Burn-out. Depression. Anxiety. Sleepless nights. Exhaustion. Everything.
Near the end of 2019 I hit a wall. I saw the wall coming for a while, but thought pushing through would get me to through to the other side. Determination is a great thing, up t a point… Lots of things happened, big and small, private and in a work-context, but towards the end of November my skin was constantly feeling it was bubbling with an electrical current. I had stretched and stretched, and there was no more to stretch. No more to give.
So many things happened throughout the year, and so many people I cared deeply about needed me – including the team I was leading – but I was simply unable anymore to give and to deal with it all.
Going on sick leave, just letting go of it all, was a truly deeply frightening and humiliating experience, but in hindsight one of the best things I have done to myself ever. I spent a lot of time thinking – going back over things that happened decades ago, and at the same time grasping at small wins each day, holding on to my little family, seeing the love my 4 year old daughter gave me: she was unable to truly understand what was going on, but some random long hugs and cuddles put tears in my eyes, as I felt she was the one trying to comfort me, and not the other way around as was usually the case. I love her so much, it can’t be measured in any possible way.
Christmas came, and shortly after a long-planned holiday to Thailand: the perfect moment to change scenery. Despite a horror start with an awful anxiety attack in the middle of Bangkok, I slowly managed to let things go, and started to enjoy things again.
A chance meeting on a Thai island beach with an old friend from a more ‘colourful’ past helped me also recalibrate and reposition myself: there were other memories and moments than just the dark ones that bothered me constantly.
After stepping down from my position, I found myself thinking a lot about the future and how to fill it in, with a doctor noting the progress I was making with thinking 6-12 months ahead again, rather than just dealing with the day.
I wasn’t even sure I liked Customer Success or similar anymore, and was lost.
However, a recruitment process for a Senior position at a global IT firm reignited all of it, in so many ways. The sheer joy I found in the process, and talking in-depth about this field with accomplished peers, really fired me up again, despite missing out on the position by a few inches. Yes, this is what I love to do professionally, this is what I deeply enjoy. This is where my path lies.
Then the lockdown hit. Some days were easier than others, but overall I actually simply enjoyed being with our daughter, resulting amongst others in a daily routine of 10-15 minutes of ‘tickling competition’. And boy, did she get good! 🙂 If there is one thing I will take away from the first months of 2020, is that I love the relationship I have and am building with my little one, and that whatever my future career will bring me, she will be my number 1 priority.
A number of random conversations, off the back of my ‘Linkedin Coffee Chat’ posts, but also simply through doing the thing I love: learning, networking, engaging with my peers, brought me new ideas and plans, and the coming period I will work on something I never thought I would do. Out of my comfort zone. In the past few weeks, oddly enough everywhere I ‘looked’, things pointed in the same direction. So, stay tuned for interesting things to come – evil plans are being hatched.
But, it also brought me closer and deeper into my field, and that was the background of my recent ‘job update’. After running the Customer Success Café’s in Helsinki, I will now officially be part of the Customer Success Network to be the volunteer who will help drive CS initiatives across the Nordics, not just Helsinki. I am all in, this is going to be awesome and inspiring!
So: Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Gothenburg, Malmö, Aarhus, wherever you are as a CSM, let’s talk! I will be there to help you be part of a great community in a field where people are open, sharing the knowledge, and helping each other get better in their profession! And by the same token, improve overall what we are doing.
To all of you who I have spoken to in the past couple of months: thank you!! You know who you are. I deeply appreciate your time and thoughts and caring: you have done more for me than I can ever explain. Spread around the world, but you are always there.
I am fired up again, ready to go, looking forward to the rest of 2020!!
#mentalhealth #customersuccess #selfcare #selfdevelopment #selfimprovement #family #burnout #outofmycomfortzone #customersuccessmanager #youarenotalone