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Elephanthart
Casual Contributor

Feeling like I'm Burnt Out

New here, want to share/offload...but struggling to know where to start.

I have many chronic physical illnesses as well as mental health illnesses. My 21 yr. old son has autism and intellectual disability. My life for the last 21yrs has been a whirlwind of taking care of my son's needs, including diagnosis, getting the right education, supports, therapies & everything else in between to provide him with the best life possible.  Now he is entering the next stage of his life, which thankfully we are getting help with through a fantastic support agency that we've just signed him up with.  I'm so ill and exhausted by taking care of his needs for all these years, battling the NDIS & trying to survive with my own disabilities and illnesses.  My support coordinator & councillor are saying that I can finally focus on my needs, but I'm not mentally able to.  Is it something I'm not familiar with?  I can't find it within myself to let go of having to control everything because it's all I've ever known. I'm scared of fully accepting & allowing myself to look after just me, because I feeling I'll like I'll collapse in a heap mentally. I don't know how to move on to this new "phase".

 

4 REPLIES 4

Re: Feeling like I'm Burnt Out

Burn out is very common when you have been dealing with all that you have @Elephanthart Sometimes when we have had to think of others in front of ourselves for so long we actually lose who We are. There is no quick fix - wish there was. Taking small, manageable steps and working your way up from there is what I did. It is hard to see that though when you are in the midst of dealing with so much and cannot see a way forward now for yourself. Having others put pressure on you does not help either. When we have put everything into the needs of someone else, our own sense of self can fade significantly ...and it often takes time to find that again. Just as we learn to walk as a child, we need to learn to Be ourselves again - whatever that looks like. Finding that is a journey in itself ...and to quote a cliche - it is a marathon not a sprint. Find those little things in life that matter to you, plan small, achievable tasks to get through each day (that can be as simple as a long soak in a bath) ...and as you begin to tick things off and find some achievement in those - expand to bigger things. It really is about building up the foundations of finding yourself again - and having support along the way to do that in your own time and at your own pace. From experience this really can take time - and have many bumps and setbacks along the way - maybe this next phase for you is just about 'being', learning again to live with yourself and finding who you are along the way Heart

Re: Feeling like I'm Burnt Out

 

@Elephanthart 

Welcome to the forum. If you type @ a drop box will appear and you can tag members- so they get notification of the post and alternatively you can type @ and type in there name if they dion't appear in the drop box. 

 

You're not alone in how you feel and many us feel unsure about moving forward and making changes in our lives. It might be worthwhile to have a check up at the Drs and see if there is a physical cause. Different supplements can help with energy levels and that is vitamin D and magnesium is good too. It might be worthwhile to get baseline numbers of your vitamin D. You can get a weekly capsule and sometimes you may need to take more then one a week. But best to talk to your Dr.

 

I find that litting a candle helps recharge my batteries, there is just something about the energy from the candle. It always puts me at ease and also makes me feel good. You will find your way forward and start to feel more like your old self. It will take time and even when you start to feel better, please don't over do it. Be careful who you are friends with and be guarded of the energy you have. I have learnt my lessons through myself and others- about life and things that are important to me.  

 

Remember to spend time looking after yourself and finding what makes you happy. Focus on small steps becaise they add up and will lead you to a brighter and happpier future. Hope to see you in the forum.

Re: Feeling like I'm Burnt Out

Baby steps. You were thrown in the deep end before. You can wade in nicely this time.

Re: Feeling like I'm Burnt Out

@Elephanthart 

Hello and welcome.  There are many people here who have struggled with shifting their caring from others towards themselves, including me.  I struggled with many people with psychiatric diagnoses, then my son with autism and severe Bipolar 1.  We still struggle with those issues, but more of my daily life can be taken up by my needs and wishes.

Sometimes my mental chatter can get in the way.  Small things that seem self caring seem so silly in comparison with all the "important" things I have struggled with, that I might poo poo it, at first. The way the "pamper industry" functioned put me totally off all that.  I thought it was disgusting. It has taken a few years for me to get on board with SELF CARE being alright, in fact necessary, and to put self care strategies in place.  I was mostly good about food and water and exercise, but pretty tight and frugal with it all  Friendships on this forum helped me gradually shift my thinking and behaviour.  Hearing about someone doing something that I though, "I'd like to do that".  Eventually my harshness in thinking about 'what is essential' eased up, and I kept adding good little things.  I still struggle with it, and easily throw out all my self care when my son is in trouble, but when I come to ground I start it up again.  If you are not sure, try out little things.  If it is not really your style, move on try something else.

Take care of YOU.

YOU deserve it after putting in years of service.

You doing well, will help your son reduce his own anxiety.

Apple

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