Darlings, it’s raining hard in the middle of June and the grey outside is infectious. As Anne Sexton once said: It is June. I am tired of being brave.
This week has been something of a struggle, even if I’m typing this on a Wednesday afternoon. I feel as though I’ve been losing grip of my anxiety lately, or experiencing a kind of system overwhelm. Maybe I’m just feeling burnt out – since the injections and the essay, I’ve been to a festival, worked some extra days at work and been offered more hours, and been surrounded by people near constantly. I have hardly found a moment to catch my breath, and I have reached my wall.
I had to take some time off work. Only a couple of days, but time I desperately needed to sit in my house watching the rain tumble beyond the window, to rest my forehead against the soft belly of my darling cat, and allow myself the occasional burst of tears. I needed to just… stop, for a second. But I have never been good at doing nothing, and when I do, that tends to swell the depression within me. And so I tried to divert my mind by writing, as you’d expect a writer to do. Or not, since the problem is burnout.
(I’m the determined sort. I did it anyway.)
My aim has been, in the well-needed and well-deserved break I have from uni work to try and submit at least one piece of writing a week. I’m above par so far, having written and submitted three pieces and started two others for future submission, which is something I’m deeply proud of.. And that brings me to this post – and to The Tired Girl Society
Tired Girl is a platform for girls and women with chronic illnesses to make friends, support one another and discuss illness and self care. They also print articles by members highlighting what it’s like to live with chronic illness, whether that be the struggle, or finding wellness, body image, or what gets you through the day. Obviously, our values line up rather nicely, and as soon as I discovered them I knew I had to share something of mine. Enter: The Isolation of Recovery, a piece which concerns how, during my healing process post-surgery, I felt so startlingly lonely.
My friends had all grown up without me, going to university and getting jobs whilst I was being pinned in place by my illness. Invitations stopped coming because everyone knew I couldn’t leave the house, and from the inside, it felt like my existence was slowly being shifted to the sidelines. I was weak and pale. I felt bloated and ugly and ill-fitting in my body – I didn’t want anyone to remember me as feeble and incapable as I felt. So I stopped calling. I stopped texting. I didn’t reply to anyone. I allowed myself to fall neatly into the isolation I was already slipping into, the way intermittent depression through my illness had taught me so well. Slowly, but perceptibly, people stopped dropping by. The messages slowed as the clocks seemed to and I withdrew into my body.
You can read the piece here.
Hopefully, since I’ve been more prolific as a writer of late, and finally submitting pieces again there will be more of these In Print updates soon. But even if they don’t, even if I face the rejection I’ve learnt to weather over the last few years, I am glad to be writing again. It is my place of respite and gives me some semblance of control when I feel like I’m spiralling. I guess I’m saying, there’s so much more to come.
I’m on my way back from burnout. I’m always getting back up.
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