It’s official. I have been diagnosed with “Burnout” with extremely high levels of both anxiety and depression. That’s the bad news (It is horrible) but the good news is that my psychologist diagnosed the issue almost immediately, recognised my symptoms and causes and told me that I can recover with help and support. My Dr has known me for a long time, just over 20 years, and knows me well. This is a huge advantage when fighting an illness like depression/anxiety because there is nothing worse and more frustrating than seemingly wasting time and energy going through old material. It takes up precious time and energy which I can ill afford.
So very briefly I have a plan. A plan feels good and at long last I truly believe that I can crawl out of this mire and get back to my life. My plan is discussed and agreed with Doc Fraser and involves a number of active strategies to make the best of a bad lot.
Firstly, I will be starting work at 10.00am and not 9.00am on the days I work in Birmingham. This one hour adjustment appears pretty minor at first glance but has major advantages for me with the least disruption to my work and employer. Based on train times, believe it or not, it actually means that I get an extra hour in bed every morning and a much more relaxed start to the day. The later train is far less crowded and I don’t have to fight for a seat or sit next to a really annoying person who insists on sitting next to me and puts their makeup on and plucks their eyebrows (Sorry, but whilst I sort of get the make up I think it’s revolting to pluck eyebrows/ trim toenails in public) So immediately I am faced with less stress!
Doc Fraser also understands that I am my worst critic and expect far too much of myself when feeling under the weather. He directly asked me the question, “So Caroline, you feel hopeless, helpless, despondent, tearful, you have loss of memory and confused thinking. You are mentally and physically exhausted and you expect to perform as normal?”
Mmmm…..this is where the Doc suggested that I might like to “get real”.
The reality is that I am ill. It is not a choice it is a fact. I couldn’t run a marathon with a broken leg so why would I expect to perform a cerebral job as normal when mentally impaired?
Ok, fair point. So let’s get real and manage expectations.
I now have a list of homework tasks to do before my next appointment on Thursday. Nothing too demanding but focusing on those aspects of my life which I find most difficult. Small steps and steady progress.
Let’s keep it real.
I am here if you need to be heard. Hugs
Aw thank you so much I appreciate it. XX
You are welcome. The other person that clicked like, a survivor too? I’m not familiar with that site.
I am so glad you have such a great doc! This is the kind of thing I really miss my counselor for: Helping me see what is obvious, but I’m blind to it because I’m too close. I’m going to try and adapt some of your hints to me.
I will share his tasks and techniques and hope that they help 🙂 You can do my homework too!
I call this situation, “My reality check bounced.” I am struggling today and I think I need to give myself time to rest. Thanks for the reminder that functioning when depressed I should expect delays.
The first steps of recovery are the hardest – at least that is what we found in our family. Sounds like you are off to a good start!
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