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Burnout, Up Close and Personal

Where’d you go, B? It’s been over a year since I wrote a blog post. Though my insecurities tell me to stay quiet, my gut tells me it’s time to write because I’m probably not alone in what I have to share.

Straight to the point: burnout got me good. Looking back I see it had been looming for the last two years or more. I just kept pushing through. Hindsight is 20/20 they say and in my case I see two main reasons for my attempts to stick it out: 1) fear of what others would think of me 2) the illusion of financial security.

The breaking point came this past summer following an unexpected turn of events professionally. What appeared to be an incredible opportunity turned out to be a big bold STOP sign that could not be ignored. Flare-ups in my chronic autoimmune illness; emotional and mental disturbances which I’d not experienced before; and many days pushing to do the bare minimum to get through the day. One friend used the word “listless” to describe my demeanor the last several months. That seemed quite accurate.

What surprised me most after Jared and I made the decision for me to leave my job was the resounding support from those close to us. All of those we trust most, every single one of them, voiced relief and support. And so I left my full-time career of nine years.

It’s been an interesting four weeks since then. Mostly filled with relief, freedom, improvement in sleep, complete disappearance of anxiety attacks, and actually enjoyment in life. Very recently it’s also held some unexpected pain in the form of flashbacks and grief over multiple former clients.

Overall I see this change as being a gift from the Lord that I desperately needed. The gift of being able to say: “I’m not ok”. The gift of being able to do something about it.

What’s next? Uh…I don’t know! Will I return to working in mental health? I don’t know! The immediate future involves more time with Jared, family and friends; a fun part-time job I enjoy; long overdue personal therapy; laughter and tears; prayer and reflection; and now it would appear some writing.

As someone who tends to over-plan I am trying to avoid that right now. I may or may not write about secondary trauma as I deal with my own. I may or may not write about the dysfunction of the mental health field. I may or may not write about a lot of things. I may or may not change/expand the blog. I’m reminded that early in 2019 I sensed the Lord urging me this year to LISTEN to HIS voice and that’s what I hope to continue doing, without my own agenda and plans.

Wherever you are physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually…I hope you can find some time to stop and listen as well. For your health and the health of those around you.

“Praise the Lord; praise God our Savior! For each day He carries us in His arms.” ~Psalm 68:19

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