The Rock Bottom of Burnout

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This doesn’t look like a burnt out person to you, does it? Just another happy person at a fun party. That’s what I thought too. I was too busy to bother with bathroom breaks or looking in the mirror very often, but I felt like things were going OK. At least, it seems I was doing a great job of keeping up appearances.

I have been a stressed out person and delinquent blogger for the past 3 weeks. Princess Lisa came to visit around Halloween and I had so much to tell you about…but I never got around to it because work became insanely busy. I’ve been prepping to host an event for a very persnickety and demanding client, and as that date drew closer, I was torn further and further away from the things I love: blogging, reading, exercise, good meals, good sleep. I’m happy to tell you that despite quite a few hitches along the way, the event went quite well, and in the eyes of my superiors, seems to be a career high for me, which is great. But for me personally, this joins the list of my “never again” health lows.

You know how when you read that a celebrity has been admitted to the hospital for exhaustion, and you roll your eyes and think “We’re all exhausted, sweetie. Repping your perfume line can NOT be that hard. Get a life.” Well, I thought it was ridiculous too, until this weekend. The week was jam packed and I was literally in charge of everything, running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I was operating completely on adrenaline, and it worked. But then Friday hit, and I had no more event to contend with and no more adrenaline available. And I felt like I got hit by a train. My heart was racing, I was dizzy, had a headache, breath was shallow. I was scared. My friends told me to eat, drink, and sleep, and I would get better, but I didn’t. I was too tired to eat, too wired to relax, and so utterly exhausted, but I couldn’t sleep. At 3am on Saturday morning, I got out of bed and drove myself to the hospital. Enough was enough.

I got stuck in a lovely bed beside some girl who was super high on mushrooms and wouldn’t stop crying. That was great for my headache. But the doctor was very nice. They ran an ECG and all vitals on me and assured me that I wasn’t dying; I just needed to get back to my regular routine. At 5 am they sent me home with some Ativan so I could sleep. I chugged a Powerade and took my pill and slept for five hours straight. It felt like heaven.

Looking back, I had been sleeping 2-4 hours per night for two weeks. I had been eating maybe 1000 calories a day, and most of them after 5pm. I had exercised twice in two weeks. What had happened to my life? My whole universe had changed in pursuit of appeasing others, and to what end? A very scary one, personally.

I know sometimes we get tired: tired of our jobs, tired of our kids, our work, our commitments, our workouts, our meal plans. And that is OK. It is OK to admit you are tired. And it is OK to ask for help. I didn’t do either of those things and, in an attempt to look like some sort of office hero, put on a great show…but landed myself in the ER. I’m happy to say that with just that little bit of medication, some real rest, hydration, and food, I’m back to feeling like myself, and will be back to blogging soon. But take this as a real warning for yourselves: we all try to be superwoman and save the day…but don’t forget to think about how far you will go before YOU need saving.

xoox
Princess Lindsey

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10 thoughts on “The Rock Bottom of Burnout

    • Hey Lindsey,

      Glad this one resonated with you. If you are there now, or on your way to being there, make sure you get some help. I know we want to be all things to all people, so it’s really hard to admit that you can’t do it all, but don’t let yourself get to this point. And it’s always OK to vent about it to your online friends! Let me know how you’re doing and if we can help or just listen.

      Lindsey

      • You are so sweet thank you so much! I am working through it and things finally look like they are calming down but I will definitely keep track of where I am emotionally and physically.

      • That was my mistake. I was so full steam ahead that at the height of it all I wouldn’t have even noticed if someone cut off my own arm. I was just DOING, and nothing could stop me. It wasn’t until I stopped that all hell broke loose and I saw what had happened while I was too busy being busy. Keep keeping tabs on yourself, and let some extra shovels help you dig out of that hole! xo

    • Thanks, Julie. Up until this past weekend I was pretty much working from 7 am – 10 pm, so not much time left for running, unless I wanted to sacrifice sleeping, showering, and hair/makeup time…and not much sleep happened anyway! I know that when I skip the gym for even 2 days I have a hard time sleeping, so 2 weeks was awful. Back at it tomorrow, and I am SO looking forward to it!

  1. So sorry to hear about your recent troubles but glad to hear you came out the other end. It’s always good to check in w yourself at the end of the day. We always think we can do more than we can when what we can is enough.

    Feel better soon!!!
    And thanks for such a honest post.

    • Thanks for caring 🙂 I’m still struggling with whether or not to tell “real” people, like those at work who watched me go through the circus this week. We all know we do too much, work too hard, and take too much abuse sometimes, but it’s so hard to admit “I can’t” or “I couldn’t.” I don’t want to be seen as fragile, but to be honest, there’s no way I can do that again.

  2. Wow, this post was really eye opening! I too have been incredibly stressed over work lately and it’s taken a lot away from me including my ability to relax and go running. I had to cover for my manager and my scheduler while they were both out of town last week and had to deal with some crazy scheduling issues which led to a lack of sleep and food and I definitely had a day where I ran purely on adrenaline so I know where you’re coming from! I got home from work that day and realized that I’d forgotten to eat breakfast and lunch because I was too busy dealing with a scheduling issue! It sounds like you’re on your way to recovery and I hope you’re able to relax soon!

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