In January I blogged about Single Parent Burnout. I’ve mentioned my CFS spiraling out of control. What I didn’t realize is that I had complete and utter burn out. But I sucked it up and carried on because what else are you meant to do?
On top of this revelation and (medical) confirmation of complete burnout, life had to carry on. I also wrote an insane 5 exams in the first week of February. Workwise it’s possibly the craziest time of the year for me in HR with new staff, increases, tax year end and reports for our lovely government. I had to play Mom 24/7 and I had a very important birthday happening at the beginning of March, to say I have been feeling a little overwhelmed is very possibly the biggest understatement of the year.
But there are a few things I have learnt during this time.
1. Drugs are good… they are your friend. I have chronically been put on an anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds as well as a sedative, which doesn’t seem to be working as the insomnia is creeping back. It’s been a roller coaster 2 months trying to get the meds right and get them working, but we seem to be there.
2. Friends are important… One of the things I was told to do, besides seeing a Psychologist, was to make new friends. You see when you are in the depths of burnout edging towards a complete breakdown, you think you on your own, and in fact you convinced you on your own because structures that were there for support aren’t there anymore. What I didn’t realise is that I actually had a group of completely insane awesome friends, who yes are going through their own shit but each one of us looks out for the other one. We laugh, we cry, we plot murders, revenge and world domination. And I can honestly say that I would not have got through the last two months if it wasn’t for them.
3. Its ok to say No… I give, I give, I give and I give all the time. I enjoy doing it. But I have learnt to say No. I have learnt to speak up when I just cant do something else or just this one little thing. I am human, I am one person and I cant carry on doing everything.
4. Tantrums are necessary… I get it, I totally get why kids have trantrums. Not only does it help them make their point about something they are not happy about, but it is very cleansing to your soul. Its ok to throw your toys out the cot, to loose your shit, to suddenly stand up at say its not OK. As long as you not a spoilt child and you can actually use the tantrum to your advantage, constructively, and you can put things in place and measures in place to move forward to a better result.
5. Get rid of negativity… When you struggling to keep your head up above water, you really don’t need any more negativity than what’s going on in your own head. So I have set boundaries, I have limited my exposure to people who are constantly negative. I don’t have the energy for that, I cant have the energy for that. Its amazing because when that happens, suddenly a weight lifts off you, you not held down anymore, you can actually breathe.
6. Book Club/Dinner Club/Club Draw Night are fundamentals… As much as I love being a Mom. As much as I have craved and wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember, I am more than a Mom. I am more than an HR Manager. I am an Adult too, I have my identity beyond being a Mom or an HR Manager. I forgot that. My life revolved around work and Ladybug. If I wasn’t at work, I was being a Mom. I forgot how to Adult, although most of the time I don’t want to Adult, I forgot that its important.
So now my meds and I are making friends, things are settling. I still have bad days, I still have moments/times where I just don’t think I can carry on but its ok. Its ok to have those days, its ok to admit that I am not ok. I have people who are there when I am not ok, I have people who are there when I am ok… So things are going to be ok.