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I’m not doing well.

I wasn’t going to write today.

I didn’t want to stare at a blank screen and try to figure out something motivational or hopeful to say. I didn’t want to try to make everything work together when it doesn’t feel like it’s going too.

I’m really, really tired. They are currently tears streaming down my face and I had to breath myself out of a full blown anxiety attack.

I wasn’t going to write today and say all these things because it feels as if right now I have nothing hopeful or helpful to say.

I feel like an incredibly heavy stress ball of a burden to everyone in my life and I am trying to figure out ways to actively change that.

I just want to give up and quit and all of the talk in my head is just telling me I’m not strong enough.

I wasn’t going to write because I didn’t want to push all this out into the world.

But not saying them doesn’t make them any less true.

Not admitting that my heart is feeling heavy and broken and “faking it til I make it” doesn’t change the fact that I’m drained.

(And this I guess is were it turns hopeful- because even though my roommate is across the world I can still see the look on his face when he read the words “I have nothing hopeful to say”)

Writing as tears fall down my face and out of exhaustion is absolutely ok. Sharing a part of who I am that feels ugly or messy or what have you is ok.

The pieces of us that feels the most covered in muck are usually the ones where we are going to find our strength and power.

I always want to write from whatever place I’m in to remind myself that my words are there- even if they are buried deep down at the bottom of tears and exhaustion.

I have my own hope that I can use in my life, I just have to state the things that are getting in the way so I can clear them out.

I’ve been told from so many different facets of life that my emotions aren’t valid. That I’m too sensitive. That what I feel doesn’t matter.

Now, what I feel isn’t everything. It’s not what I should base all decisions off of and I shouldn’t live in them.

But, man sometimes we just need another person to say “It’s ok”.

So, that’s what I’m here to do today.

I have tear-stained cheeks and I napped too long and the thought of work this week makes me want o crawl in a hole.

BUT

I took this span of time to write these 500 words and remember that in spite of it all I still have hope for myself.

And that’s why I chose share all the things that felt ugly today.

I still have hope. I still have the ability to realize all the ugly things aren’t me.

You aren’t all the ugly things.

You aren’t too much.

You aren’t weak.

It’s hard to read and to say; but it’s true.

We’ve got this.

With love,

Meg

Honest, preschool, tiny human teacher

The other b word.

Fun fact ahead: I have an almost masters. I finished most of the components of a Masters in Leadership with an emphasis in spirituality.

I started the masters at a time in my life where I was desperate for something new but didn’t know what I wanted in my life. I was on a higher dosage anti-depressants that had at first just wanted me to be all done with everything and even though I was slowly learning through therapy- I didn’t really know how to feel better.

I had been working since with kids full time for only about two and a half years (little did i know). But between family illness and mental illness and volunteering and working in more than one place, I was running out of steam incredibly fast.

And I am going to be honest-back then I very much hesitated to say I was tired or busy or depressed.

I just would shut down when I was in a place that I didn’t have to people. I would go numb.

I didn’t have space for my own emotions or to say no to people around me. And I didn’t know who the hell I was.

So being in a masters program that involved pastoral leadership was a great choice.

(That was sarcasm).

Now even though I didn’t finish, it wasn’t because I completely crashed and burned. I learned a lot, about my passions, what I was good at, that I had a voice, that I had things I disagreed with, people I disagreed with.

I recognize now what that season was in the midst of it all.

So, why do I bring this all up 10 years later?

Because, my friends, burnout is a bitch.

I am so apprehensive to be technically a “millennial” (I’m a different type of millennial because of when I was born in the 80s but like we won’t get into that) who is writing about being burned out.

I am apprehensive to be writing about being burned out as a person from a culture who is supposed to be “full in Christ”.

The reason I wanted to talk about being burned out wasn’t to get pity or 15 comments to take care of myself or that I “can’t pour from an empty cup” (sorry not sorry friends, I can and I do).

But it’s to tell you this:

Burnout will steal and take your joy. Even if you have a little joy in what you do or who you are, it will squelch it. Burnout will make you feel crazy. And you aren’t less than because of it.

This weekend I volunteered here and there at a conference at my church. When I got in my friend Patrick’s car when I got off work on Friday I was exhausted and numb. The absolute last thing I wanted to be doing was getting in a car with Patrick going to church to volunteer.

But I said I would so I did. (I’m a 2 on the enneagram just FYI)

A part of what I was doing on Friday was speaking out what wholeness is to me with some of my talented words friends.

When I wrote my simple sentence out about wholeness I showed it to my friend Romay. And then she responded with telling me she hoped no one ever tried to change me, that no institution tried to change me.

And I held it in. I held it in through actually saying the words on a microphone, I held it in until I got to Shawn and Victoria’s house and I looked at Victoria and she hugged me and I cried.

Not a lot, because no one as time for that. But a moment of tears and the realization that I am closer to the edge than I thought I was.

A moment of tears and a realization that it doesn’t make me weak or lazy or stupid to be burned out.

I had a moment of tears and realization that burnout is taking from me.

Burnout takes from you.

It takes pieces and you don’t know they’re gone until you search.

Being burned out causes you to question who you are and what you are doing and why you are doing it.

And if you are feeling burned out I want you to know YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.

You are not less than.

You can still be moving forward.

And there is still hope.

(I need you to know how hard that sentence was for me to write.)

That’s all I really wanted to get across.

Being burned out doesn’t always look the same.

It can still be showing up for your damn life because people need you and you need people.

It can be going until you collapse on Friday.

And if you just scrolled to the bottom of this because you didn’t want to read the whole thing:

Dear burnout,

You are not a badge of honor, even when the world and workplaces tell us you are.

You are not a badge of honor even when we choose to wear you like one.

You are not needed.

And you are taking pieces of us we didn’t give you.

You come because we expect more of ourselves than we have to give.

And yet we give it anyway because maybe someone or something needs what we have more than we do.

But, burnout, you will not win.

We will not let you.

We will take back what you have stolen.

We will regain pieces we have lost.

We will be whole.

We will keep moving forward.

We will find hope.

Peace.

Laughter.

Life.

Dear burnout,

You are a bitch and you will not win.

Sincerely,

Us

{if you are on the verge of burnout or are already there I’d love to hear your story. My Instagram and twitter handles are both @megmagnolia )