“That’s the thing: You don’t understand burnout unless you’ve been burned out. And it’s something you can’t even explain. It’s just doing something you have absolutely no passion for.” – Elena Delle Donne
I was always the one who saw things in a positive light, who couldn’t say no. Many times people told me “I don’t know how you find the time… you seem to never stop… Where do you get the energy?”. Well sometimes I didn’t even know that myself, but I was always able to handle anything at any time until about 7 – 8 months ago. I started to have these headaches, I was extremely tired all the time, I couldn’t concentrate anymore and last winter I have been sick several times which isn’t my habit.
It took me a long time to realise that there was something wrong. I had lost myself, I had become a stranger to myself and one day a specialist doctor said to me “I think you’ve got a burn-out”.
This was so hard for me to believe. This couldn’t possibly be happening to me, or could it ?? But apparently it had…
Now I am not someone who sits back and do nothing… not even when I am having a burn-out ! I didn’t like who I was at the moment and if I didn’t like myself, how could others like me ? I immediately wanted to handle my problem, but I quickly realised that this is just not something that can be fixed in a couple of days…
I had a rough couple of months and I felt I had to clear this out on my own. I didn’t want to burden others with my problems. But this took time… and a lot of energy ! I selfishly did a lot of things on my own. I had to build up my energy level again and I could only do so by doing things that gave me energy. So I went out and about on my own, doing things I love… browsing in bookstores and libraries, visiting museums, taking pictures, wandering around in parks, trying on new clothes (and of course buying some stuff now and then !).
Something that also gave me energy was starting this blog. I know blogging costs energy, but just seeing this thing I created myself gave me much more energy in return ! I’m so proud of myself for achieving this. And it actually was the start of my healing process… step by step.
Now of course I couldn’t have done this completely on my own. I’m so glad my loved ones gave me the time I needed to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. They offered help and I just had to say what they could do… Day after day I felt a bit better and that is mainly to these few people I could always count on… so thanks you guys… you know who you are !
But just at the time that I was starting to feel OK again, I was finding myself again, I found out that there were also people who doubted the seriousness of my condition. Instead of sincerely enquiring after my health they just judged me… Now that couldn’t have come at a worse time as I immediately felt so hurt and fragile again. I felt the ground slipping away from underneath my feet again. I felt insecure again and I really was afraid to relapse. Luckily I had built up enough strength and thanks to the people that do believe in me, I think I can put myself above the people who doubt me. Yes, I could be mad at them… but that would cost me too much energy… ! I just hope they will never be in the same position I have been… but I also hope that they read this post so perhaps then they see the things in a different light…
Writing this, being able to post this, means that I am healing. I’m not completely there… but with the help of my loved ones I will get there !