Every good charecteristic has its disadventages. That’s probably the biggest wisdom I collected when I was diagnosed a burnout when I was only nineteen.
I’ve always been a busy girl. I just physically can’t sleep longer than six hours, when I am sick and not able to go anywhere, I always find myself something else I can spring upon and when I go for something, I just totally go for it! This al seemed to work pretty good for me. But then the moment arrised that I collapsed. It was the evening before I would go on a big trip to Moskou with the fraternity I was a member of. Actually I did even help organizing it, but this evening I found myself laying on the couch with a flu and I just simply could not stand up. I saw my mom looking concerned at me, butI told her it was nothing..I just had a little flu. I needed to go to bed for a few hours and then I would take the train and go to the place the fraternity members would meet. But when I was laying there in my bed I felt totally exhausted. But still I thought some sleep would do me good. So I slept..
When I woke up from the sound of my alarmclock I felt even more exhausted then I felt before, but I decided I just needed a peptalk from my mom and went downstairs. But standing there in front of her I did not get the peptalk I was asking for. Instead of giving me a peptalk, my mom told me that now the time arrised she had to intervene..I was going nowhere…I could not go to Moskou. These words totally slapped me in the face. What? I could decide for myself..what was she thinking? But when I tried to walk to my suitcase, which in case was only a few metres away from me, I realized my body gave up. My body would not serve my busy mind anymore. I hád to take rest. So I called my best friend from the fraternity and told her that I just simply could not go with her to Moskou. And that was one of the most difficult things I had to do in my life. We were looking forward to it for months and now I felt like letting her down. So when the words finally came out of my mouth, together we cried…
And then the complete chaos started. My doctor diagnosed me a burnout and I seriously had to take rest. Laying in my bed..doing nothing…only eating and sleeping. After a few days I began to think I would become crazy. So I went to my room in The Hague, away from the good care of my mom, and told myself I could take rest there too. But I didn’t. I ended up at a yoga school and I liked it. So after a few weeks I found myself doing hot yoga and hot flow 4 days a week and the other 3 I filled with vinyasa flow. But well, my body didn’t quit..so it would be good for me? Wouldn’t it?
So I started thinking doing only yoga was not good enough, I had to eat healthier too. And so it started, me eating healthier. Untill I became totally obsesses with ‘powerfoods’ and started to develop an eating disorder. But that was something I did not realize at that time.. So it went on and on, untill my hair began to fall out in ridiculous big amounts and I only weighted 40.5 kg. My body just stopped listening to me, I had difficulties with walking and I had to quit with yoga.. I had to move back to my mom’s place..
It was there I started to realize I was acting like a complete idiot. Why the hell was I busy starving myself and destroying my body? No-one was telling me I had to…
So why was I doing it?
A time of self exploration arrised and I came to the conclusion that I asked to much for myself. For you this is probably something you saw from the moment you started reading this, for me it was a big discovery. I asked to much for myself and I was to perfectionistic.
The charecteristics people always complimented me with, were now making my life a big mess. It had to stop. I was done with all the drama. I needed to take rest.
And so I rested for weeks. I just lay down in my bed and slept for hours and hours and hours. I started eating better and gained weight. And then the moment arrised I was less tired and more powerfull. It helped. Finally I listened to my body and it worked.
So now I am trying to disregard expectations and total perfection in my life. I stopped with my study, because I realized it wasn’t my dream, it was someone else’s. I stopped saying yes to everybody. And I stopped making things so difficult for myself.
And today I am having dreams again. Big dreams and again the feeling of reaching for them by working hard is so strong. And I permit this feeling, but I don’t allow it to take over my life. I started fullfilling one dream. I started with a study to become an ashtanga yoga teacher and I started this blog to fulfill my dream of writing. But I also allow myself to be a couch patatoe sometimes and just read a book the whole day. And yes, sometimes I still overestimate my own abilities. But then I think about my three new key words: strenght, flexibility and balance (the key words of ashtanga yoga) and I start to dream about big green forests and wooden cabins and then I realize I have to take a day off. And so I am planning myself a stay-in-bed day for next week. Because yes, that planning part of me I will probably never lose..