When It All Falls Apart

Jan 19, 2024

3 years and two days ago…

I had it all figured out.  Why?  Because I had had it.  I was done.  Torched.  Burned out.  Fried crispy.  I had experienced all that burnout had to offer and I made a decision.  It was time to escape.  It was time to sell my dental practice and step away.  Because it was the only way.  Or so I thought.

Burnout had been tormenting me…

For more than ten years if I am being truthful.  The signs were there, but I thought they were normal.  Owning a business is stressful.  Managing people is stressful.  Balancing life commitments, work, family, hobbies, and anything else can be stressful.  And the stress was causing me to cave in on myself.

It got worse…

Over those ten years, what started as occasional heart palpitations became more frequent.  Then when a really stressful event would happen, I would feel a tightness in my chest and experience an instant splitting headache.  And then the panic attacks.  Something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  The reality of being on the floor in the server room in my office. The server had crashed. I was 30 minutes behind. And I was paralyzed as the tears flowed.  I couldn’t do this anymore.  But I had to suck it up and keep moving.  Because that’s what I did.  And no one else knew.

So the plan was to be done…

Done with dentistry.  Just get away.  Obviously all the symptoms would subside and life would be good right?  I didn’t know.  It was just the only way I saw to move forward.  There had to be more to life than moving from stress to stress and constantly living at 100 miles per hour.  With no margin. This isn’t sustainable.This wasn’t sustainable.

There was a glimmer of hope…

I had an option.  A chance to sell.  I would finally be able to escape.  Plans were in the works.  I just had to hold out a little longer. And then, 3 years and one day ago, it was all upside down.  The deal was off the table.  The escape option was gone.  And I was stuck.  And for a season I became twice as busy.  Don’t you just love it when you are at max capacity and you realize you have another gear you didn’t want to discover?

No more plans…

Just the realization that life wasn’t going to go in the path I would have chosen.  I had to sit in it.  I had to try to just move forward.  And then the dust settled as it usually does.  And God did his thing.  I will say until my dying breath that God does not cause bad things to happen.  But he can redeem anything that does happen.  And he can mightily redeem it!  And he did just that.

Fast forward three years…

God is still redeeming my story.  I am still a dentist and I love it.  I made some major changes personally and professionally and got some help. Because I love my team and my patients.  I love the relationships we have. I love the difference I can make in their lives.  And I am not alone in my practice. Or in my life.  I have an amazing team- the best dental team on the planet.  I have a partner in running the practice.  And I am surrounded by an incredible inner circle of 2 AM friends who have walked with me through the good, bad, and ugly.

And I am trusting the story…

God is writing a story that is so much bigger than me and my burnout story.  It is a story of new ways that I can impact the world with his help.  I am sharing my journey with other weary travelers and so many great humans that just need some new systems, habits, and relationships in their lives to move past burnout and into a life of purpose, impact, and thriving.

3 years ago I almost made a huge mistake…

I almost escaped.  I almost walked away and left it all behind. And I am so thankful for the story that God is writing and that he had other plans.

If you are feeling stuck, burned out, or unsure of life’s path…

Just know you are not alone.  Not even close.  I have been there.  I know what burnout feels like.  And it may seem daunting, but there is a way forward!  I would love to talk and see if we could work together to help you move forward and make sure that you are making decisions from a good place.  I would love to be one of your inner circle people.  If you want to talk, please reach out through this link.  I want you to believe that there is hope.  And good days ahead.

And if you just need a little hope today, check out this song that has been huge in my journey.  Let the words soak over you.

One final thought…

I believe in you.  Your story is not over.  Don’t stop believing that the best can be yet to come.  Just don’t try to figure it out all on your own.  We were meant to do life together.  Find your people.  Bless them.  Lean on them.  And together you can step into a new day of faith, hope, and belief.


  1. Roger Schaefer

    Thanks for sharing your story. I hope it inspires others to keep going.

    • Eric Recker

      Thanks Roger! Much appreciated.

  2. Helen Wares

    This message has hit me in more ways you can even imagine. With every day stressors of life and this life not quite going as we may have planned, there is definitely a tomorrow. A tomorrow filled with even more blessings than we knew were possible. Thank you for your continued messages of “truth” and encouragement. You are one of the greatest blessings in the lives of anyone blessed to know you.

    • Eric Recker

      I think a lot of us are in this boat. Thanks for sharing. And thank you for those very generous words!

  3. Kristy Rausch

    ALL OF THIS!!!!
    Thank you for sharing your story. Your journey resonates with a lot of people. It’s hard to ask for help sometimes. It’s terrifying when everything you loved or envisioned becomes something that creates anxiety and panic. Panic attacks are the absolute WORST! They come out of no where to remind us how our bodies are screaming for rest. I’m so glad you found what you needed and listened to Him so he could guide you to a place of healing.

    • Eric Recker

      It is very hard to ask for help! But there is healing on the other side of the word help! Thankful you are in a better place!

  4. John A Ware

    Thank you for your words!
    Over the past several years, God has used your words to speak to me and empowered to make many personal changes. I was stuck, overwhelmed, thinking I was not enough even though I had no idea how I could possibly do more in one day. The thought I like to say is picture someone running down a steep hill. You are running faster than a person can run, taking long strides. You just know at some point; you are going to wipe out face first. That was where I was. Knowing it was coming, feeling it, but not able to stop. (Too busy) It started changing when I read your book and had conversations with you. Thank you!
    It has been a strange, slow changing journey but it has been amazing. Finding my inner peace helped me be more impactful to the ones around me. God has done some amazing things in this hyper, high-strung guy. Slowing down and focusing in on what is important was not normal for me. I sure am humbled He chases us.

    • Eric Recker

      This is so good! Your journey is inspirational! Thanks for sharing it. God is at work!


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