I don’t like burn out!
So apparently I’m suffering from burn out. Burn out from what? No ******* clue! But I’ve come to decide that I don’t like it!
So it seems to me that burn out is like a lot of things crammed all together. It’s anxiety and depression and suicidal thought* and overwhelmed and insomnia and oversleeping and loss of appetite and confusion and etc all wrapped up together. It sucks. I hate it. But what are the remedies?
Well, most things I’ve read are to get away from what’s causing the burn out. Well great. What if you can’t identify that?
I will admit. I’ve been having these feelings and didn’t know what to call them since just before I left for Autreat. During Autreat, I didn’t feel them, but they came back full force when I got home. So let’s analyze!
1. Work has increased. ASAN is growing by leaps and bounds and that means more work for the few of us on staff, the 2 new interns and I’m guessing the board as well. How are we not doing it without imploding? I’m not sure, but I suspect I’m not the only one running on fumes. (As noted by no one ever being on messenger, everyone struggling with deadlines and so on.)
2. We never found a house to move into. This has really bummed me out. I think it’s still bumming me out. It wasn’t just about keeping the boys in a good school. It was about being in a house, where the boys had their own rooms. And there was a place for everything and everything was in its place.
3. The school SUCKED ALL MY ENERGY for the first two months. We finally got some resolution last week, but there is this residual feeling from it. And I still feel I need to keep a careful eye on what’s going on. (Yes, I know most of you will tell me you always need to keep a careful eye. That’s not the point here.)
4. I launched my attempts to find stories for The Autistic Way: A Guide to Autistic Parenting. (Yay! I finally decided on a title.) But I have yet to email back after the first responses about what I’m looking for.
5. Meetings, conferences, volunteering and chapter issues are all constantly here. After “The Dialogue“, joining PTA, deciding to go to Autism Parent meetings, and trying to run my own chapter (that’s flailing at best), I’m surprised I can do 1-4. Then there’s also keeping up with appointments.
6. Oh. Hey look! I’m still an at-home mom. Which still means laundry and dishes and vacuuming and cleaning and running errands. Do I have time for this? I don’t think I really do. I know Rob at Lost and Tired talks about how that shows just how much one is doing for their family (and in my case “the community”), but it still doesn’t make me feel any better.
7. I’ve taken up a hobby. Naruto CCG. This is actually my one saving grace. It’s something I don’t worry about and is my “break” for the week now. Every Saturday night I go and play with these guys that know nothing about me and I don’t really have to talk and I can just play. It feels good.
8. I’m still the parent to two Autistic kids while being Autistic myself. I don’t typically do this. But GOOD GRIEF! The screaming needs to stop. The hitting needs to stop! The constant talking needs to stop!!! Yes, the constant talking upsets me more than the screaming or hitting. Those are temporary. The talking is constant. And it’s really really hard to ask for it to stop because then I feel bad thinking I’m ignoring them.
So which do you think it is? I’m pretty sure it’s all of them. But that is where the problem takes hold. How do you take a break from your life? When you come back, there’s just more that’s piled up. And when you don’t have that option, what are you supposed to do?
I know, some people will say respite. But that just deals with the kids. Go on a date while the kids are at respite. And talk about what? That we live in a little apartment, what we have to do at work, at home, with the school? That doesn’t get away from anything really. It’s just putting it in a different setting. Quite frankly, I want respite to have a purpose and not just be babysitting while the rest of my life keeps happening.
Again, as always, thoughts, ideas and suggestions are always welcome!
* I’m not saying I have suicidal thoughts, but generally when you want to “give up”, people will assume that you want to end your life. That’s not what is going on, but it is the assumption.