The burnout

My burnout process is so closely linked to my personal development journey that sometimes I don’t know where one begins and the other ends. I was in the midst of an “inner journey” when I started having psychosomatic symptoms again, such as insomnia, memory loss, headaches and a generalised anxiety and lack of motivation towards work. But, as usual, I would have carried on if it hadn’t been for someone very close to me saying: “Ana! You’re not well, don’t you think it’s time you went to the doctor?”
The truth is that I would never have considered this option on my own, because I’m used to doing it, I’m what the English would call a “doer”, I’ve always done what needed to be done and, above all, I’ve always looked after everything and everyone, except myself. And then, when I was home from work, the burnout allowed me not only to rest, but above all to delve deeply into myself, to realise how I had reached such a state and finally to start looking at myself, my needs, my values and even my emotions. Fabrice Midal describes well what I’ve experienced recently:

“Like burnout, stress has become a catch-all word (…) it distracts us from the need to take the time to understand what is happening to us, to find the right word to describe what we are experiencing, what we are feeling (…) If I were a rock, I wouldn’t be stressed. But I am a human being. And no, I’m not ‘stressed’: I’m overly sensitive, I’m affected, I’m unhappy, I’m moved, I’m on edge, I’m irritated, I’m under stress. If I don’t name each of these realities, if I persist in hiding them under a word that no longer has any meaning, I won’t be able to touch them, become aware of them and then overcome them (…) What we call ‘stress’ is the face of demands, of commitment, of the will to do things seriously (…) By naming what we feel, we will find the right way to act, we will celebrate our humanity (…) Your demands are your beauty, your dignity. Continue to listen to them, to name them, to give them shape, to be ambitious with life, and to commit yourself.” (1)

It’s strange, when you’ve done so much, to start really getting to know yourself at the age of 41, but who cares? Now I can rewrite my story and create my true identity. I go at a fast pace for some things, for others I take longer, I bang my head on the door again and again, I make mistakes or I tread fearfully, too carefully. But the most important thing of all is to be on this path – so rich in learning, growth and love.

Thank you toxic relationships,
Thank you burnout,
Thank you life, for bringing me to this moment.


(1) Fabrice Midal. Suis-je hypersensible: enquête sur um pouvoir méconnu. 2021. Flammarion-Versilio. Translated with (free version)