Burnout.

It happened.

I hit a brick wall, mentally.

For most of my stint as a human services student, I spent no less than thirty classroom hours discussing burnout. High burnout rates, ironically enough, plague many in my new chosen field, but no one ever stopped to talk about student burnout. Burnout, for those unaware, is when you reach a point of vicarious traumatization or hit a level of stress that your body can’t tolerate and you feel frustrated and discouraged, you can’t sleep, everything seems like a chore. I got that way about a year ago, when I decided to switch my life goals and come here to Lincoln and become a funeral director. The stress was literally making me blow blood vessels in my eyes from trying to force myself to do something that made me unhappy.

Let me tell you the story of the past twenty four hours: I took a three hour nap from six to nine last night and stayed up going over notes until two or three in the morning. I fell asleep around 3:30 and was awoken by the fire alarm at 5AM. I didn’t get back to sleep until about nine this morning. I woke up two hours later and felt a familiar uncomfortable bubble in my gut (and it wasn’t food poisoning). My anxiety tends to manifest itself as a hivey feeling that makes me itch around in my skin and feel like I’m on ice skates and my feet are going to fly up from underneath me at any minute. I honestly haven’t felt it in so long that I didn’t even know what was wrong with me until I had some caffeine to clear the fog in my brain. I was anxious. Anxious about a lot of things. Anxious about my grades, about the class load, about my whacked sleep schedule, about missing my friends and my dog and anxious about failing to live up to the standards I set for myself. Clearly I am given to fits of the dramatic, so I gave myself a minute to see if it went away. It did not.

I went to see one of the student advisors who has made it abundantly clear that she’s always there to have a chat with. She bolstered my confidence, put a band-aid on my booboo as it were, and built me back up. I have to say that this stress and anxiety took me completely off guard. I felt blindsided by my own mental state. I feel much better now, really. But for a second there I was back to thinking about packing up my car and making a break for the Louisiana border.

But I talked to someone when I started feeling like that. That’s the lesson, really. Sometimes you really need someone to burst that anxiety bubble with positive talk. Ms. P reminded me that no one and nothing is worth abandoning my goals over, and that I have the capacity to do whatever I put my mind to. So I want to remind you guys that you (yes you!) can do the same. You can do anything you put your mind to if you dedicate and apply yourself to it.

Hang in there, kids, even if it seems tough.

Marissa

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~ by mementomorissa on February 6, 2013.

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