Now that everything is arranged, and you no longer have to go to work, you can give in to your fatigue. But that’s not so easy. In fact, it is very difficult to give in to the fatigue.  Your body is still falling adrenaline, stress, emotions, and restlessness. You CAN’T rest at all.

Because you have a burn-out, you have really gone too far. Unfortunately, you are further away from home than you might think. How incredibly tired you are, you don’t realize that at all yet.

That will become clear in the coming weeks. Then you will begin to see the extent of the damage caused by this overexploitation.

For me, it really took a long time before I realized how I was doing. How tired I was and how badly my energy was depleted.

I’ll explain below how that happened.


My story.

My body was gone, but I didn’t recognize it. I had no idea what was going on with me and where I was. I couldn’t orient myself at all. I felt lost in the forest.


What I did notice was that weeks before the burnout I had a constant feeling of flu, lameness, and abdominal pain. I wasn’t quite right almost every week. On paracetamol I got through the day. After the diagnosis of burn-out, nothing really changed at all.


Weeks after I got home, I still had abdominal pain. I was still under too much stress in my body. I didn’t know where to look for it.


Fortunately, at my wife’s insistence, I had a psychologist. She guided me through the burn-out. A blessing for me.



In order to understand the seriousness of the situation, I was well helped by a psychologist from the HSK. She was skilled in the field of burn-out and could therefore tell me quite well how the I was doing.

The diagrams below gave me insight into how it actually was. I drew them myself, not a scientific basis, but as an insight.

  • Someone who has a healthy rhythm gets up in the morning and has 100% energy. He lives the day and that costs him energy. During the break, he can refuel and then live through the rest of the day. In the evening he is tired, has 30% energy and goes to bed. To then repeat the rhythm. That’s how the days are when you’re fine.

Needs Holiday

  • In this scheme, the situation is slightly different. The person does not sleep so well. Has energy for 60% in the morning. Lives his day. He also has breaks that give him energy. But he has to use his emergency energy from time to time.


If you see this, you might think that he is ready for a holiday or needs to take it a while quieter. He needs to refuel.


  • In case of a burn-out, the schedule could look like this. Your normal energy has run out and you are also out of your emergency energy you are quite grabbing into it. You recover quite poorly and sleeping or breaks no longer lead to sufficient recharging of the energy.


This last schedule is what I was in on December 6, 2018. Completely gone and hardly capable of charging anymore. So tired that I literally couldn’t press my marker against the board anymore, that I had to go to school with the e bike ….. totally gone!!


What I didn’t know, and my psychologist told me, is that you have 2 types of energy.


 – your ordinary energy. This will get you through the day. You run errands, you work, you live, you exercise, etc. With this energy it is true that with good sleep and occasionally saying no on time, you can supplement it considerably.

your emergency energy. Sometimes you are sick, and you eat badly / not for 3 days. Still, you don’t die right away. If you put down a huge sports performance (Marathon, Four Days Marches ..) you can do that too. For these situations, you have the emergency energy. Energy that you can use as an extreme necessity.

Your body doesn’t really want that. It gives signals if you use too much emergency energy such as abdominal pain, neck pain, you get sick (lame / flu-like), hyperventilation, crying fits you name it. To indicate… stop now….

What is important to know with this emergency energy is that it takes a while before it is replenished. That can take a few weeks / months. So, in contrast to the ordinary energy, replenishing the emergency energy is quite a task.

With these ideas, I left my psychologist at the beginning of January 2019.



Very slowly I began to understand what was wrong. Hard work, shoulders to the wheel, anyone can do that… but with me the emergency energy ran out. That was the problem. So, I also started to understand that with sleeping in, drinking tea and resting alone, the emergency energy would not be replenished.

Several things had to be changed. I had to organize my life differently. In a way that would permanently use less energy. With the aim of replenishing my emergency energy.


I’m just writing that down now, but that was really a hell of a job. That took me months to get that going. The rest of this website is about that too, but this was really so heavy. I think this is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. Restoring the emergency energy!!

The weeks after January 2019, I began to realize the true extent of the burnout. The feeling of sadness, anger and desperation became more prominent.

Also, the thought of how stupid I have been that I let it get this far, immediately played up.

I think the biggest change I’ve gone through at this stage is overseeing the damage. The realization of how incredibly wrong this is.



The realization that sleeping alone would not get me out of the burnout, that was the growth I started to go through then. So, the idea, go to sleep peacefully and then it’s about… I didn’t believe any of it.

Also, people who are out of a burnout after 8 weeks. can’t imagine it.

No, I had to go to work. With the little bit of energy, I still had, I had to organize my life differently. That was quite a thing. In 45 years, my life had just gone the way it had gone. I had to start thinking about how to do it differently. That went through trial and error.

The following pages of the website deal with this in detail. For now, I want to point out that the growth was the realization that I had to work. Looking for the recovery.



Because I didn’t know what to expect, I had no choice but to rely on the people who knew about it. That was, of course, my psychologist. She was really the salvation for me. She knew exactly how I felt, understood what the intention was and where she could help me. I dare say that I would not have made it without her.


What I also gained confidence from were other people with a burn-out. I’ve read quite a few books, read stories on facebook, and taken online courses.

Colleagues who had already experienced this once have also given me a lot of confidence. The confidence that it will be okay on the condition that I adjust my rhythm


What is positive?

Apparently, you first have to realize where you are in order to relax. In the coming weeks you will experience that. Then you see the damage in full extent. That’s not fun, but we’d better be honest.

The most positive thing is that our body shows enormous recovery power. If we do the right things, we repair the damage, change our lives, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.



  1. Look for real help. A true professional
  2. Take the time to realize where you are. Be honest about this too
  3. Split the recovery between your normal energy and emergency energy.
  4. Look for others who have had this too. Then you don’t feel alone
  5. Remember that almost everything you feel goes away as soon as you have some energy again
  6. Be proud of yourself too. Yes, you have fallen, get up and walk on

Don’t give up!!

You have committed robbery and your entire system is upset by it. Only when you land in your burnout, you become calmer, and you start to feel the fatigue. That just takes a while.

Give yourself a few weeks to calm down and accept that you have burnout. Only then will you feel that you are very tired, and you will give in to the situation. Only then do you notice that you are really burned out.

That moment comes for you too. If it’s not that far yet, don’t panic, then you’re not that far yet. Don’t try to force yourself to calm down, that never really works.

It’s really a matter of patience.