I’m coming to you from my bed. That’s not unusual, but the way I’m feeling is.
I’m covered in Chinese medicinal wraps and a heated blanket and on my bedside table you’ll find a collection of glasses with the fizzy tablets in it, painkillers, my half eaten dinner and a wad of other vitamins.
So I think I’ve burnt out.
It’s not a feeling I’ll easily admit to and honestly, I’ve been fighting my colleagues about it for a while. They all seemed to have noticed what I couldn’t - that I needed to take a holiday, that I should take a blood test, that I was low on energy and that 300% of the level I was currently at might just amount to a normal human average. Even our founder who works from 7am to 12am, 7 days a week had offered me ‘fatherly advise’ to take a couple of weekdays and do nothing. Still, the message came at 10:42pm while he was still at the office and we both agreed that although it was ironic, it was sound advice. My own father told my to stop and smell the roses - at that point, it was still winter and I used it to my advantage, noting that all the flowers were dead and he, defeated you admitted that maybe having a sense of humour was more important than flowers. But now it is spring, and my only excuse is the hay fever that might drive me more insane than working would.
As a graduate, I didn’t think I needed a break. My exams were always after a holiday so I never truly got one because I’d be studying through any planned period of rest. This is what I told everyone. The guy I was seeing, the other guy that I was not and all of my friends. “It’s the people who think that they don’t need a break that most probably do”, I was told and now, sitting here with minimal will to ever get out of bed again, I’d have to agree.
Yet I’m here, trying to write this as a sign of productivity. At least this misery will bring something worthwhile. A lesson to other people, maybe. But something tells me that the people who won’t listen, are the very ones who need to hear it the most - our stubbornness disguised as diligence never quite letting our minds truly be at ease. If it’s not working on this then you’re at least thinking about that, guilt penetrating your veins when you’re hanging out with friends, planned ‘rest days’ that turn into something that looks like sitting in a hot bath with your laptop perched on the side of it.
Every real break I take gets celebrated by my flatmates. Sometimes I’d come out of my room announcing that I did nothing, that I took a bath and only used my iPad to watch a show - I promise, that I did a workout or went for a massage.
‘Ugh Kyle, you deserve it’, they’d say, yet I never quite think I do.