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I used to pride myself in being able to go at whatever I was doing longer and harder than anyone else. I now closely monitor how I’m feeling, my rest and my balance between time with people and time alone. In the end, it turned out to be my frustration over a leadership issue that was producing the symptoms. What’s helped you move through your toughest seasons?
As soon as I cracked the leadership issue, the symptoms disappeared almost overnight. Pray, read your bible, seek life giving friendships, replenish your energy, eat right, work out, love deeply.
Blue Buffalo has continued to make claims in its advertising that none of its pet foods contains animal by-products thereby implying that Blue pet foods are healthier for pets than competitive foods that contain by-products.
But, the central issue is not whether by-products are bad for pets to eat, it’s about Blue Buffalo’s insistent claim that their pet food did not contain ground-up chicken intestines and feet, when in fact it probably did or still does (no one is certain).
HISTORY DOES REPEAT ITSELF An eerily familiar story involving Blue Buffalo emerged back in 2007, when Purina and many other major brands recalled tons of dog and cat food after the FDA found it was contaminated with melamine, an industrial chemical traced to Chinese suppliers.
I had never been through anything quite as deep, or frankly, personally frightening as my burnout over 10 years ago. In these pivotal moments you will either lean away from God or into him. Just because you can’t feel God’s love doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. At my worst, I would go to social settings and not want to talk to anyone, sometimes even ‘hiding’ from people behind my wife who is a foot shorter than me and 100 lbs lighter. One night we hosted a dinner party and I left the table early and ended up crying in my bedroom for the rest of the night. It got my mind off the constant cycle of depression. The first weekend I preached, those who knew the shape I was in all told me “We would have had no idea you were feeling so bad.
Burnout moves fatigue and the darkness from a place where it was in your control to place where you can simply no longer control either. Your emotions will eventually catch up to your obedience. You were amazing.” I knew how I felt inside, but it was good to know I could still be helpful to others in some way.
I’ve heard from more than a few of you who have let me know that you’re in the midst of burnout right now. One day a friend called and simply said “I know you can’t feel it today, but the sun will rise again. Just because he seems silent doesn’t mean he’s absent. I was so physically and emotionally tired when I burnt out. I paid off my sleep debt that month and I always try now to make sure I am not running a deficit. I think for me it was important to discover what I could still do. Because my illness involved my mind, I was tempted to do all kinds of things that could have ruined my life.
Gary summarized how many leaders feel when he wrote in this comment: Oh man. It will.” I can’t tell you how much those words meant to me that day. I slept for about 10 hours a day for a month straight, adding naps to my daily diet on top of that. If I do for a week or two, I pay it off with more sleep. While I personally didn’t take a sabbatical or medical leave (our board offered me one), some may need to. So I took three weeks vacation and came back slowly. I felt like abandoning my calling, running away from everyone I knew and everything I knew, even my wife and kids.
At the time, Blue Buffalo said it had been “deliberately deceived” by one of its contract manufacturers. THROWING THE SUPPLIER UNDER THE BUS Blue Buffalo now claims it had no way of knowing the bags contained by-product meal.
A manufacturer is responsible for knowing what’s in its product, which a simple audit of its supply chain would have revealed what Purina discovered after reviewing the documentation.
All I can say is I understand, and I’m pulling for you and praying for you. While everyone’s recovery will be different, there were 12 keys that, in retrospect, were essential to my recovery. The problem with pain (or at least my pain) is when you do nothing you only have your pain to focus on. In my worst moments, thoughts of ending it all crossed my mind.
I told part of my story in this post along with sharing 9 signs you might be burning out. And as far as time goes, for me there was no instant cure. We tend not to have a lot of friends and we tend not to open up. Distraction is a powerful tool to get your mind thinking about other things. I am so thankful I didn’t succumb to any of those impulses. The last decade since my recovery has been the best of my life.
Bishop realized that getting into the pet food market by starting small with contract manufacturers making the product was a no-brainer and that all one had to do was, “Slap on a good label, come up with a slogan, and off you go.” He already knew it would be a cinch to pull the wool over consumer’s eyes, because, as he said, “There were already a lot of smoke and mirrors in how pet food was advertised, and that was the sort of stuff we were good at.” Being the consummate ad man, one who might still believe that any publicity is good publicity, one can’t help but speculate that the wily Bishop has lured Purina into a fight where attention is the real objective.