The other night I was chatting with teacup and she said she was reading the older parts of my archive from 2000 and 2001. I told her that was my neurotic period and I’m not really joking. It really was a very chaotic time in my life.
One of the on-going things on my “to-do” list is to go back into my journal and tag things so that they show up under the labels. As I was tagging entries, I came across a time in my life when I was questioning if I could be a slave or if I was even submissive. I constantly debated the issue all around my head. At one point a good friend told me that I wasn't a slave. At another point in my life I was interested in someone who told me that everyone around me knew I was submissive and didn't understand why I was even questioning it.
The thing is: I knew I was submissive. The feelings I was having weren't because I was questioning if I was or wasn't a submissive. It wasn't knowing or not knowing if I could be a slave. In retrospect, I can see that my internal struggle was not a question of my identity, but a cause from burnout - being burnt out being a slave. I served Kam for several years and right from the start it was heavy service oriented slavery. I got up early in the morning - I did things all day for him and his household. It was a regular practice to be woken up in the middle of the night to do things such as go get pickles at 1am or bake brownies at 3am. (Another entry I did on serving at that point in my life after reading Diary of an Old Guard Slave by Vi Johnson.) I became tired. Very tired. After I was released I slept for days, but it was hard to stop serving. I had to reverse train myself to not jump and anticipate. I wrote about a little about the transition here.
So really I was questioning if I could submit and be a slave again because I wasn't sure how I could work past the burn out or if I even wanted too.
Many slaves will say they don't burn out. That is great if they don't, but then often I also tend hear in almost the same breath that those who do burn out aren't real slaves. Another definition flame war erupts. Who’s real, who isn’t. Who’s more slave like, who isn’t. (I really don’t want this to be another definition post.)
I disagree with those that say that if it was really in a person’s heart to serve, then they wouldn’t burn out. I think real life demonstrates that you can have your heart in something and still experience burn out. It doesn’t matter if it’s a passion for a hobby or the job you do. Burnout is part of the human existence.
I serve Master 24 hours a day 7 days a week - face to face and it is hard work. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy it. It doesn’t mean I lack the passion for it because it’s hard work, but one can achieve levels of burnout from over doing and giving it so much that it just wears one down.
Do I wish I had an off switch? I had a March Question asking if I ever wanted a day off - I think this falls in that same line. I don't want a day off from being a slave. But I do get tired and I do need down time. I don't always take the best care of myself to know when and what I should do to create a restful situation. I feel always as I am his slave so not like I want to or can turn that off but I do need to have down time so that I don't burn out.
Bottom line for me is that I do get burnt out and sometimes I don't always give myself the type of rest I need to help it from happening. Or just doing things to help myself get my energy back. It is a constant struggle for me and I still haven't learned how to not burn out from serving. It is part of my life - not the most favorite but it happens. Over all life is good but doesn't mean it doesn't come with bumps in the road.