Column: I didn’t have a Burnout, but Fibromyalgia

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It’s been five years since Cindy was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. After months of being diagnosed with a burnout, she knew there was something completely different going on with her body. So she started looking for the answer. And how she found it, she explains today in her column. Because it’s health month at Blogzine!

Your health is an investment, not an expense.

It started with chronological illness

It all started very innocently. A day when it felt like I had the flu. Fever, muscle aches everywhere and minor ailments like a clogged nose or sore throat. But these small issues soon became more and more frequent. So frequent, in fact, that I had monthly tonsillitis, a fever and was sick in bed. Or should have been. Because as the region manager of the largest fashion company, you can’t afford to be sick in bed.

So I got up every day, sick or not, to go back to work. To drag through the hours with my last strength and make my team happy. Until one day when answering the phone behind the cash register, I collapsed and ended up in the emergency room.

The doctor immediately told me that I was not taking enough time for to give my body rest and needed to recuperate. I had burnout and had to stay home for several weeks. What would eventually become months of rest.

The difference between a Burnout and Fibromyalgia

In burnout, you are completely exhausted. Your motivation is below zero. Your body can no longer move forward. Psychologically, you are completely drained and even the thought of going back to work gives you a panic attack. At least, that’s how I experienced my very first burnout. But this time it was different.

I got up every day with muscle pain, whether it was 3 weeks after having some rest or 2 months after. The pain did not go away. Without heat, my muscles felt tremendously clammy and I slept almost 14h a day. If I didn’t sleep or rest, I had a fever right away. The feeling of inflammation, as if your body keeps fighting bacteria. And with those symptoms, I knew it was no ordinary burnout and went to my doctor.

After three months in and out of the hospital for tests, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Which literally means “pain in connective tissue and muscles,” putting it in the category of soft tissue rheumatism. The condition usually reveals itself between the ages of 25 and 40 and much more often in women than in men (Source: Google).

How it changed my life

With this diagnosis, of course, I knew immediately that my life would change completely. Working full-time in combination travel, with the pressure of a boss above me, would no longer work. Because being a stubborn Virgo, perfection is so important to me that I would always outrun myself to get good results. So I decided to follow my passion: creating creative solutions/ideas to drive sales and inspire people. Or what they call today a content creator.

I said goodbye to a permanent contract I had had for 7 years, I said goodbye to a well-paid salary and took the risk to start my own business. Which today was still the best decision I ever made. Because I want to continue to inspire people daily to do what is right for them, rather than for the people around them or because society imposes something on you.


There is, of course, so much more to tell about my journey to finding answers and solutions. That’s why I’m happy to take you through my research in the coming weeks. So make sure to follow us and that you subscribe to our newsletter to not miss any article!

This article has been written by @CINDY VAN DYCK

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