Burnout

Updated: Jul 6

I’m sure we are all accustomed with the term by now. Throughout our lifetimes, it has become so deeply ingrained in our bones, tattooed in our minds that we can’t help but become seduced by its familiarity.

What even is burnout? Are we sick of the path we chose and our subconscious is holding up a big yield sign telling us we are off track? What if we made mistake after mistake and fell into a rabbit hole of nothingness, suspended midair with no way to escape.


Escape.


How do I escape?


Do you ever sit and stare into space with tears rolling down your cheeks? You’re so angry you can’t help but cry. You want to escape so badly. You want to run. You need to throw a fit, to yell, to shout to whomever is listening that enough is enough. Please no more. I can’t take it.


I need to escape. There’s too much noise in here. The chaos in my brain is so overwhelming I’m becoming paralyzed by this sinking feeling. I’m sweating, shaking, buzzing, losing myself; I’m drowning in self disgust, in denial, in self pity. I’m whispering for help but no one can hear me. My vocal cords are shredded from the screaming. Please someone get rid of this noise.

I need to escape.


How do I escape life without someone calling my therapist and telling them I am suicidal. Maybe I should say, “How do I escape my brain?” My mind can be a dark and scary place sometimes. It tells me things in voices that sound eerily like the folks around me. It reminds me that my hair is greasy, my clothes are frumpy, my body isn’t how it should look.

What if I buy a roundtrip ticket to a place in my mind that I’ve never visited? I’ve never been in love before. I wonder if I can find a tour guide for that trip. That would be such an interesting place to be shown around. But eventually I’d have to use that roundtrip ticket to get back to my life. My tour guide can’t keep showing me the sights at a discounted price. But for that small bit of time, I would have understood what being in love felt like and most importantly, I would have been able to escape the scary routine I’ve fallen into and dive into new scenery. I would have run away from the burnout and come back with a clean slate.


Or maybe come back with a canvas with a stenciled design on it, so I can color in the experiences I had. I’d hate to forget this trip when I come back to reality.


Ugh, now I would’ve wished I’d found the souvenir that said “I survived falling in love…” Maybe I should go back and ask the tour guide how to actually get on that ride. There’s probably a long line and of course I don’t have one of those “cut the line” passes.


Maybe I can just travel somewhere else, like to the part of my mind that eats meat or eats fast food…mmm on second thought? Maybe not.


I think whatever path we are on, eventually there will be a bump to get over, a river to cross, a wall to climb, stormy weather, and pretty much any other cliché you can think of. But, ya know, clichés are what they are for a reason, simply a word or a phrase that we all feel, that we all know very well.


Remember when we were little kids and the only thing that mattered was sitting at the cool table at lunch when in reality it was really just the allergy table that was pushed to the corner of the room?


I remember one time I sat at that cool table despite not having a peanut allergy and feeling like I was on top of the world.


So, where’s the cool table now? Who’s sitting there?


The friends I wish I had now are the snobby kids who ignore your existence. Their names are Success, Money, Fame, and Fulfillment.


Gosh, they’re so cool. Imagine being friends with Success? Success has the best clothes. They have this hat on that says “You woke up today.” On their shirt it says, “Employee of the month.” They also have these rad shoes that say “Congrats, you’re going to be a parent.”


Where does Success buy their wardrobe? I wanna shop there. Maybe I can find a discount or something on sale. If they have a tank top that says “Opening for Brandi Carlile,” I am splurging. If I can find socks on sale that say “You sold your first song,” I’m buying two pairs.


Ugh, I wish I was as cool as those kids. Maybe one day I’ll find the courage to go over and introduce myself to Success. Maybe they can introduce me to their other friends.


Burnout.


I’m exhausted. Do you smell that smoke? The gears between my ears are breaking down and in need of maintenance.


Does anyone know a mechanic?



May 11, 2022


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