There’s no significant moral here. Except that if you’re feeling this way, too, you need some time off and some support and some help. Because you are probably like me, you are probably terrible at taking any of those and have already come up with ten reasons why it’s not possible and so will probably have your own six-hour crying jag breakdown where you make things much worse by not getting anything done and some of the spinning plates will smash while it happens.
If I’m honest it had started the previous day — or several months ago.
What finally sets it off is a conversation with my housemate. I might move out. I’ve been halfway towards moving out for nearly two years but this is actually a fairly plausible option. I am finally working enough that it’s financially there. All my stuff has been in storage since February.
All my stuff has been in storage since February and I can cope with that because I don’t really need anything other than a Macbook charger and some clean pants but it’s also getting boring living out of a suitcase and paying for all of my stuff to be in storage for no apparently good reason because my housemate doesn’t actually want me to move out. Maybe I want to move out. I don’t know. Maybe I just want things to calm down for a bit the way I keep persuading myself they will “after this week.”
And I surprised myself by bursting into tears because I want to know where I fucking live and all my stuff has been in storage since February and Georgia got put on the red list so I need to cancel a fifth set of flights this year. I need to phone HMRC and the DVLA and sort out a load of life admin. I need to buy a desk so I stop completely destroying my spine trying to work on a dresser or the sofa or the floor like I have been for nearly two years now. I need to do the fucking washing up and instead I’ve just got endless amounts of work and I’m still behind.
I’m so behind on things I shouldn’t be writing this because I should be writing up other articles. I have missed tens of deadlines. You can’t do that as a freelancer. I’m going to lose my job that isn’t really a job per se and I don’t know how I can work any harder and it’s still never enough.
And all my stuff’s in storage and I don’t know where I’m meant to be living or what I’m meant to be doing about it and I’m going to Germany next week for what’s nominally my main job but has turned into a bit of a side gig and I’m not sure I really know why I’m even doing it anymore. And I’m tired and I don’t see daylight most days and Georgia’s back on the red list and every time I fix something there’s another eight things that aren’t just urgent they’re massively overdue and I was so fucking close to having a day off I just needed to make it through to Saturday without losing my fucking mind.
I’m literally getting chased for work while I’m writing this. I don’t have time to write this. I don’t have time to be burned out. I really need to get my stuff out of storage also I said I’d take a hot person on a date two months ago and I can’t believe I haven’t even managed to do that. I’m 35 in a few months and I have no idea how to unfuck my life short of ‘mysteriously acquiring a lot of money.’ And this is my dream job and I can’t believe I’ve tied up another £300 with airlines cancelling a flight for COVID again. My brain can’t even follow through one of the crises without running into the others.
I’m not very good at being nice to myself, to put it mildly. If you’re heading for severe burnout you’re probably not either. You probably think you’re undisciplined or even lazy even though you’re just malfunctioning.
There isn’t a moral here. You’re just worn out like a gear that’s started slipping and the only way to fix it, even though you hate hearing it just as much as I do, is actually doing repairs.