#36 – Why I’ve been gone. I’ve been suffering from Post-Law Burnout

Hey guys,

I hope you’re having a f***ing awesome Sunday!

It’s been two months since my last blog post here and a lot has changed. As the title suggests, post grad life hasn’t been all that rosy and I’ve had a rough start to the new year (ya gurl broke down twice in the first two weeks of Jan).

This one’s going to be a little long so grab yourself some iced tea and yes, I have included doodles since I know y’all fkn love em haha……. here goes!

ENJOY x

I’m writing this post because I feel like it’ll provide a thorough explanation for my hiatus and more importantly, it’ll resonate with fellow uni graduates and even those who are a few years out from uni. You see, we often hear about the success stories of the gals and guys who’ve set up their own start-up and already have 5 properties under their belt or those who are successfully climbing up the corporate ladder, but we rarely hear from those who are middle of the pack. We rarely hear from those who kinda sucked at uni and didn’t really make a huge BANG after graduating and I want to shine some light on this.

I fall into the latter category.

I was never that scintillating law student. Despite my parents beaming with pride while telling friends and relatives I studied Commerce and Law at USYD, I was hanging my head in shame feeling like a total dropkick since I was awful at law, I wasn’t going to practice law, I wasn’t going to complete College of Law to get admitted, I wasn’t going to be able to introduce myself as a lawyer etc.

In a nut shell, I’m here to provide a honest recount of how all struggles as an average gal living in the burbs of Ryde, feeling v. average after soldiering through a degree I had zero passion for has:

  1. Led me to experience severe burnout and,
  2. Shed light on how detrimental pro-longed stress is on your mental health and,
  3. Advocate a mantra for 2018: DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

 

For some context, let’s wind back to post #25

In post #25 – Why is no one talking about post-graduate depression? I wrote candidly about how grossly unhappy I was with my decision to study Comm/ Law and how I was heavily influenced by the Asian mentality of going into either law or medicine. I wrote about how I had an inferiority complex which made me shy away from fellow law students because I constantly felt inadequate around them. These people weren’t my people.

I touched on how my self esteem had dwindled and I felt grossly stressed and unhappy because I was putting myself through assessments and exams which I had no motivation for.

Due to all this, I made the bold choice of going into something that was more “me”, which is digital consulting and it’s instilled a lot of hope and excitement within me – a sensation I haven’t felt in a while.

I ended that post with a glimmer of hope that I’d finally be able to spread my wings and feel significantly happier going into 2018 since I’d be done with my degree.

That post was composed mid August and my final block of assessments were just around the corner.

October – November 2017 was THE TOUGHEST YET

These months were absofcukinglutley hell for me.

I was so close to the end of my degree and all I needed to do with chin up and carry on but I simply couldn’t. I dreaded everything about it and finding motivation to complete my assessments or study for my exam was basically impossible and that made everything torturous.

I had been dealing with this shit for the past 5 years and I was at breaking-point.

I think what made things worse was that I was never allowed to contemplate the idea of quitting or dropping law – so I felt like I was in this never-ending vortex of stress and anxiety.

I remember one time my parents asked me a harmless question and I erupted into frustration screaming, “LEAVE ME ALONE. UNLESS YOU’RE GOING TO WRITE THIS DAMN ESSAY FOR ME AND COMPLETE MY DEGREE THEN JUST F***ING LEAVE ME ALONE!”

God I was a mess. All I needed to do was study and pass the exam and that would’ve been the end of that but every single assessment, every single second spent in the law school was excruciating. I hated it.

The perfect song to describe my life situation was Katy Perry’s Firework.

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper-thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

During this time, I was so mentally frail that I let petty comments get to me.

I let myself be vulnerable to commentary about my blog and in hindsight I should’ve looked them straight in the eye and said, “How about F*** YOU because you’re so far removed from the digital/ tech space that your opinion is invalid!”

On another note, true friends wouldn’t mock you. True friends would uplift you and provide feedback in a tactful, respectful way. I only have three words: F*** the haters.

On 13 December 2017, I cried tears of happiness.

The day I thought would never come FINALLY CAME. At 8.30am on 13 December I nervously clicked open my uni results preparing for the worst.

