Burned Out

I have been going, going, going for far too long. I’m tired, and I rarely enjoy any of the things I can really enjoy when I’m not so tired. I’m just so tired all the time. Things that are fun should be relaxing and help me recharge. But when I’m doing hobbies or trying to unwind, my mind is racing with all the things that I haven’t done.

I am trying to focus on the things I HAVE done instead of everything I HAVEN’T done, which is lot on both ends of the spectrum. I graduated high school with a 3.95 a YEAR early. I graduated college with my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science when I was 20. I bought my first house when I was 21. I opened up my own business when I was 24. I was successful and quit my full time job when I was 25. I am a successful business owner and bought my second house when I was 28. I have been homeless (in a sense). I have felt love and heartbreak. I have felt loss. I have felt failure and success. I have seen death and also new life. I have built the life I have now on a dream that I made come true. I am proud. I sacrificed to make the dream come true. I missed out on so much because I was building this. There was light at the end of the tunnel. It’s there, I’m in the light now. My business is self-sustaining and now I have too much business for just one person. I have for quite a while. It’s taken over.

overwhelmedI see it like mint. My boyfriend taught me how to plant vegetables and herbs. I learned how to keep it alive and how to nurture it and meet its’ needs so it can thrive. I learned what a struggle looks like, and I learned to love our plants. Now, back to mint. It’s a hearty plant that takes over. At first, I was worried about it growing at all. I thought I would kill it. So I took care of it, watched over it, loved it. Now, it’s taking over our planter box. I can’t keep up with it. It’s going to take over everything else in the box because it’s just growing all over everything. My business has taken over every area of my life, and now I need to prune it. Trim it back, and let the other areas have a chance to thrive too.

I know exactly what I need. I know what jobs I need help with. But it’s taking the time to train someone else and get them up to speed that takes away even more time that I don’t have. Training directly under me…someone should be paying me to teach them what I had to pay for. I need a student. “Dog Trainer Seeks Apprentice”. Too many have phased out. This life isn’t for them. They can’t handle the stress, or the intensity. It’s too hard, it’s too stressful, and it takes over. Too many people think they want this life, but they don’t. It’s not easy. It’s not playing with puppies all day. It’s mentally challenging, physically exhausting, and emotionally draining. You get attached, then it gets ripped away. You get frustrated when your clients can’t do what you can do. It’s not a realistic expectation for them to do what you do. You have to constantly remind yourself people aren’t being stupid… they just don’t know.

On a personal level, I sometimes don’t feel good enough for the other areas of my life. I feel like I fall short. Like, other people could do a better job than I could. Like I hold them back from better things. I’ve spent too much time building this business-life that I’m retarded in other areas to the point where I will always fail. I don’t voice it because I’m ashamed. Ashamed of not being better. Of not being able to perform as excellently in all areas of my life as I do in my business. I’m a phenomenal dog trainer. I’m an excellent teacher and coach of people who need help with balancing their dog. But balancing my life it seems I constantly fail. I feel like I’m spinning out of the control and I can’t catch the string of my life that is floating away. I’m watching it, but I can’t catch it. It’s going too fast. My lungs can’t get enough oxygen, my muscles are sore, and the space between my fingertips and the string is getting bigger and bigger.

I tried to balance. Work hard, play hard. I scheduled time off MONTHS in advance so I could enjoy a weekend here and there without dogs. One weekend a month. 12 weekends a year, I wanted to enjoy a couple days off. Even if that just means staying home, but only having our dogs. Day hikes, trips to visit my family (It had been 4 years since I had visited my dad at home until June of this year). I’m feeling pretty upset since this probably means I will need to work and miss my boyfriend’s friend’s wedding in Georgia, miss his birthday weekend, miss rock hunting, breathwork energy classes, parties, holidays, family get togethers, hanging out with friends because I’m too tired, camping.. etc.

