I’ve hit rock bottom enough times to know what it looks it.
Even so, each and every time I’m surprised when it happens. Like, this again? I thought I was done with this nonsense.
This time, I knew for certain it was my fault. I had felt it building up. I felt The Dark Place calling. And I ignored it. I pushed myself harder, worked more, made more lists, tried to push for productivity.
When I realized that I was nearing burnout and that pushing myself wasn’t yielding results, I stopped. It wasn’t supposed to be a permanent thing. It was supposed to be a break.
But one week turned into two and then three months later, I was curled on my couch with a glass of wine, bawling my eyes out and contemplating taking allergy medication just so I could feel all nice and fuzzy instead of miserable.
The trigger? My father being rushed into hospital after showing signs of a mild heart attack and a meeting with someone that forced a mirror in front of me and the way that I had been living my life.
I felt lost. This wasn’t me. I was the girl with all the goals and the to-do lists. I was the girl who studied, ran a blog, wrote online, worked on a novel all while still working in a toxic environment. HOW did I get here?
I didn’t know it at the time but I was the problem. I was so excited to be working in Marketing that I had neglected my mental and physical health. I wish I could say that I fixed it but I didn’t. No, instead I moved from Performance Marketing to Event Marketing and a few months later, had the same issue. I had thrown myself headfirst into learning everything I could and (again) neglected my own health. So when a job opportunity to be a content writer arrived, I took it.
Can you guess what happened then? Yep, another six months and I felt myself getting sick again. This time I refused to let it get me. I had worked for years! YEARS! All I ever wanted was to be a content writer and I was not going to let me stand in the way. I took a few days off and actually did disconnect. I stayed away from work email and messages. And when I logged back…there was nothing waiting for me. It was an actual break. I was appalled. I had never had that happen to me before.
Moral of the story: Take a break if you need to. Always put your health first. ESPECIALLY if you can tell that burnout is on its way.