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  • Writer's pictureBlyde Storm

A state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion brought on by… ME

One day I will explain where my descent into a miserable state started but for now, suffice to say it started at the end of 2019.





By 2020, COVID hit and lockdowns around the world happened. South Africa was no different… Things just went from bad to worse and I felt like there was no way out of my own misery.


The only thing I felt remotely good at was my job! So… I threw myself into it!


There were positives and there still are. I learnt a lot about what I was capable of and I built a career path that I am excited about. Each positive though did have a pesky risk lurking which I did not immediately recognise:


Focus


Positive: When my focus improved (because focusing on work helped me forget everything else) I achieved more in the day. I became able to motor through the mundane stuff and really have more time to get to the strategic elements.


Risk: The more I could get through, the more I took on and the more people expected me to be able to take on and complete, the more I needed to take on in order to continue to convince myself I was badass at my job, the more I dropped balls, the more I had to try harder, the more, the more, the more...



Ambition


I wanted to be the best at what I was doing because that is what I had going for me.


Positive: I put my all in everything I did AT WORK ALL the time! I learnt new things, I built working relationships (usually over Teams with limited face to face contact). I marketed my skills but…


Risk: I forgot to market myself. I was so focused on my ability and skills and competencies that I forgot that people see humans as well. When I was draped in clothes that were either too big (because I bought them like that to hide rolls) or too small (because I had eaten my body weight X 10 000 for the last months), people saw my sloppiness and assumed I was nothing before I had to WIN them back with my skill. This caused me to work even HARDER to gain trust and showcase what I was capable of…



Career Growth


Positive: I put a lot of time and effort into building skills and I got good. I got better than good, I got great! Clients loved me, I was ‘indispensable’ to many of them.


Risk: I lost sight of everything else. This was by design in the beginning because I wanted to forget everything else BUT in time I had no energy left for my family or myself…



Yes, you guessed it, the actual risk I am talking about with all the words above is BURNOUT:

“a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress”

I was not tired. I was genuinely exhausted and I felt broken in every way.


I am writing this in the past tense but a lot of these things I have only JUST started fixing 4 years later! I operated on energy tonics and crappy food for so long and this year, MY YEAR, I am changing as much as I can.


Which leads me (after a super lengthy intro) into my next high level goal:

Work hard but not all the time


Work hard


I want to carry on taking all the positives into my future. Put my all into every task I complete. Focus. Learn. Grow. But…


Not all the time


I want to make time for my family. The 3 loves of my life are my husband and my 2 girls. They are everything to me and while I cannot make up for the time I have lost through the constant crying and general lack of energy in my life over the last few years, I want to make sure that I get to spend more time with them and make memories that can help to soothe the sadness in the past.


At the moment I do not have a clue how I am going to balance this but it’s something I am trying to work through in my head and more info will follow once I figure it out or when I don’t and I am desperately trying (who knows!). I just know, I do not want a work-life balance, I want life all the time, in my work and out…

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