Burnout and MS: realising I can’t do it all.

Wed 15 May 2024


I am Elisha, I have MS, and I am burnt out.

"Burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling swamped" says Dr Google and I agree.

For the past year I’ve been acting like superwoman and thinking I can do it all...But I can't. I write this today and I’m not ashamed of that.

I had to stop and say ‘no’.

I’ve been up and down like a 90s yo-yo, because I felt that's what I needed to do to be normal...

Earlier this year I decided the demands of life could ‘kick rocks’ – leave me alone for a moment. And I’ll return when I’m good and ready.

I’m grateful for life and what I’m able to do, but if I keep churning there will be nothing left.

I asked myself when was the last time I stopped and just said ‘no’. This included work, family and friends. When was the last time I just solely took care of myself?

I’ve taken a step back from work and guess what it helped me do? I slept, yes slept, just like sleeping beauty and waited for the sweet smell of spring to awake me.

I’m worth taking care of

I referred myself to counselling as the conversations with myself were becoming a little too real... I was banging my head against a wall of no return. While I’m waiting for it to start, I’ve been indulging in some home art therapy. I have my own colouring book, pencils and felt tips. I do something called ‘pointillism’ - pressing little dots on the page - which I find very relaxing.

I had counselling before my diagnosis, after my Dad passed away. I liked the non-judgemental environment. It’s nice talking. Try it and thank yourself later. If L'Oréal is worth it why aren't you?

My plumpy curvy ass is back in the gym, releasing that tensed and strained feeling. I don't even know what I'm doing sometimes, but I feel good for it. I put my headphones on and block out everything that is not aligned with my equilibrium. Try it - wiggle that pinky toe if you can.

Having MS is exhausting, working is exhausting and people are exhausting. I decided to tip some H20 over that burn out and rebuild myself.

No guilt for putting myself first

I no longer feel guilty for putting me first and neither should you. I can have all the support in the world but it’s me who experiences the symptoms and damage which is left. I decided to say, with the greatest of respect, "the world can wait...because I will be back."

PS. The unfiltered version of me will say if people who don't understand MS don't know what I'm going through, and choose to be uneducated...kick rocks.

You're not alone

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