Hello. Welcome back to part 2 of surprising symptoms. Glad to see you here! Why do I write about symptoms? It took me a long time before I realized that it was not ‘all me’. I attributed a lot of the following symptoms described to myself, to my character. Although I believe some are more likely to be character traits that were expanded, others are more due to the disease. Like irritability and having an extremely short temper. That is just not me and never will. Maybe I’ll put up better boundaries in prevention of possible temper explosions. That can be the lesson but I don’t believe I need to keep up with all the symptoms for the rest of my life. In the very beginning though I thought it was all me. That I had changed so much and I didn’t recognize myself at all.
I struggled with making decisions. What do I want to do? What do I feel would be good for me? How can I turn off my mind? But what should I have for lunch? Is it lunch time yet? On the flip side, I saved a lot of money because I’m not able to go shopping due to lack of decision skills. On the other side, I don’t have a career plan. Due to burnout my job is on hold. I want to be able to look to the future because now I just feel stuck. I know that it’s not the time to make huge life decisions but I also do need those life changes to get myself out of this rut. Again, time will tell. Aagh …. The circular reasoning and overthinking are back again!
When mentally ill I noticed that my world became very small. In the beginning it mainly existed of managing appointments and talking about myself. The last one still feels weird. First of all, you need to tell your story to different unknown people. I felt like I needed to show my most vulnerable self to a bunch of strangers with opinions. I do have a therapist, he knows me. My GP doesn’t know me at all because I’m rarely ill. In the very beginning of all this, my GP suspected burnout and said to take 2 weeks off of work. I needed to make the call. This is worth mentioning! Here we go:
I call and tell my boss that I have burnout. She responds: ‘That’s fine. Oh no, that’s not fine at all. You need to rest well and let us know how you evolve’. That was it. Not a minute on the phone.
Two weeks later my GP was on holiday, so I had to visit another one. Then I had an intake with the burn out coach. When I started the treatment there, I got assigned to another one. The doctor of the insurance company wished to see me. And that was my introduction to the mental health field. Off course my boyfriend, family and friends also wanted to know how I felt and what was going on. My neighbor noticed that I was more at home and the lady from further in the street passed me more than ever while walking her dog. She is very nice and listened to my story.
Loss of social contacts. Since being ill I spend most of my days at home. Going outside involves people and that scares me and takes up energy. When I look outside and see people enjoying the sun, I still feel weird. I think, sometimes, that others can see that I’m struggling. I’m not used to social interaction anymore. I can do it, but there is a small threshold. Sometimes I forget I need to pay attention to me and that’ I’m fine as I am’ and I try to appear ‘normal’, like the ‘old me’. Well, that’s a struggle. I can enjoy social contacts, just in moderation. Some friends or colleagues surprised me by telling that we would stay in touch but that didn’t happen. Others message me from time to time. I have few friends but the ones I have; they are golden! They know me so well, they don’t care that I’m fussy or need to cancel the appointment because I’m tired. They were more surprised that I fell ill when I did, meaning that I kept it together for so long. They tell me that I was unhappy for a long time. They remember me about my dreams when I was a teenager. They are just …. Lovely!
On this lovely note I’ll thank you for being here and I wish you the best friends and a nice day!