what's your "activism burnout"?
Well I hope you like long stories because BOY
When I was 18 you couldn’t drag me away from a pro-choice rally. I volunteered as a steward for the one immediately after Savita’s passing. I went to every. single. event. I roared my lungs out, I shared more of that stuff on this blog even.
I vividly remember the day of that particular march in November 2012. It pissed rain. Everyone was freezing cold, soaked to the skin, I remember being so cold that I couldn’t steady my hands to text someone. I still can’t really take in just how many people showed up against the weather. Thousands and thousands of people marched from the Garden of Remembrance to Kildare street. I couldn’t even see the end of the crowd. We chanted, we chatted, we listened to speakers and cheered. Developing a cold, unable to hold a candle with the shivering, my throat sore from roaring, I thought that would all do something. I thought that those in power would feel some pinch of shame. I thought that nearly four years later we’d be in a much better place than we were.
I kept going to things, but I slowly burned out. I couldn’t handle it. I felt like I was walloping my head against a brick wall and that the government just wanted us to get bored and go away. A few people around me would occasionally pick the argument with me, some of whom have since understood the plight better since then, but it wore me down. My boyfriend at the time would start arguments with me, usually when I’d had a drink and more prone to being bothered, about everything from abortion to street harassment and tell me that it’s not as bad as I think. I didn’t have the energy anymore.
I feel able again. When I see people out campaigning, volunteering, it reminds me of why it all matters. I ran into some ROSA volunteers on Saturday at a Repeal bake sale and I remembered why I almost ran myself into the ground for the cause. Even in the face of defeat after defeat and insult and disrespect, people still fight. We still have to fight, because if we don’t, the pro-life lies win by default, and we risk losing any progress we’ve made.