If I had to pick a song which pretty much resonates with the way my life goes it'd be this one; starts of easy, but significantly increases with complexity and intensity as time goes by.
As many might know I burned out back in December 2018. Now, at the time of writing two years later, this whole ordeal begins to unravel itself as the single most important experience in my life. It's not for the burnout itself - which has been a crippling disability for quite a while now - but for the insights into my existence which have made it all seemingly worthwhile.
At my breaking point I was merely surviving with the cognitive capacity compareable with that of a four year old. The only thing I seemed capable of was letting the days pass, only going out when I really needed to get some food. The days passed slowly, and few questions crept up on me. How did I get there? Why me? Why at 21 years? Could I have seen this coming? What could I possibly do to prevent this from happening again, and would I be able to function again at the level I did before I burned out? These questions lingered around ever since. Some I can answer by now. For others I'm not exactly sure about the answer yet, if any. It's these questions, the insights that presented themselves during exploration, and the extent of associated questions they evoke which are the most valuable thing this burnout has ultimately lead to.
But that's not the whole story. Honestly it's only the beginning just yet. I didn't burn out for nothing. Additionally, it was not just a single factor which contributed to my burnout. It was not just work which burned me out. It wasn't school either. It was not getting bullied one too many times, it wasn't being autistic, not about relationship issues, not solely about neglect, and not assault which finally triggered the burnout either. Instead it had been the sum of all these experiences added together, blended, mixed and disguised, but ultimately hidden in plain sight.
It's the stories about what lead to me burn out and the key insights derived from it which I would like to share going forward. I have long thought about the pros and cons of doing so, but ultimately decided the potential benefits outweigh any disadvantage by a lot.
By now I have reasons to believe there is an incredibly big, but silent group of people suffering from the same issues as I did, and am still dealing with. Combined with societal changes at rapid pace, combined with a pandemic, make it that I believe it's well about time that we collectively start focussing on each others mental wellbeing. More about this specifically in later posts.
What to expect going forward
There is a wide variety of issues I'm planning to write about; or already wrote about privately. All of the topics below are things I have personal experience with.
- Burnout; Obviously, that's what this post was mostly about
- Depression; I missed that one until now, for the simple reason that I regard this as being a side effect of aforementioned occurrences.
- Suicide and suicidal feelings; a topic I wrote about before on this blog, but will most certainly write more about in the future.
- Toxic workplaces / habits; Mostly related to the way power dynamics work, shift and group together.
- Family dynamics; This is really a box of pandora once I start pulling this string. For me personally this is one of the most influential topics to be covered, and one of the most psychologically violent ones.
- Bullying; a tiny bit to unpack here. Children can be harsh, but retrospectively all of my bullies were from terrible families.
- Childhood trauma; though this can be regarded as an umbrella category, there's a few interesting details which make it such that it even can propagate across generations. Lots of interesting mechanics here.
- (Emotional) neglect; Interesting topic which largely remains hidden from general view for reasons closely related to this mechanism of abuse.
- Drug (ab)use; it's not a secret I use some drugs besides alcohol. Drug use in general is a topic largely misunderstood by the general public. Some things I wish to cover dive into the underlying context which enables drug use, and the reasons for using drugs in the first place.
In the meantime, until I post new content related to these issues, I'll have the following writings of mine to keep you entertained;
- A short autobiography
- About social media, advertisements, and psychological trauma
- A comment on dealing with anxiety, depression and uncertainty
- Who is to blame for suicide?
As the things I plan to write about are usually things I personally experienced, I want to set some things straight with regard to any boundaries. First of all, if you happen to know me in real life, feel free to discuss any topic you like next time we meet. If I don't wish to talk about that, then, I'll tell you. If you don't know me in real life, and you'd still like to discuss certain things with me, feel free to send a tweet at me.
Another thing I would like to clearly mention is that I never finished any formal education after finishing high-school, and that therefore you should take writings for what they are; personal writings of mine. Just use your own judgement for the interpretation of this content.
Last but not least, if you happen to be (extended) family of mine, first of all welcome. Second, I'm not sure whether you'd really enjoy the things I'm writing over here. Don't bother me with it. I'll try my hardest not to give a fuck.
May the bridges I burn light my way.