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I Can’t Get Up

Written By: Lauren Howard

My husband came home from taking the girls out so I could get some things done around the house.

And all I could do was say that I couldn't get up and that I didn't know why. 

It had been a long year. 

Honestly, it had been a long decade.

I went from building a multi-site clinic from the ground up while struggling with infertility to caretaking for my terminally ill dad/best friend to working 80-100 hour weeks at a startup with eventually two kids. Oh, and then there was a global pandemic and hours that somehow increased. 

The treadmill just never stopped. 

I had so much to do at home to get ready for the holidays, and this was the only day before Christmas that I had time to do any of it. It had to be done that day. 

So out they went and in I stayed. As soon as the door shut, I told myself that I needed to go get the paper and the gifts organized and the . . .

I decided to take a second and sit down on the couch. 

It had easily been months if not longer since I had sat down just to do nothing. 

Six hours later, I was still there. 

I didn’t want to be. I told myself that I needed to get up the entire time I was there.

I physically couldn’t. 

When my husband came home, I just sobbed. It was all I could do because nothing else worked. It felt like the only exertion of energy that I was capable of. Get up to eat something? Can’t. Change the channel? Nope. Move the pillow? Nada. 

He asked what was wrong, but I could only say I didn’t know. 

I know now. 

I had ignored my body and my own needs for so long that they were not playing nice anymore. They gave me no choice but to listen. 

It took me a few weeks to understand that this was the full effect of burnout, and that this wasn’t just going to go away with a few days of rest. It has taken me years to recover, and I'm still in that process. 

I had no idea that it could be like this. At the time, I blamed myself. I beat myself up for not being able to get right back at it. 

It never occurred to me that a job that would require me to put in that many hours for a pat on the back and a pizza party was also part of the problem. 

It took me years to understand that my boundaries were a problem, but people who would abuse their non-existence were also a problem. 

That’s why the first group we launched at LBee Health is a burnout group for anyone experiencing it or on the verge of it. 

I needed someone to talk to you who understood the way out. 

I needed to know it wasn’t just me.

It’s not just you. 


Founder & CEO at elletwo


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