I need about 4 more people besides myself to run the business where it’s more self-sufficient than it already is. I dream so big that in order for me to do everything, I need 4 people here, and then I need me. I have such big plans and wants in my life that it’s overwhelming for me to think of more than just today. And then when I do, I don’t want to do anything because it’s too much.

I don’t feel good enough. But for me to be better, I need more energy. I feel like I’m failing. I feel like my needs are being met and I’m being selfish. I do my best, but I feel like it’s not enough. I’m not enough, but I’m too much at the same time.

Drowning

It’s too much. The pressure, the drowning. The work, the talking, the social life. It’s too much.

My body aches and pains. It cracks when I stand up straight. My spine won’t stay straight.

Mentally, I’m exhausted. I’m trying to put in as much effort as I can. I try, and I pull it together to put on the mask of fake happiness. No one knows. Invisible scars that no one sees.

Eventually it gets to the point where it’s all just muscle memory. Wake up, feed animals, shower, go to work. Leave work, go train dogs, come home, sleep without dinner. Over and over and over again.

The mask, the costume covers the feelings, covers the feeling of insanity. Thoughts of wanting it to end begin. As the day goes on, the thoughts get deeper and darker, and I suffocate in them.

The feeling starts again. The drowning. I can’t speak, I can’t breathe. No one can hear me anyway. I’m drowning and everyone else is fine.

photo

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What helps? How do I breathe? Solitude. Extra loud, sad music. My animals-sometimes, other times they are annoying, and I don’t want them anywhere near me. Which, all they want to do is make me feel better.

Last night, I was drained, empty, exhausted, and depressed. My muscles hurt, and I took a bath in my jacuzzi.  My dog laid on the bath mat, Max sat on the edge of the tub the entire time, and Mia snuggled up in a pile of dirty clothes. They stayed there the whole time. At the time, I didn’t notice. Today, I remembered. I noticed.

I love them. I have the night off, and I will be giving my animals extra special attention when I get home. Because I love them. All they had to do was be there. Don’t talk to me, don’t do anything, just be there. And they were.

 

Burned Out

Have you ever experienced a complete burn out? Where you can’t think anymore? Your brain feels like you can’t hold any more information? You have no motivation to continue on? Nothing is enjoyable anymore? Basically, you are done. Just can’t do anymore. Physically, mentally, spiritually…

I have. I am going through one…again.

This will be my second burn-out in 3 years. I am doing too much. No down time, just work. Different types of work though: Day job, home life, owning a business, and managing my own well being. I am so happy I don’t have kids, because they would starve right now. It feels like no matter how productive I am, I just can’t keep up. Just too much work. Stupid work, stupid money, stupid stress – all those things prevent us from doing what we want to do.

Blurry rocks

A picture of some rocks I found outside of my office

Sometimes, I just want a day where I can curl up in a corner and just not do a single thing. And when I do decide to come out of my cave, the world has kindly stopped for me, so I don’t have any catching up to do. Weekends are filled with paperwork and ‘catching up’ for things I didn’t have time for during the week. Like housework, bills, and paperwork for my business. Vacations aren’t vacations at all. They are just approved procrastination days. So that when I come back, I am bombarded with fires, and mountains of tasks that need to be done.

It’s overwhelming. Yes, I have PTO that I could use to give myself a much needed down-day. However, I am trying to save that time so I can spend two weeks taking a course to get my dog training certification. It’s an exhausting, dangerous game I am playing. I need a day for my mental health, but refuse to spend one.

On any average day, I usually work about 14 hours. On weekends, I work about 5 hours total. Last week, between my business and my day job, I pulled about a 150hr week. Over the weekend, I worked about 30 hours. Paperwork, finances, actual training, website stuff, updating statuses for my business on Facebook, purchasing new equipment, creating a new Google+ account, studying, organizing, printing, researching, shopping, etc… it doesn’t end. I have been doing this 14-16 hr daily schedule for the last 6 months. And I don’t see an end in sight yet…

I’m overwhelmed. Seems to be a new trend within my life recently… What do you do to relax when this happens?