I’m Burning Out.

This is a more personal piece, because I’ve always maintained that it’s not my objective to promote this professional utopia where everything is perfect and everyone is happy. Right now, I could use a bottle of wine or four but I’m too tired to do more than type.

It’s been over three weeks since my last day off and I “might” see a day off next week sometime in the midst of another very busy week. While most people would say “well, at least you’re making a lot of money, right?” I’m far from excited about the financial side of things.

I do need to preface this with the fact that I’m in a situation where I don’t have a choice. We hit a serious financial obstacle in the household that could impact the kids’ ability to maintain enrollment where they go to school, so I had to step in and take one for the team. I wasn’t asked, but the long term implications of the hurdle weren’t worth me fussing too much over not having a life pretty much since the “honeymoon” time off was over.

So I’m working with an objective and and finish line won’t be too hard to see, but I’m tired. I literally just work, cook, sleep, shower and repeat the cycle the next day. No, there’s not a whole lot of joy in that, but at the same time I’m grateful that I’m over-employed rather than under, because it would be a serious issue. But, on the same token,  I’m forced to basically exist to save the day, and it’s been hard on me.

I’ve been getting irritated when people come to me with small issues and want to whinge for hours about them. I’ve been getting frustrated when the stepkids have no clue the level of sacrifice that is going on so they don’t need to know what’s going on. Sometimes I sit down to work a shift and all I can do is have a good cry before I do so I have the strength to carry on.

I’m fortunate that I have busted my ass to get to a point where I can make a difference, but in the thick of the storm I’m overwhelmed. And, of course, I have to look at my office all the time, even when I’m not on the clock.

That’s all part of being a responsible adult, isn’t it? But since I don’t get enough time away from the desk and outside, I’ve started to resent it.

To try to negate the effects of overworking I’ve been making a lot of plans to get out; to work on other things around the house; to keep my health on point. So far, I’ve only managed to keep up my nails and that’s been exhausting for me.

Earlier this week I posted a picture of me shortly after pulling myself out of a 5 hour attempt at sleep, hair wild, hashtagged with #iwokeuplikethis. And while many found the humor of it, reality is that I was probably feeling my worst that day. What was the sense of putting on a pretty face and taming the hair and faking that smile? I wasn’t feeling it, and that picture was pretty much a solid representation of how rough I’ve been feeling.

I know this is temporary, and I can do this. But I’m not sure for how long. Although I just had a good two weeks off of work I feel like I’ve doubled the stress I had before my vacation because I’m being counted on heavily. But I have to remind myself: where would I have been able to help if I hadn’t been setting up for success for 5 years now?

Really, nowhere. So while I’m exhausted now, my pride in my journey and knowing I’m empowered to help my family keeps me going.