Miraculously, I found out I passed all of my subjects and I was free from uni forever!!! Words can’t describe the amount of relief and happiness that rushed through me. I burst into tears on the bus to work; the pain was finally over.

I thought I was okay, but I was totally not okay.

On 1 January 2018, I landed an awesome house sitting/ pet-sitting gig in Double Bay. This was the first time I had ever lived alone for 2 whole weeks so it was a unique change to my environment. I was excited to be living right by the shore, excited about being able to take the ferry into work, excited about Ivy the Cavoodle and I was excited to have alone time to refine my 2018 goals.

I made a new years resolution to try and achieve ONE thing that makes me happy or feel accomplished every day (it could be anything from watering the succulents, or making progress with my blogging or my selling business). But ever since making that goal I found myself lying in bed, breaking down and feeling absolutely no motivation to do anything.

I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I thought that once uni was over I’d magically heal and I’d be all sunshine and happiness but gosh, I was so wrong.

Without sounding like an arrogant dick, on paper, my life was near perfect.

I was healthy, I just finished uni, I had a graduate job lined up in digital consulting, I had a loving boyfriend, I had KILLA girlfriends, I had a loving and supportive family and I was working at an awesome tech company. I didn’t have anything to be upset about.

Yet I found myself profoundly upset and unmotivated. I was deeply unsatisfied and I couldn’t quite process why my soul felt so deprived. This wasn’t the first time I felt like this.

I went travelling in early 2017 thinking that I’d “find myself” and have some epiphany, but I didn’t find myself, and it didn’t offer the spiritual nourishment that I was yearning for.

The worst part of it all was that all the hobbies I used to enjoy just became chores to me and I was no longer drawn to them. I no longer felt passionate about: selling second hand items my eBay store/ my blog/ creating plans for shooting fashion content for my Instagram account (SHAMELESS PLUG). Not being motivated to continue with my blog was the biggest disappointment to me because this was the one project I started that made me f***ing great about myself and here I was neglecting it and letting it collect dust.

I didn’t recognise who I was and all of a sudden I felt like I had no substance. I felt like I was just a walking carcass.

I wasn’t just “depressed” it was beyond that. I was suffering from severe burnout.

I always said that I was burned out but I never really took the time to understand what burnout even was. So I turned to Google and and found this:

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.

I read this and BOOOOM everything all made sense. This gave me SO MUCH closure because it meant that my feelings of demotivation were completely legitimate and that I really f***ing needed a break to just chill the f*** down.

I was burnt out from dragging myself through 6 years of pure torture and I was also experiencing burnout from my job because I had never fully given myself a break to fully heal from the chronic stress I was subjecting myself to. Instead, I was blindly setting goals for myself when I could barely keep up. My body was broken and yet I was still trying to accelerate at 1000km/hr.

If your mental health is failing you, it’s likely that other aspects of your life are being impacted too and the state of my life was a perfect living example of that.

I set myself on a mission to give myself a proper break and do what makes me happy.

So….

I handed in my resignation letter at my current workplace.

I’ve booked myself a Europe trip to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.

I’ve decided to find a role in fashion so I can be closer to creative and fashionable, like-minded people.

I’m going to grow my passion projects (blogging and helping other people sell their second hand items).

I’ve decided that 2018 will be all about pursuing things that make me feel really good about myself. I’m keen to reignite my passion for my hobbies.

My head feels TONNES lighter since making these decisions.

I’ve cracked the meaning of life: it’s to do things that make you happy. You need to surround yourself with people that make you happy and you need to chase the things that make you happy.

Ya gurl is in a much better headspace now. I haven’t broken down and I’m smiling again.

Peace out amigos xox

I’ll catch you very soon in another blog post!

PS. I want to say a HUGE thank you to all the people who have approached me to check up on me and the progress of my blog. You know exactly who you are and you guys always bring me to tears cos I’m a v. emotional young lady. Love you guys always.

PPS. I hope that reading this gives y’all the strength to just TAKE MAIA (massive and immediate action – I learned this one from my gal pal Karen hehe).

1 Comment

  1. Ellen
    26/01/2018 / 4:36 am

    Hey! Thanks for sharing your experience. Mid-LLB Student here and wondering what on earth is wrong with me… I have it all and yet… roller coaster city.
    I’m glad you’ve found your way.

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