It’s been a fairly long couple of weeks. School is ramping up, my volunteering is getter busier, and I’m becoming more and more stressed about my recovery.
I am burnt out.
I am busier than I have ever been in the last two years. And though I’m dealing with it better than I would’ve even six months ago, it’s still kicking my ass.
In the last seven days, I’ve volunteered or been in unpaid training for fifteen hours; I’ve had six hours of classes; I’ve studied for ten hours; I’ve spent five hours working on My Bitter Insanity; I’ve baked four dozen cookies; I’ve been to therapy and my support group; and I had brunch with my mother. For some people, those almost fifty hours doesn’t seem like all that much when it’s nearly all I’ve done over a week. But for me? In only August, I did — at most — ten hours of “stuff” in a week.
My schedule has quintupled. This week, I’ve somehow got more and less on my plate. Volunteering or training for fourteen hours; no more classes; twenty-five hours of studying; no baking this week; one hour of therapy and three hours of support group; two doctors’ appointments; and weekly brunch with my mother. Some of these things are non-negotiable — like studying, therapy, support group, and time with my mom. Some of them are ultimately optional — volunteering, training, studying, and a doctor’s appointment.
You might be wondering why I don’t cut down on the extras? Well, each of them, while providing some extra stress, is genuinely improving my quality of life. There’s not one bit that I could see letting go.
In the past, when I’ve been overwhelmed, it went very quickly from being okay to being suicidal, and dropping absolutely everything that I was doing, but not this time. This time, I see a way out and it’s December 14th. December 14th is the day after I finish my final exams and my three weeks of blissful rest begins. I’ll be out of class and have more time to prepare and make sure that next semester is better.
A year ago, I would’ve cancelled everything and given up, convinced that I wasn’t capable. Two years ago, I would’ve stubbornly followed my plan and upped the number of classes that I’m taking next semester. This year, I’m giving myself space for some growing pains. I’m growing. I’m learning to handle stress again and I’m learning to be in school again, it won’t always go well the first time.
I’m learning, also, what it means to have support from friends, family, and school who want me to do my best; last time I was in school, I wasn’t open to getting support.
Even though I’m stressed to all hell, I’m reminding myself that I’m doing well. I’m not suicidal, I’m managing my eating disorder, and I’m working on myself, too. I might still need reminders to take care of myself, but those reminders are coming from people who I genuinely believe care about me — and that’s new.
I’m making leaps and bounds in my life and heading towards a career that I truly believe is my calling.
I’m doing well. Despite stress, despite worry, despite bad days, despite pain, I’m doing well.
There were times in my life that I never believed that I’d get here, and here I am anyway.
Love to all of you.