Fresh Burnout and Emotional Exhaustion

After an incredibly exhausting start to my year, things are starting to calm down. All of the major events that showed up in the first weeks of this month have passed and I’ve had at least a couple days where very little has happened. Additionally, I went to my most recent session of family therapy, reflected on how it had gone for a few days afterwards, and decided that it would be my last. It was only a single hour every week, but it took up a disproportionate amount of my idle thoughts and most of my active ones as well, so I’m looking forward to thinking about things I enjoy again, such as my various writing projects, fun video games, and the other aspects of my life that I want to work on to improve myself rather than attempting to lead my parents toward growth. Hopefully I will have a chance to rest and recover from everything that’s been going on so that I can once again enjoy myself rather than continue the staving off of misery that I’ve been doing lately. And while I have made little progress on any of my major worries for the rest of 2023, I’ve done what I can for now.

Now, as I write this and encourage my mind to wander in a new and more pleasant direction that it has of late, I find myself feeling hollow. Scooped out, even. Each thing that has happened this year was enough to wear me out on its own, so handling them together has pretty much spent every spoon I’m going to have for maybe the rest of the month (which is a larger proposition than it might seem given that I wrote this a few days ago). Thankfully, it wound up removing a few major forks along the way (you can read all about Spoon Theory and Fork Theory in this post) so it was a bit less cumulatively taxing than it might otherwise have been. Still, I’m ready to just be silent and quiet for a few days, even if that is also the absolutely last thing I want. What I’d really love is a chance to just get away from all with this one or more people I deeply care about and who also deeply care about me so I can relax but not feel pressured to interact more than I want to.

Honestly, what I really need is a break from emotionally processing things. I’ve had to do a lot of that lately, especially with the family therapy stuff. I feel burned out in a new and horrible way. Everything went more or less the way I figured it would go, with my parents, but it is still incredibly disappointing and frustrating. Even after all this time, I can’t shake the feeling that they’re just telling me what they think I want to hear [Editing Note: the funny/horrifying thing about this is I got confirmation that this was actually what was happening literally a couple hours after writing this]. Which is almost infuriating when I’ve done my best to explicitly and clearly tell them what it is I want.

They sort of got there, in the last session, approaching the point I’d been trying to make, but the specific way they answered, the mere reflection of my words rather than making their response their own, and the fact that it took them a week between sessions to come up with even that little all have me feeling like Sisyphus. “It isn’t my job to educate them” and “I’m not responsible for their feelings” are mantras I’ve been repeating to myself lately, as I’ve worked through what felt like giving up until I’d processed the guilt enough that it changed into feeling like I’m protecting my mental health and well being.

I’m looking forward to my next individual therapy session. I’ve been seeing this therapist for maybe six or seven years now, always at a rate of about one appointment every three to five weeks, thanks to how overloaded the organization she worked for was and the strange rules they had in place. Now that she works for herself, I’m going to be able to schedule sessions every other week and I’m genuinely super excited to start making progress on stuff again. Especially now that I’m out the other side of all that family therapy stuff. It’ll be nice to talk through all of this with someone in a constructive and healing environment.

I thought this was going to be a much longer post, full of reflections about my family therapy experiences and how emotionally exhausted I am after doing that on top of how hectic my last few weeks have been, but I’m running on empty now. I’ve got no more thoughts, so I’m going to go take a long shower while listening to a comforting podcast and just let myself be mentally empty for the rest of the evening.

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