The Beginning of the End

So I’m officially burned out. I’ve been dealing with job fatigue for quite awhile. I thought I could change. I really felt if I just “tweak” this or that, things would be okay. Boy, was I wrong!

It really started this time last year. I was sluggish, irritable and just drained. I had an exhaustive list of tests done. Blood work and ultrasounds all can back clear except I was low on Vitamin D. I was bumped up to 5000 IU a day and things improved. The dark circles under my eyes disappeared, and I was feeling great. I felt motivated; nothing could stop me.

Then the bottom fell out around November. My co-worker left for a new job, so the time between her notice and the company actually finding a replacement, I was holding down the ship. I couldn’t get out of bed because I felt so drained. I thought about quitting…several times. I even had a date on which I was going to turn in my two weeks notice. Of course, by the time that date came by I was feeling better.

Then February rolled around and felt the bottom drop again. This time the drop was more severe than I ever experienced before. I was getting combative with everyone. I punched a wall at work. I contemplated suicide a couple of times. Part of me wanted to run away. I was running on fumes of fumes. So what caused this….


I knew for the longest time the burden I was carrying here. I am everyone’s reference section. If you don’t know the answer, it’s usually dumped on me. It didn’t help that my co-worker’s replacement is absolutely useless, calls off regularly and then asks fifty million questions. I know the exact moment of the burn-out. I work in customer service for a security system installer, which isn’t the best place for anyone. We’re short on technicians and have a management team who just doesn’t care because they’re not taking the phone calls from pissed off customers. So that’s stressful enough; combine that with having 3 project manager problems dumped on me (“Oh you do repairs, figure this out”), to having my direct line turned into a project manager’s personal service request center and finally a sales guy saying, “Well better you handle this guy than me,” I FUCKING FLIPPED OVER THE EDGE!

I’m just going to pretend my life isn’t a flying pile of dog shit.

Every little thing pissed me off. I went to see a therapist. I had borderline severe depression and anxiety. It felt good to finally be diagnosed with a problem because that meant that I could recover. But that didn’t happen; I became worse. I felt rage at my job! I’ve had problems all my life but never had they manifested to this extreme. This workplace was so toxic; it was slowly killing me. I would go into the bathroom and cry. Ten minutes, I would be in there and punch a wall. I had people tell me “Oh you need a vacation.” Well, I tried vacations, only to have my work left uncompleted for the week I was gone.

I looked up the signs of job burnout because I refused to accept that I just fell into a depression for no reason. Yeah, I dealt with death and loss in the past, but nothing triggered it. There had to be something more. Then I found 10 Signs You’re Burning Out:

1. Exhaustion
This was a 10 for me. I would go to bed, sleep 8 hours and still feel exhausted. Not to mention I had severe dark circles around my eyes. I’ve been trying to learn JavaScript to transition into another career. By the time I reached the weekend, I was so exhausted I couldn’t even move from the couch. It felt like a had to climb Mount Everest.

If only I had the motivation to do this!

2. Lack of Motivation
I wanted to start a dog walking business, but that never got off the ground because I was so tired. I had the aforementioned JavaScript classes waiting for me. I loved to write about (separately) baseball and Disney. I found the things I loved the most, too exhausting to do.

3. Frustration, Cynicism and Other Negative Emotions

Like I mentioned before, the littlest things pissed me off. My wipers broke on my car and almost killed someone. I would burst into a rage all the time. Even my beloved pets weren’t immune. I become so pissed off, I grabbed my cat by the neck and was going to throw her. The only thing that stopped me was the look of fear in her eyes. I dropped her and immediately cried. I was turning into a monster.

4. Cognitive Problems
I forgot how to use my iPhone. I couldn’t remember things from the previous day. When I was in college, I was a 3.80 GPA student who could have recited the Illinois Criminal Code by heart. I was sharp and alert. Working in this environment, turned me into a zombie. I would repeat myself constantly, forgetting what I just told someone.

5. Slipping Job Performance
Yep, I could really give a fuck what happened at work. My thoughts were “go ahead and fire me.” I never worked like that in my whole career. I was always an efficient worker and to have things pile up was not me. I came in to get a paycheck, and that was all.

6. Interpersonal Problems at Home and at Work

Everyone suffered. I started to withdraw. I didn’t want to be around anyone, and when I was around people, I became a bear. I was extremely hard to be around. I even had a few instances of road rage.

(In a singing voice) I know you. I want you to go fuck yourself. Okay bye!

7. Not Taking Care of Yourself
I had gained over 40 pounds. I would binge drink when I was out. When I couldn’t sleep, I would take some of my codeine cough syrup to knock me out. I didn’t care I dressed, looked or acted.

8. Being Preoccupied With Work … When You’re Not at Work
There is always a dread about going into work especially Sunday afternoon. I was going to full-blown panic attacks. I couldn’t sleep or enjoy the rest of the day. Weekdays were especially horrendous. Every morning brought dread and panic. I knew my day was going to be shitty before I even walked in the doors. Some days, I had to “pump” myself up just to get into the front door of work.

9. Generally Decreased Satisfaction
I would often think that things would be better off without me. Things that made me happy seemed like a burden. I literally wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

10. Health Problems
You name it: High blood pressure, obesity, and depression. I had chest pains, headaches and lightheartedness constantly. Every day was a struggle. I felt like I was heading towards having a stroke.

I tried everything. I started to eat better and results. I started journaling and writing down my anger…no results. I was a hamster on a wheel. No escape and nothing was going to change.

I feel like a quitter. I feel like this job has bested me. I still wondering if I did things. Differently, I wouldn’t be in this state.

I am now faced with a tough decision: my job or my health. I am going to see a doctor about FMLA for a couple of months. I need a recharge and get things straight. Yeah, I’ll have to use up my vacation time, but the rate I am going, I’m not going to make it the next few months to even use my vacation. What will my mom get if I keel over? A fucking sympathy card and maybe some flowers. Sometimes you need to put yourself first. Fuck the company, they don’t care, and you can be replaced.

I don’t just feel burned out, but I feel like I’ve been napalmed.

Just another end to the day at the office.