grace you grant others to yourself.