Giving to depletion
For this month’s blog we were asked to volunteer and write about our experience.
I felt an instant pushback. A huge part in me was saying, NOOOOOO!!!!
In 2008 I was working, volunteering and raising children. I was the good girl who thought her job was to take care of everyone else. I was the helper, the rock. Nothing was too much and I didn’t know how to say no.
In my volunteer positions I felt needed, important. I was an essential worker AND it feels great to give.
It was all too much. I burnt out and almost quit life – this is a common story, especially for people who have experienced domestic violence.
Boundaries and self- worth often go hand in hand.
When I got sick in 2008, I was forced to say No. I had to stop everything and let people down. I had to focus all my energy on getting well and learn how to self-care.
And set boundaries.
Over the years, my self-worth has grown and my ‘giving to depletion’ part doesn’t have control anymore.
Getting sick was a wake-up call to start caring for myself as much as I cared for others.
AND the hardest, yet just as important, was to allow others to care for me.
Chewing it over
So, I had to decide: would I take up this challenge or not?
I can say no to this challenge, I told myself.
Volunteering was something I needed to think deeply about.
So, what exactly is volunteering?
According to Volunteering Australia, volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.
I do this regularly in my normal life and it’s ok. I don’t feel burnt out or overcommitted and I do say no when I need to.
I think I can do this?
Taking the leap
An opportunity came up for me to volunteer my time and skills with an organisation I felt honoured to represent. I was excited to be part of this and anxious about taking on too much.
The day was beautiful, and I was able to support others and be supported. I felt part of a special team.
I had a chance to practise my public speaking skills and leadership skills, both getting better with practice and support.
I was able to connect with new people and offer others a unique experience, and I wasn’t responsible for the world.
I allowed myself to receive and I knew I could say No.
This volunteering isn’t so bad after all.
This month’s task has reminded me that:
My automatic pilot is set to Give, so my task is to ensure I Receive too.
I am not responsible for the world. I can step back and say No.
There are things I will miss out on and that’s ok. My work/life/home balance is essential.
Volunteering is wonderful as long as I don’t give to depletion and I listen to my inner self.
Some people really do care about me and support me.
This Blog is a part of the Blogging GEMS program, you can read more survivor GEMS Blogs:
Mindfulness Meditation Blogs:
Service and Support Blogs