For five years, I've been working as a system architect in a startup. We did some cool things because we were small and agile. That was fun and challenging, so I spend all my time there. And I mean it. Even if I was with my wife, riding my motorcycle, fishing, or you name it - I was building the next feature or designing a new product or debugging some nasty bug in my mind.
So, I burned out.
I heard a lot about people burning out but never think of me in that context. It did not happen overnight. That took half a year or maybe a full year to build up. Like very slow dementor was sucking out all the fun in the world. In the end, besides my growing grumpiness, I started to close in inside myself. That was bad not only for my work but, most importantly, for my relationship.
Because it was a slow process, I did not notice it right away. But when I did, I spoke with my wife and described everything about how I feel. Together we decided that it is time to go to the psychiatrist. And that was the right decision at the right time.
My options were to keep going and take medications or quit and rest. So, for the first time since 17, I am unemployed. For a while, I do everything that makes me happy (that will be another post).
If you are reading this because you feel that the dementor has caught you:
The most valuable advice that I can give to you - seek professional help.
Second most valuable advice - speak with close ones. It will help a lot.