Compassion Exhaustion

I really do not enjoy this time of year.  Don't get me wrong, it is pretty how the sun is all golden and leaves gently float off the trees, but my mind and body get so slow and down this time of year, just at the very time I need them to be vital and alert.  I start ruminating on how much I dislike winter and how all the green things die and how I hate being cold all the time.  A million things I can think of to complain about, not just this time of year but always.  I am a whiner.  I don't like that part about myself and it's something I have been consciously trying to control, but it's so automatic it's hard to stop.  I do feel better when I can put a positive spin on things, but I think maybe your mind has to already be in a strong and positive place in order to take something that irritates you and see it in a better light.  Sigh.  I keep trying.  Maybe I have SAD.  I miss the sun already and it's not even gone yet. 
Things have been tough with my younger son still.  Autistic and 12, he's dealing with a lot of low self esteem and, I suspect, depression.  As he was talking about wishing he was dead last night, I had a little breakdown of my own and thought, how can I help him when I've never really felt fixed or healed myself?  I finally admitted it to myself and the moment felt more real than ever.  I was flooded with so much guilt of posibly passing on my family legacy of mental health issues because we're too stubborn to seek help.  His issues will take precidence, but I need to make sure I work on mine too because he needs me to be OK too.  I think I hide it pretty well but maybe he sees through me. 
Last night as I was sleeping, I was dreaming a lot and one of them made my heart race (someone was chasing me) that it woke me up.  I felt my heart pounding so hard that it worried me and for a moment I thought to myself, I haven't been even considering my heart; through all the comfort eating and trying to soothe myself or hold onto some idealized level of release, how have I been treating my heart?  My own sister just got diagnosed with high blood pressure, which runs rampant in our family.  Here I am completely ignoring my health because my mind is so overwhelmed.  Someone in a work-related forum found the perfect thing for what I have right now, especially where work is concerned, "compassion exhaustion".  That's so fitting.  I have been so compassionate for so long that I am just burnt out on it.  Especially demanding customers at work.  Again, I know this is all on me to fix, but my son's needs are a priority right now.  I have started to consider things I can do that make me feel good, like meditation or interacting with my kids.  These things can be very healing. 
One step we took that I think will be positive for the whole family is we joined the YMCA.  Our main goal was to use it as a reward for the boys, to go swimming after a good day at school.  Or just to keep ourselves entertained during the boring winters.  Swimming is the one thing that absolutely brings my younger son joy so it is a must as far as we're concerned.  I am going to try and make more healthy meals for us too.  The kids just fill up on junk and microwave food but they do really like it when I cook.  Plus it will mean I will be less likely to just eat whatever is around, so it'll be good for all of us.
This morning I did a tarot reading and drew the card Death.

It's not what it seems, the death card.  It means the letting go of things that don't work in order for a beautiful new beginning.  I feel this card.  I'm really greatful for the message and I will try to remeber it as we go through the next challenging phase.  Nothing is permanent, everything changes, both good and bad.  Those thoughts leave nothing to complain about.  That's a start!


  1. The YMCA is a great place to connect and if swimming is your thing - their lessons are invaluable! Find something you love to do... not just the kids. You can all be entertained, cared for and in a better place when you leave! Yes, it is the perfect place to keep yourself from hibernating when the weather turns...

    1. We just bit the bullet and joined. Took the kids swimming and they had a blast. Like you said, it's going to be good for all of us! Thanks, Lynne!


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