Burnout. Stressed out. Tired. Fatigue.

All words/conditions we hear way too often these days. People are using the word “busy” like it is breathing. The word has actually started to annoy me a bit as I feel it has a negative connotation now. As if it is a dirty word used to separate people from others, used to void intimacy and  used a wall to protect ones schedule.

I’m a recovering “busy” word user. I admit it. I am ashamed of how I used it to my advantage.

At least I don’t use it now.

My justification for using the word was that I was burnout. I had hit my max of helping others, putting the needs of others first, never thinking about what I wanted and feeling like I always had to say YES.

I felt drained. Tired. I looked and sounded like I was always ready to fall asleep because I was. I was never happy. Always irritable. My body was aching and in pain. I wanted to tell people to screw off when they would ask me to do something but instead I would say yes and do it. I was resentful. I started to use the word “hate” in my vocabulary. It goes on about how I was in a dark place.

What was really going at the root of it all was I didn’t know how to say no, I didn’t know what boundaries were, and I wanted love and acceptance from others.

Yes I said it. I was seeking the love and acceptance from the external instead of discovering it inside myself.

Sigh. I wish I had known how to love myself more, how to say no when I needed to, and how to put myself first before I was physically debilitated.

This burnout and lack of self love led me to 3 years of massive back pain, filled with 7 months of bed rest. It would take me half an hour to go to the bathroom as I had to roll off the couch, crawl on the floor while resting in between because I was in so much pain. Once I got to the toilet, I had to hold on to the toilet bowl to hoist myself up so I could go to the bathroom.

It was a horrible time in my life.

I was depressed. I felt alone. And the love I was seeking from the external….well those very people didn’t even come to visit or check in how I was doing. It was an eye opener as to that love does have to come within. Being a people pleaser  had me wanting to give up on life because the physical pain was unbearable.

Once I started to feel better, after a long road of healing and tens of thousands of dollars invested, I started to use the word “busy” as a way to say no to doing things I didn’t want to. I didn’t just start using the word but I made my schedule extremely jam packed almost as a way to compensate for lost time.

That led to burn out number two which is a whole other story.

What have I learned from all this?

I learned that my health is the most valuable resource I have. It is very true if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.

At the end of the day, there are only certain people who truly will be present in your life unselfishly. There is absolutely no point in seeking external validation from anyone. No one can give you the love that you can give yourself.

I learnt that I can be honest with people that I do have the time and I am not that “busy” but I am protecting that time for myself and to do what fulfills me.

I also realized that I didn’t need to jam pack my schedule. The free time I have is the time I treasure the most so I block that out for myself.

I also learnt that relationships sometimes need to shift so they are in balance. There needs to be some equality in give and take.

These lessons taught me that the word “busy” is that you have alot to do (with time left over to do what you truly want to do).

My question to you is what did you take away from this story? Are there any aspects applying to your life that you are thinking that I need to change?

I would love to hear what changes you will be making so that the word “busy” just means I have some deadlines to meet and that is it.

I would love to invite you to listen to Let Yourself Go webinar which is all about creating freedom so you have more time, energy and money for yourself.