Sometimes having a blog puts me in a weird position. I share so much of my life here, from what I’m wearing and my struggles with body image, to how I spend my weekends and what’s going on with my mental health. Am I oversharing? Is this my space, your space, or ours? And how do I decide what’s off-limits versus what’s important to share?
One aspect of my life I don’t share a lot about is my job, mostly for confidentiality reasons. What I can tell you is that I work for a domestic violence hotline taking chats and providing advocacy, education, resources, and support. I love my job. But that doesn’t mean it’s not hard. As many of you know, I became a full-time employee in October, doubling the time I was working before. This is something I’ve worked really hard for and it helped me immensely as far as finding stability in my schedule and financial situation. The other thing it did was make me pretty exhausted. Yeah, it’s 40 hours instead of 20, but that’s 40 hours of pure domestic violence talk. I love what I do, I’m grateful for my position, and I feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose when I work, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard sometimes.
The first time I ever felt really angry was this summer when I was rallying for reproductive rights at the Texas Capitol. It was an amazing experience, but I felt so vulnerable and scared and pissed off. I was scared for my rights and my body, and the rights and bodies of my fellow Texans. I felt anger at the people who kept shutting us down and not listening to what we had to say. I felt anger that I had so little control over the outcome of the bill. I felt anger for people who go unheard all over, and who don’t have control over their own outcome every day. In the middle of it all, I made an appointment with a counselor to talk about my fear and my anger. I realized I was just exhausted. I was using so much energy trying to fight for what I believe in, and leaving nothing left for myself.
After about a month in my full-time position, I started feeling this same exhaustion again. I was scared and I was angry. Even when I wasn’t at work, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Not only the stories I was hearing, but the articles in the news too. Especially when Dago and I started doing the podcast, I was purposefully immersing myself in news sites to gather important stuff to talk about each week. I just wasn’t getting a break from bad news, scary circumstances, and anger.
The last few months I’ve been doing really well, but, due to some specific incidents in the news and in other aspects of my own life, I’ve recently started to harbor the anger again. Every time, it seems to take more and more of a toll on my physical self, and especially my ability to form coherent sentences. As a blogger and a chatvocate, this is a big problem. I need my words! It’s the one thing I have that makes sense. I’ve worked so hard to master being able to successfully and productive communicate with people. I bring so much empathy, compassion, and carefulness to everything I say that I am literally running out of words. I don’t have enough to go around. You know what that makes me feel? Angry. Scared. Exhausted.
I know about self-care, as it’s part of my job to educate others on it, but it’s really hard to motivate myself to do anything but lay on my couch and eat chips lately, y’all. Every once in a while, that’s a fine way to take a break, but it doesn’t actually care for me or get to the root of the problem.
So what does all of this mean? I’m not even entirely sure. I’ve just been feeling a lot of things and decided it was important for me to let you know. It means I might be posting a little less, depending on how I’m feeling. It means I appreciate your constant support. It means I’m going to keep being honest in this space because it feels safe and productive, and maybe it’ll even validate something you’re going through too.
How do you deal with being angry? Or scared? Or exhausted?
And what do you think of bloggers sharing their not-so-pretty, honest sides? Am I just bumming you out? (I hope not!)