I found this article on burnout from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/high-octane-women/201311/the-tell-tale-signs-burnout-do-you-have-them
After reading it, I definitely think that I’ve been in burnout for a number of years. I remember when I really started to notice the signs, actually. It was when David and I were first dating and I was trying to get used to a new town. At the time I was going to AA meetings. I’d been told to go to at least 3 AA meetings a week throughout my sobriety, and very much had been conditioned to think that I had to do this to stay sober. It was hard enough for me to make these three meetings a week when they were an hour long. Come to find out that most of the meetings in the area that David lives in are an hour and a half!
I started making three of these meetings a week and began to feel exhausted right away. It was too much for me. But I felt like I had to do it to stay sober. Thus I went despite the fatigue and anxiety that trying to make these meetings was causing for me. I started to feel pretty burnt out, but because I was so fearful of relapse, I still went to AA for a couple of years after that, even though it was causing me to be miserable. Finally, when I stopped going, I started to feel and get better and work my way out of burnout.
There were other factors that led to burnout as well for me too. These included the idea that I have to exercise at least 4 or 5 times a week, my new responsibilities as a girlfriend (cooking, cleaning, etc)., and then taking care of cats who are/were sick. Even though I wasn’t working, I simply had too much on my plate.
Even though I’m doing better these days, and am even writing fiction on most days, I still have a lot of the signs of burnout. So I try to limit what I do every day and take the time to rest and do fun things. The biggest sign of burnout that I notice is that many small things just seem hard to do, such as doing the dishes, giving the cats their meds, etc., that I used to have no problems with doing. I really have to force myself to do day to day things.
I’m also sure that a lifetime of trauma and stress contributing to me having years of burnout as an adult. I’m doing what I can to recover from trauma and distance myself from my abusers (and toxic people), but it’s hard. I am also doing my best at practicing self-care. Yoga seems to really help me to relax.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below.