There is a life after the collapse – and that should be different than before, more relaxed, more concious. But how do you implement the good intentions? Concerned tell how they have changed their lives after the collapse.
Andreas K., 39 years, Projectmanager for IT
The time before
Andreas K. 39 years old, has been project manager for innovation management of the IT department of a renowned trading company for 7 years. 80-90 working hours per week, also weekends he used for the settlement of 7 parallel projects at that time, with 15 sometimes up to 20 work package managers in each case, which were usually all in simultaneously running projects.
He could concentrate badly, took work home to finish there. Due to the high workload, he restricted his private contacts for a long time. His wife and two children rarely saw him. He did not show anything, after all, he did not want to lose his face.
In the last days before his collapse, he felt tired and exhausted, at night thoughts of the next day kept him from sleeping – there were common colds that he did not cure but rather ignored and severe headaches. A sudden hearing loss followed and massive stomach problems forced him to come to seek accompaniment.
How did I feel?
“I felt at the height of the crisis, as if I were constantly going around in a garage and just can not find the exit. I always had the feeling to miss or forget something. I have learned to stop wanting to do everything on my own and clearly distinguish between important and unimportant things and listen to my body. In the greatest exhaustion a walk on the toilet resembled a climb to the Himalayas. That sounds weird, but the simplest things have been hard for me, like a simple grocery shopping. If there was a queue of people infront of the cash desk, I turned around and left. That was too much for me.
Now retroactively this seems ridiculous – at that time it was terrible. I was ashamed of it – what do people think about me. I used to run 50 people – now I can not even do simple things on my own.
The time of the accompaniment
The most difficult part was to admit, that I also have limits and that I can not go wild with impunity. I had to accept that I now have to give some rest to fuel my exhausted organism. I’ve been on reserve for far too long.
I went sick for a month then. That seemed almost impossible to me, but my doctors and coach have given me no choice. My coach Lisa Tomaschek-Habrina has always brought me as a technician the comparison with technical equipment. She then said, “What happens if a computer has too many programs open? – He crashes. The same happened to you. What we have to do now is, to drive down, recharge, and start slowly again.” I understood this language.
What am I doing differently now?
The weekends are sacred. I had to promise that to my wife as well. Our marriage was already over. I was no longer accessible. I’ve set up very clear mobile-free and laptop-free times for me. I regularly take breaks and have regular meals. The BEEP principle of Lisa Tomaschek-Habrina has always reminded me of it, a simple guide to everyday life. I also leave my computer in the office, so I’m not tempted to quickly check a few mails in the evening. And I started cycling again. I have not done that for a long time. I reactivated my social network again, that I neglected for a very long time. Thankfully, I have an understanding environment – I was scared to contact them again. But the joy of having me back in has far outweighed them. However, some of my friends remained unforgiving. Then the wheat separated from the chaff.
Thankful for the experience.
That may sounds strange but the burnout was the best that could happen to me. Of course, I can say that now. At the moment of total exhaustion, of course, that was not possible for me. Without the collapse, I would not have changed my life. I would have continued until … yes, until finally the inevitable had to happen. Either I would have built a serious accident, at worst others involved, and I certainly would not have a family anymore. That would have killed me in any case. I know life has given me a chance. Mrs Tomaschek-Habrina always said to me: “Life has many training opportunities for us – use them!” I can say for sure now I am doing this.