Battling Burnout: Crashing

I told you this week I was going to do a post on relaxing at home, but I’m not in the mood. Even though the day seemed to take off quite well, I’ve turned into an emotional wreck. I had pancakes for breakfast, the sun is shining, a friend of mine’s just paid a visit to check in on me, my boyfriend’s returning home in one and a half hour, the house is tidy (thanks to nice people helping me out), I’m in love with the blouse and the trousers I’m wearing (not unimportant), one of my favourite CDs is playing. And still…

The thing about being burnt-out is that any extras are too much to handle. Even such a silly thing as a drying rack that topples over will cause an outburst of tears. No matter how many blessings I can count (and I can guarantee you, there’s plenty of them), whatever it is that makes me cry will keep doing so until it decides it’s had enough attention.

At the moment, it’s about missing my dog. He only lives with us every other week now, which is quite bearable. I must admit that I enjoy not having to get up for his morning walk all the time (at 6 am getting up twenty minutes earlier does make a big difference) and I like the fact that every other week I can return home from work without having to go for a very urgent evening walk after I’ve just spent 45 minutes on my bike (45 provided there’s a tailwind). On the other hand, the day of the switch I keep thinking he’s still around, hearing phantom dog noises and expecting him to pop up everywhere, wagging his tail in expectation.

He’s so adorable… He even got a Christmas card with a treat inside!

It’s just that now I can’t take him on my friends’ sunny Sunday afternoon walk as he’s spending his Sunday afternoon being thoroughly pampered by my ex and his girlfriend, a pleasure I don’t want to deny the three of them.

On one of our walks

During the previous burnout I learned that there’s no use fighting these strong feelings, but I know I can do two things.

The first thing is to look at myself, find out exactly how I’m feeling and consider what’s going on without trying to interfere. That’s very difficult, so here is what happens:

Look at me, missing that dog. I’m crying my heart out over a situation I can normally handle rather well. Must be quite weak. And why do I keep looking at his picture? It doesn’t really do me any good, does it? But I can’t seem to help it either. Oh no, please do not change that profile picture on Facebook -whatever, too late, it features Gerard now, and everyone’s liking and loving it just like I am but it hurts so much.

So far for not trying to interfere, but I try my best. At least I’m not attempting to put my feelings into a very convenient tiny box tangled up in Scotch tape to keep me from quickly opening it up.

Next to considering what is going on, the following has helped me before: write it all down (I’m on a roll here!), have a bath (I will the moment I shut down my computer, the tap is running as we speak) as well as being cuddled by a pair of strong arms of a patient listener who does not try to come up with all sorts of good advice: only 40 minutes left now before he’s home.

 

As it turns out, I spent the remainder of the day having to be comforted in that warm embrace. Over the past days I must somehow have managed to use this tiny box to get rid of a number of graver issues (exactly why I buried them; too serious, not now please). And try all you like, but that Scotch tape will only hold out for so long.

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