Burnout to a Crisp
It’s 7:05 am and my alarm sounds. Every morning I fight the urge to throw it, I knew it was coming. I knew because I became conscious 20 minutes earlier but kept my eyes closed. I knew that opening them meant starting a new day at a job I had begun to dislike and another day in a life I had no energy for. I am BURNT OUT and this is my journey; let’s talk about it.
Being burnt out in a job is something I am familiar with. I had written about it and even lived through it in smaller jobs that I had no real intention of staying at but this is a job I’ve been with for years. All I knew was love and passion in this organization that has seen me transition from a girl to a woman. It’s now seeing me transition from a star efficient employee to a burnt out husk that’s ready to quit at any irrational moment. We’ve all probably been there and back at this point in our lives.
Hearing someone is burnt out in their job is not at all out the norm, in fact, you can google articles about how most employees working outside their passion will experience it. What you don’t hear is that you can be burnt out in life. This includes every aspect like jobs, relationships, dreams etc…why does it happen?
Dig through the ashes and find the understanding you need. Reexamine the necessity of the things in your life that require your energy and give an honest answer on if you think those things are worthy.
Where There’s Smoke
Balance. Everything I read and what I innately know is that having a healthy work/life balance is important to maintaining in life but what happens when the life part of the work/life balance is unbalanced itself? Ideally, retreating from a stressful environment at work to a peaceful home life would counteract some of the inevitable damage from insatiable work needs. Ideally. What I found when I glared deep into my burnout was that it wasn’t just one area that had drained my energy but every area of my life. I felt like that meme of Oprah throwing out free shit; only I was throwing out my energy and time and the shit wasn’t free.
I paid the cost out of an already depleted reserve. I had missed something important in the process of healing and grinding. I had missed that balance is the key to staying sane. Despite all my self-care techniques used to uplift and restore my spirit; I was missing important people on the opposite side of the scale needed to properly balance it all out. I couldn’t restore myself alone. I can’t restore myself alone.
I take responsibility for my part in creating a world where I’m dominate and hell-bent on exceeding the expectations that come with that. But now, in a world where I’m expected to be Superman I need to ask for more time to be a regular ol’ Clark Kent? Hell I’d even settle for Lois Lane.
There comes a time when the debt has to be paid; I’ve been expending energy and fake interest/happy for every area of my life on credit and now the bill is due. I’m bankrupt. See it’s not enough to acknowledge your issues with stress or emotional detachment but you have to find ways to release and uplift. I knew my problem but never found a solution; now I’m having no choice but to start from the bottom of my issues in order to fix them.
If I say I’m lonely then I need to figure out why and find creative ways to connect or have the uncomfortable talks with those I love. Just recently I told my mom that I didn’t come home anymore because it felt like a ghost town as soon I as entered the city limit of our small hometown. I’ve lost so many men inside those city limits that memories flood my car and drown me before I even make it to the top steps of my mother’s house.
That honesty brought understanding from her and new solutions that help to share the energy in our relationship. She came to see me the next day with flowers and just like that I felt a small surge charge through the husk I had become. Other conversations I’ve had didn’t necessarily “fix” the issue but shed light on a decision having to be made on whether to accept a drain on my being without help to replenish it or whether to walk away. Such decisions are sometimes necessary in order to fully restore you to the bright being you are meant to be.
I couldn’t restore myself alone. I can’t restore myself alone.
If you’re looking for a direct way to address your burnt out energy I don’t have the answer. Of course there are plenty of ways to give yourself peace and begin healing but restoring true energy, positive energy, to your life takes time. It will require a re-working of all the things the made you burn out in the first place. Dig through the ashes and find the understanding you need. Reexamine the necessity of the things in your life that require your energy and give an honest answer on if you think those things are worthy. Take care in knowing that we all get a little burned out sometimes but rehydrating our lives with the things that truly give back to us is how we sustain, endure and triumph.
MILLENNIAL LESSON: “You can’t Pour from an Empty cup.” -unknown
LET’S TALK BUILDERS! Tell me about your experiences with burnout and how you triumphed through it.
This is so relatable! I’ve actually been going through something similar. A job I started to dislike, feeling empty and unfulfilled, not always recognizing that I needed to have people in my corner. I think that part of having balance includes having the big picture of our lives even out. So, like you said, if work is draining me at the moment, I should have been able to get some energy from my social life or from doing things I enjoy. I can’t say that’s been the case lately.
Normally, I would try to correct my imbalance, but in this case, I’ve been feeling like I want a change or to start over. I just feel like it’s time to move on from some of the things & relationships I used to draw energy from and find new opportunities. I’ve started letting some things go, and it feels like I’m starting to get a bit of balance back. I imagine that it will take me some time to get my feet under me, but so far, I’m feeling like I’m heading in the right direction.