The night is darkest before the dawn
Updated: May 24
Recently, I visited one of my best friends who had a bit of a fallback in her burnout cycle. Although she's been doing all the right things, she sometimes still doesn't feel it yet. She cried and then finally felt some positive vibes. So in this blog we're skipping the creative and storytelling part today (my 'story' and 'world' readers: plenty of articles in the pipeline!), as I wanted to pay attention to your process in restoring from creative depression, anxiety and burnout. I'll give you a great insight into your recovery, namely that the night is darkest before the dawn.
The mind and body are okay before the heart knows It can be really frustrating knowing you are moving in the right direction yet not immediately feeling it. Although in your mind you know you are doing great, you're just not feeling it. There is this strange thing about recovering from anxiety, burnout and depression, and that is you will know you've recovered a while before your emotions confirms it. You even start to look better and healthier before you feel it. Your body is restoring quicker than your mind is. That's a good thing. Recovering from burnout and depression is in my opinion much more about the physical than most professional helpers will have you believe. But I also want you to know I understand that lingering feeling of unease very, very well. The truth is that when you are coming out of the burnout, it takes time to adjust. And every time such an adjustment occurs, it can feel as if you are still knee deep in the negative. It can feel as if you're still in the night and the darkness, even if the sun is already over the horizon. You are not. Daylight is already here, even if you don't feel it. You shouldn't try to force anything at this point, just let it come to you. Plus, just accept that you are at this moment more sensitive to the warning signs. You may think you have a fallback, maybe even call it that, but in truth it's just your alarm bells who are tuned more precisely and go off a little quicker than usual. Now don't get me wrong, you must give this feeling the space it needs of course. It may not be as bad as you feel it - remember, feelings are not facts - but it still is a signal that is best taken seriously. You will however notice it'll be much easier to snap out of now that on previous occasions. Your alarm bells may go off more quickly, but your ability to adjust just as quickly has also gone up dramatically. The final stages can feel the hardest, just as the night is darkest just before the dawn. But that dawn is definitely already in the air. You may not see it yet. But you can smell it. Take it easy as always. Love.
(Check out the book Restart here)
Rogier van Kralingen