I'm Not Lazy, I'm Having a Burnout


Dear LLers,

Two days ago, I started a “vent about anything” session on Instagram, but little did I know that it would accidentally trigger a personal struggle I once had - burnout.

Usually, when I open my direct messages (DM) for vent sessions, it’s filled with complaints about their bosses, but this time around, it was different. I received 100++ vents within 1 hour, and almost half of it centered around burnout - whether they realize it or not.

So I figured it’s time I shared a little on my perspective and my personal experience on burnout. This is my personal experience and my emotions. It’s unique to me, and I only hope that you can benefit from this.

A couple of years ago, I had the roughest time of my life at my workplace. These days, I call it “the dark past,” but during that period, nothing was easy. I’ve always prided myself on being exceptional in everything I do. From the way, I write my emails to even the finer details of my slide. Everything had to be excellent, and everything had to be exceptional.

The thing no one tells you is that being “good” at what you do has a very big downside - you start carrying more workload. The more you can do, the more your workload increases, and saying no is not something you’re used to - so you keep taking on more work until eventually, I reached a dangerous point - indifference.

Things got even worse when my relationship with my boss turned sour. I was battling both my emotions and my work environment. It was a living nightmare. You may deny it all you want, but your body sends you signals. It started as a migraine, then it gradually changed and into feeling a constant state of nausea. I remember staring at my laptop and feeling completely sick.

Did I ask for help? No. Why? Because I simply did not know how to. Maybe I just let my identity of being “exceptional” stop me from feeling anything else. You may judge me, that’s okay, but I know I’m not alone in this mental script. Or maybe I simply didn’t know it was a “burnout” - I mean, no one tells you about it, do they? If you’ve never experienced it, how do you know about it?

If there is one thing I want all of you to know is that: burnout doesn’t happen overnight; it happens gradually. It compounds and it slowly builds up. The best thing you can do for yourself is to observe the signs.

What are the signs? This tweet has hundreds of LLers sharing their experience (it should get you thinking).

You’re not lazy, you’re simply human, and you’re in the process of learning how to handle your emotions - there is simply nothing wrong with it. If anyone makes you feel this is unacceptable than take it as a sign that you’re not in the right place. 

When it feels like you have to keep going, that’s your sign that you must stop, center yourself and let go.

No job or achievement is ever worth your mental health. Choose Yourself - because you owe it to yourself.



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