This is the most important letter that you will ever read, please give me about ten minutes of your life. Your family, friends and you; will not regret it.
Burnout is real! How do I know, well because I suffered twice from it.
I was a very successful and busy Retinal Surgeon (Ophthalmologist) in Belgium with a great practice which was sending me on my way to being a millionaire and to an early grave where the millions would have done me no good.
80 hour weeks, week after week, month after month, and only to fall because of a state of chronic stress (Burnout) which lead to;
1. physical and emotional exhaustion
2. cynicism and detachment
3. feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment
In the end, I was unable to function on both a personal and professional level. Now this did not happen over night. No, it happened over time and worst of all, I don’t see it until it becomes chronic. The sleepless nights, insomnia, anger, irritability, increasing illnesses, exhaustion, poor performance, loss of enjoyment and you know, the insidious list goes on.
Have you ever asked your family and friends recently about your behaviour to them? Have you ever asked your colleagues about your work performance recently? I did and yes I too was shocked as I didn’t see it until too late.
Why does it hit the successful high achievers with the I can do everything attitude? Simple really. We can’t do everything! We can’t be an everything to everyone type person either. We are merely humble human beings no matter what. The pressures of work life impeding on pressures of family life which inturn impedes on work life. Visious circle right?
I had a beautiful husband and three gorgeous children plus a very busy Retinal Surgery to run. How great this sounds right? But where was the time for me? 12 hour working days which went into nights as I looked after my children providing them with motherly love and attending to their needs. Where was the time for me?
My husband and I fought at night, as we had no us time on the weekends. My life seemed to be in a spiraling mess. I was unhappy, exhausted, depressed and loathed my life. I wanted out!!! Yes that’s right, I too contemplated suicide as we all do towards the end as this insidious beast rages within us and eventually overtakes our thoughts.
I had to act fast and not just for my sake, but for the sake of my young children and (LATE) husband.
I ended up in hospital which was my wake up call.
Once home, I took to researching this insidious health risk as there was no one to help me.
After some months, I had gathered as mush information as possible, Collated it and designed a program for myself to over come burnout.
It did take time and effort and not just my own effort. My husband and children assisted me and eventually with some changes to my program, I beat the beast!