A few times I thought, “Now I’m ready for it.” But every time I came to the end of my sickness certificate, I got sore throats, started crying in panic, had a panic attack.
Clear signals from my body to let me know I was not ready yet, and to come to the conclusion that I misunderstood myself. That I did not listen to my feelings and that I want to heal too soon.
An event that made it even more apparent to me was a visit to my work. In the car I had some nerves, a bad feeling. When I got to work, this only got stronger. I got a feeling of suffocation. Not a nice feeling to be here. Of course the tears flowed. On the one hand, this was summoned by the support of my colleagues, the comforting words, but on the other hand also from a sense of powerlessness / fear.
There are no tools to estimate when you are back to work. If you have flu, you know you will be out for +5 days. With a burnout or depression it is impossible to estimate. You can only indicate and feel when you are ready for it. And that moment, that’s different for everyone.
At the beginning, I thought I would be back in a couple of weeks. Not so … After talking to experts, I was told that I had to give my body the necessary time and that it would become clear to myself when I was ready for it.
I’m glad I can report that I received that signal now.
I had said in advance myself in the car, “if I step inside at work and I do not cry and I get no signal as the first visit, I’m back fully ready.” I even had a sense of euphoria and nerves. The urge to work came back.
Something that has already been said by many people with experience and something I feel very well now myself is that depression / burn out is something that never completely disappears. But now I can arm my body against it. I know the danger zones, I know how to resist it now. Still, it will be a difficult task for me. I will definitely have to learn to prioritize. Not only to live for my work and my household but also to enjoy friends, family, …
It is important to find a good balance here and with the help of third parties I will succeed.
And if it does not work for a moment, no big deal! Do not see this as something negative but just learn from it. In the end you are but human.
Perfection does not exist, and that’s okay!