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Monday, February 7, 2022

A Confession About Burn Out: Part 1


I don't get a lot of hits on my blog which maybe is why I feel like doing a confession post. I'm not harbouring any gruesome secrets and there are no bodies buried in my backyard (that I know of). 

My confession, as the title of this post suggests, is about burn out. My very own deep dark burn out hole (that I dug then threw myself in) and how I've been trying to claw my way out. 

Maybe this post will find another writer who is going through the same thing. Maybe that writer will feel less alone by reading this post. Maybe I'm just shouting into the abyss and no one will read this. I'm okay with any and all of that. Writing is good therapy for me and I can finally say that I'm back in a place where that statement is true again. 

I'm not the type of person to admit weakness and for quite some time, as I was wallowing in the depths of burn out, I felt at my weakest, mentally, physically, emotionally. Now, I know someone might say that burn out has nothing to do with weakness, that I'm being too hard on myself...and yes, that's true, (we are our toughest critics) but part of my failed attempts to help myself was because of my personally constructed idea about weakness and work ethic and the kind of person I always strive to be.

I've always been what many would call a workaholic. I like to be busy. Busy is good. It keeps the boredom from creeping in. I hate being restless, purposeless, without something to work on. That doesn't mean I don't know how to relax, I do. I enjoy reading and sitting outside sipping tea and gazing at nothing. I enjoy massages. I enjoy hiking and long walks. I also like deadlines and heaps of projects. I like it when my brain is buzzing with creativity and things to do. I like saying YES to asks that excite me. I like to be working hard so that when I relax I know it's well earned. 

The funny thing about burn out is that it creeps in on you. It circles like a predator, looking for ways to strike. I didn't see if coming even though people warned me. Even though I've seen other writers dive into burn out and stay there for a very long time. Even though I've been in burn out before. 

I ignored the signs. 

Now that I'm out of denial and into admission, I see exactly where the trouble started. Way back in the spring of 2021 when I agreed to two contracts, both due by the end of the summer and I said some personally famous last words. "I NEVER miss a deadline."

1 comment:

  1. It's good to recognize what happened. Often high performing people like you can thrive on multiple deadlines and tasks until, suddenly, it's more than enough. I wish you well. I went away from writing for a long time because my life was full of stress in other areas. I'm glad I've returned to it.