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01 November 2014

Burnt Out

How hard do you have to fight, how long do you have to carry on, until you give up?

Have you ever literally hit rock bottom? It may be rock bottom with finances, addiction, health, family, whatever. The rock bottom, the limit, the point where you just absolutely realise you cannot go on like this and things have to change drastically? Yet at the same time you dont know where to go or what to do!
I have, and it hasn't been pretty.
I have been working pretty hard for the last few years, I'll be the first to admit it has been self inflicted. None-the-less it has been hard work. Of late the stresses of life have been getting to me, somewhat more than usual.
I got to the point recently where clients were calling me and I would just not want to pick up, or I would sit in from of the pc to do admin for 3 hours and stare at the emails I had to reply to and just get blocked, and not want to respond to any of them. My friends and family have been hearing the phrase "dumbass" used a lot when speaking about clients lately. I was becoming downright rude to strangers, and mean to the people I love. Anyone who irritated me or got in my way I wanted to punch in the face and I was spending many hours a day crying.
I became a horrible person.
Then I realized, I am drained! 
Psychologically, emotionally and physically drained. I didnt quite realize it until recently though, I read a magazine article about how to deal with burn out, and as I read those pages, tears started falling down my face because I finally realised what is wrong with me. I was reading myself in those pages.
The symptoms described as "goes beyond the ordinary stress of everyday work...characterized by chronic exhaustion, strong feelings of frustration and powerlessness. Those suffering from burnout tend to withdraw emotionally from their work, lose motivation, and become less productive"
That was me.
Chronic Exhaustion, ok it was not CFS, I've been there, but this was darn near close to that. I was suffering big time with trying to stay awake. And as for mornings, we all know how I feel about mornings, but this was getting seriously bad. Frustration, yes, absolutely. Frustrated at every person within, well within earth's atmosphere. Frustrated at all the work I had taken on. Frustrated at getting nothing done.
Powerlessness, well I had nothing left to give, it was like I had given everything and was now ready to finally give up. I felt like I could not get myself out of this pit I had dug for myself.
Withdraw emotionally from work, refer "dumbass clients", and a feeling of sick dread on the days I was going to see clients. A feeling of hatred for my work and just wanting out.
Loss of motivation, I became a flight risk. Quite literally! I would be driving to the shops to do the regular grocery shopping, and think to myself "I'm on the highway already, I have a full tank of petrol, I have a bank card, it wont hurt anyone if I just keep on driving.", In fact there are some days I did just that, spent 3 or 4 hours just gone. I would go explore a random interesting looking road, or find myself sitting on the beach and wonder how the heck I got there.
Less Productive, well I was just straight out cancelling clients and ignoring all work as much as humanly possible. I knew the work had to be done, but if I ignored it maybe it would spontaneously combust.

You may not know it got this bad, its still pretty bad actually. But I try not to let on. I smile and say I'm fine even though I feel like I'm in another dimension, I feel like living is a dream and all I want to do is sleep to get out of it.
Fortunately I have been able to take some time off, and although I'm still very desperate to go on a proper holiday (like to Cape Town or JoBurg, anywhere thats not Durban actually) if finances allow it, I have the whole of November off of work. 
This will allow me to gather myself again and be ready to rock'n'roll when December rolls in with the busy tourists and holiday makers and barely a moment's break.

In this month off, I have so many things I would love to do and need to do, but that kind of defeats the purpose of having a break because that wont be a break.  Anyway, I'm just not that motivated to do anything.
Life is so busy, and even in my somewhat off beat and not-so-normal life I have been dealing with pressures and stresses.
I just need to get away from it all!

So if you want me, unless its REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY important wait till December please. 
Of course, if you're planning to stand at a distance and throw chocolate at me then you are welcome to call.......

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