Updated: May 28
It happened to me.
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I had no boundaries. I did everything for everyone. I wanted and felt like I needed to be there and come through for everyone. So many people depended on me. I took on everything at work at home, with family. I made choices based only on because it made others happy. The more I did for others the more I took on for others, and the more I faded because I wasn't acknowledging my own needs and desires. I had slowly disappeared over time. I was also a perfectionist and a control freak. I eventually developed anxiety because I was starting to struggle to keep up and because the harder it became to keep up the harder it was to be perfect. which only led me to more frustration and then resentment towards others. I was no longer happy and had no meaning in life because I wasn't being impactful.
The turning point for me was one day walking out of my workplace in a hospital I looked over at a group of patients who were in the hospital for mental health concerns. A few times a day these patients would be escorted outside to an area designated for some outdoor Hangout. They had music playing and were allowed to smoke. At that moment they looked so happy to me, so free….like nothing mattered, they were just content in that moment…. and I wanted to be one of them. I seriously thought about wanting to be admitted into a mental health service and not have to care or worry about anybody else or anything else on the outside. I came home thinking what is happening? How did I get to a place where I had felt longing to be admitted as a mental health patient? I knew at this time that something wasn't okay. I realized in my everyday unhappiness, one which I lacked any joy at all, that the person I was projecting into the world was not who I was or meant to be. I had changed for the worst, I had become cynical, snappy, unwelcoming to others. So what was the point of me trying to be Superwoman fighting for good as I had set out to do in my life, if I was only inevitably becoming the villain.
So here's what I learned after a long and not so easy Journey. I learned that self-care, I mean literally caring for oneself mentally and being self-loving was as necessary as taking your daily shower or brushing our teeth. It is a basic need. I mean like I might as well not had showered for as long as I had neglected myself mentally and emotionally. This was my burnout. I learned that to even be the most basic version of myself to be productive and available in my life I had to listen to myself, I had to pay attention to me as much as I paid attention to anyone else who mattered to me. I realized that to get back to myself I had to turn and connect with myself through self-reflection, listening to myself, pin pointing my pain spots and weaknesses and where my gaps existed in my personal self-care. But I wasn't able to do it alone, it's actually more of a quest than it is a journey. I got connected with others who knew exactly what I was going through. The support, compassion and acceptance that I received for feeling the way I did by connecting with a support system was liberating and that's when my healing truly started. This is how I was able to find my mental and physical energy again.
Today, what I love is that I have my energy back. I have a lot of Joy back in my life and I also have a lot of clarity that allows me to make clear decisions that support me to balance and harmonize my life between work, home, family and myself. and I now have guilt-free time for me to self-care and indulge in the things in life that makes me happy and allows me to have fun while still meeting all of my obligations and responsibilities. I'm no longer Snappy or resentful. I can smile and laugh again. I feel so much more in control of my life now than I did. I now run my days and my days no longer run me.
If you are someone who is struggling to keep up with your everyday to do and you are feeling exhausted, stress, sadness - crying on a regular basis, feeling the overwhelm and anxiety that comes with all that stress, this means you're not taking care of your own basic needs the way I didn't - because you're too tired and you feel lost in the exhaustion, and what you want is to feel Clarity, energy and joy again.
If you want to talk more let's hop on a call.