ColumnsSelf Care

Burnout: How I Deal With Writers’ Block

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news


The fireplace is crackling and an out of tune piano is being played by an underweight teenager. My body has been filled with anxiety for hours because I ran out of my medication. I haven’t been able to eat any solid foods and I’ve been opting for Kate Farm’s, the supplement of choice from around these parts. These parts being an eating disorder facility that’s been my home for the past three weeks. 

I’ve convinced myself that my mind is calm although I feel startlingly irritable at the slightest inconvenience. The nurse and therapist teamed up and pulled me out of bed, which I’ve been laying in for hours at this point. I’m surprised it only takes two women to nag me out of bed but I want them to shut up so I oblige. Sitting in this group isn’t helping me feel better about the anxiety that I’m feeling. I feel uncomfortable, and unusually energetic. Something is telling me to go on a run to blow off some steam but we’re not allowed to exercise strenuously here. 

I quickly take note that my stomach is growling from hunger, a loud voice inside me tells me to follow that instinct but I look at the clock and realize I still have fifty-six minutes until dinner time. My friend is dropping off my medication and I’m staring at the clock, biding my time until I feel like myself again. I’m wondering if the nurse is walking to the mailbox yet or if my pills are sitting there while my unchanneled hatred brews stronger than a cup of the darkest espresso. 

A few minutes later the nurse hastily returns with my bottle of pills in her hand, she drops two yellow tablets into the palm of my hand and makes her way out of the room. The rage inside me is unbridled. I misdirect it towards my sweet friend because a few days previously she triggered my abandonment issues and I still haven’t gotten over it. My character defects are obvious but I’m glad I’m self aware. 

I keep trying to force myself to write and tell you a story that’s both captivating and meaningful. My life is filled with stories of hope but none of it is inspiring me. 

I’ve been burnt out for weeks. It’s been so difficult to produce any work. The fiery passion in my veins has grown stagnant, nothing but crackling embers are left. I keep trying to force myself to write and tell you a story that’s both captivating and meaningful. My life is filled with stories of hope but none of it is inspiring me. 

I think about what a sad life I’ve lived. I don’t do it to feel sorry for myself but it almost feels like a sense of nostalgia. I’m so much happier now but my life is a collection of sad stories filled with anguish, trauma, and resilience. It’s hard to write these stories about my life because at times I don’t feel like I can really give my audience a redemption story. Sometimes pain is just pain and there’s no lesson. 

I’m trying to come to peace that not every story needs to have a happy ending. It’s not realistic to expect that of myself and maybe that’s why I’ve been stuck lately. I don’t always have to speak a message of hope. I can share my shortcomings and suffering because that’s human. 

I’ll be the first to admit I feel alone. I live a charmed life and I constantly feel guilty for how I feel. So many people have less than I do and they’re happy. You could hand me the world on a golden platter and I still wouldn’t be satisfied. I’m searching deep within myself for the solution. I simply want to feel happy and fulfilled. I hate to admit it but my mental health makes me feel like I’m attached to an anchor and I’m sinking into the darkness of the ocean’s depths. 

I don’t know all the answers. In fact, I really don’t know anything. I just know what’s worked for me and what I’ve needed to do to get to where I’m at. I’m still not where I want to be but I’m headed in the right direction. Now I can finally rest easy because I finally finished another article. 

Broke-Ass Stuart works because of reader support. Join us now.

Howdy! My name is Katy Atchison and I'm an Associate Editor for Broke-Ass Stuart.

I want to take the time to say thank you for supporting independent news media by reading Supporting independent news sources like Broke-Ass Stuart is vital to supporting our community because it amplifies the voices of a wide variety of diverse opinions. You also help support small businesses and local artists by sharing stories from Broke-Ass Stuart.

Because you're one of our supporters, I wanted to send over a pro-tip.

Our bi-weekly newsletter is a great way to get round ups of Broke-Ass Stuart stories, learn about new businesses in The Bay Area, find out about fun local events and be first in line for giveaways.

If you’d like to get our newsletter, signup right here, it takes 5 seconds.

Previous post

Monday News Roundup: Vacant Homeless Housing, Breed’s Continued TL Crackdown

Next post

How The Pandemic Made Me Braver

Valeria Castaneda

Valeria Castaneda

Valeria Castaneda is a 27 year old San Jose native that loves to write, learn about neuroscience, and play with her puppy. If you’re interested in her daily happenings you can follow her on Instagram.