“I started from zero to 54 and it was the best decision”

11/25/2022 at 09:17


Years of precariousness, toxic work environments, stress and anxiety led Majorcan José Antonio Mateu to make a ‘radical change’ in his life

It’s never too late to start over. let them say Jose Antonio Mateowho started his life again at 54“Starting from scratch was the best decision I’ve ever made”, he assured this newspaper yesterday, a few minutes before his speech at the conference ‘Companies in good health: engaged and productive companies’.

From designer, he became the owner of a bar, then commercial. Far from finding happiness in his work, José finds it increasingly difficult to reconcile his personal life with his work. “Those were years of very toxic work environments.”he explains: “In all my jobs I took my work home, I didn’t disconnect. For a long time I slept in the basement of the bar I had. I worked 24 hours a day, without free time or holidays.” He recalls.

One evening, on his way home, he could not get out of the car. “I called a colleague and told him how I could have been that I had been blocked, that I couldn’t move because I was stiff.”. It was the first anxiety attack for many. Shortly after, the diagnosis of his psychologist fell: stressanxiety, excess of responsibility and also excess of empathy.

“The company’s problems were mine. He involved me like anyone else, because I know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and I sympathized with my bosses. He took calls at one o’clock in the morning. Of course, the companies were delighted with me,” he says. But a difficult year has arrived. A separation was accompanied by several family and health problems, all in a few months, cope with absorbing work at the same time.

“I exploded, I couldn’t do everything”

“I exploded. I couldn’t handle everything,” he sums up. It was then that he joined the Incorpora program of the ‘la Caixa’ Foundation, looking for a change that would allow him to be happy. He left his job, followed two training courses and completed an internship, supported by the program technicians.

This is how he came to the Majorcan company Cicle Carbon SL, where today works as a gardener on the company grounds“Now I have a schedule, I do what I love and I can enjoy my children and my personal life. I’m happy,” he says. Although after the “radical change” he still bears the consequences: “These years have weighed on me. The stress has left my endocrine system in shambles.”.

After all, despite entering a totally new and unknown world, José was not afraid: “I knew I was doing the right thing and I was lucky they helped me”. Passionate about travel and nature, José Antonio at the age of 54 found a passion that until now remained within him.

“In this job, they listen to me and take me into account. And then, now, I have time for myself. I no longer have to choose between my children, my friends or sports, because I can do everything “, explains the Mallorcan: “I discovered that life is not just work and I realize my dreams.”

The testimony of José Antonio demonstrated yesterday to the participants in the CaixaForum conference, organized by the Impulsa program, the the importance of Mental Health in employment and well-being at work.


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