Now that you have stopped and you are at home, the question: and how should you proceed now, may come to your mind. That’s a good question, because how do you proceed? The fact that you have no idea is true. You’ve never been here before. This is a new experience. So that you don’t know where you are and how it is, that makes sense.
Below I describe my experience of the first time, having a burn-out.
On December 6, 2018, my doctor said: you are physically healthy. You don’t have stomach flu. It’s your lifestyle that makes you sick! You know what: stop it. Go and relax and restore the balance.
In consultation with my supervisor and the company doctor, it was indeed decided that I stopped working to regain strength.
All right, and what am I going to do now? I did some chores, exercised a bit, cycled, read a book, took it easy. My school emails and apps keep checking, because: “I’m at home, but that can never last long”. Although my body was crying out with fatigue, I had no idea what my body wanted to say.
For me it took more than 2 months before I could “land” in my burn-out and accept what was going on.
The burn-out had a big impact on my family. At one time I had become a sick man. Someone who was on the ground. No longer able to do things together. Together dinner, that was sometimes too much. I couldn’t stand the children’s stories. My son’s rugby matches were not doable. I couldn’t handle visitors.
Still, I tried to be there. I did go to the family, I did go to get wood, I kept going to my son’s training sessions,etc. Every time when I felt a little better, I immediately went back to my old pattern. As a result, it only got worse.
It felt to me like a form of giving up. That I would have lost/failed if I really gave in to the burn-out.
So, I was just going to deny the burn-out and hope it would go away on its own.
Before I could accept that I had a burn-out, I was in denial for 8 weeks. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to have a burn-out, but just after a little resting I wanted to get back to it.
However, my body continued to protest and did not want to know of a denial. With abdominal pain, negative feelings, worrying, anger, I remained restless. I also got more and more tired. I got deeper and deeper into the pit.
After the umpteenth conversation with my doctor, the penny dropped. When do you give up? Was her question. When do you give in to the situation?
Sometime in late February, I gave up the fight and resigned myself to the situation.
I have a burn-out!!
The special thing was that I only realized afterwards: this is wrong. Only from then on did I have the space to oversee my situation.
My psychologist also mentioned that this is the basement. But that from here the recovery can begin. Slowly but steadily.
Giving up the resistance also gave relief. I didn’t have to be strong anymore, but I could give in to my fatigue.
Giving in to my needs and trusting that my psychologist, my environment, my employer, and my family would guide me through this burn-out.
I found that very difficult. I was used of having a busy life. Something like giving up and quitting had never been an option. I also had to let go of controlling and overseeing everything. Something I found very difficult to do.
After the acceptance, I started to trust (maybe resignedly) more and more that I was sick.
But I also realized that the road would be long.
What is positive
I had been given time to put my life on hold and to find out why I was so tired. I also felt that as liberating. Perhaps as a relief, because the situationI was in, had stopped anyway.
But also frightening, what next? I didn’t know that at the time. No worries I have described my path in this site and it comes with an happy end.
1. Leave it that way. You don’t know for a moment and accept that for now. It’s okay. This will increase in the coming period. Have faith!
2. Physical signals such as abdominal pain, muscle pain, palpitations, sweating, ringing ears, etc.dat is part of it. This will eventually become less.
3. Emotions such as anger, sadness, disappointment, panic and shame. That’s part of it too. Let them come, that is not bad, and this will also be less.
4. Above all, try to land. To accept that it is so.
Don’t give up!!
You are probably just in the burn-out if you read this page. Chances are you don’t quite realize where you are now. That is quite logical because a burn-out is super strange. The craziest things you will experience and that includes accepting and landing in the burn-out.
What you will realize, after the acceptance, is that you have really gone too far and that your energy is at 0%. That’s where the solution lies. Apparently, you must somehow make sure that your energy level is higher again.
I hope you accept that you have a burn-out more quickly, than I did. That you really dare to admit that you are sick. The sooner the acceptance, the sooner the recovery.
And that you still have a lot of questions and have no idea that makes perfect sense.
That will change in the coming period and I will guide you through it by this website