Acceptance

I am better. I am. I don’t get as fatigued as easily – it takes a lot more to push me to that point now than it did in February. Of course, I am also incredibly tired of the whole thing – and yet I know it is nothing compared to other people.

But I am also better at handling it, I think. I still go out to events that I am invited to – but I may leave earlier when I reach my limit. Just getting out there feels like a huge triumph.

I am also trying to factor in that if I attend big events (lots of people, lots of things happening.) I should not be making plans to do a lot of stuff the day afterwards. It is okay to lie in bed the whole day after I have been social and out and about. And anything beyond that – is a bonus.

A month or two ago, I had a very full week. There was a birthday celebration, a national day celebration, an overnight trip with work, and Eurovision parties. By the time the Friday came around, I was knackered. And a trip to drive to Bergen to a friend’s Eurovision party was deemed too much.

And on the Saturday, I was very low key, yet the Sunday saw me in bed. All day.

I am trying to learn to listen to my body – but not listen too much. Accept that aches and pains are there, and then push it a bit to the side and deal with it later. But at the same time, I feel the need to push a bit.

To do fun things.

To see fun people.

Of course, it also means that when I plan a holiday for later in August, I am trying to factor in *when* will the fatigue hit – when will the depression hit. And the solution is actually at the moment to plan that I will likely end up spending some time in bed during the day while on holiday – and then not fill up the days by set appointments. And book an apartment hotel, so I can buy food for the refrigerator and not *have* to venture out everytime I get hungry – but adapt to the situation.

Accepting it.

Burnout: week 1

One week of staying home from work. Honestly, it does not feel like it. It feels like I was at work yesterday.

One reason for that is that the majority of the days go by quickly without feeling like I do much of anything. I  sleep a lot, and it takes me a long time to get started in the mornings. I read a bit. I watch a bit of the cross country ski world championships. I knit a bit.

I have reblogged a lot over at Tumblr. Not that that really says anything about how much energy I have. Basically, it requires about as much concentration that I have.

When a trip down into the basement feels like a long hike. When a trip to the kitchen feels like a long hike… I think that not going on my work trip this week was a smart decision.

I said to my sister as she came home from work today that my head feels less foggy today than it has done in a long time. It does. But at the same time, there are also huge variations in how I am feeling just within an hour, so I am also expecting that to go back and forth over the coming weeks…

Burned out

On Thursday, I went to my doctor. (We have been having bi-weekly appointments since November/December.)

Back in September the theory was that various physical ailments that have popped up since January 2013 (at least) were depression and anxiety related. (Dizziness, nausea, headaches, tiredness, feeling down, etc.) So I have been having sessions with my GP for that.

But after listening to me on Thursday, she said: “I think you might be burned out. And the anxiety and the depression are really symptoms of that, and not the main cause of the other symptoms which also come in burn out mode.”

There was a theory on why it has lasted so long, and have gone in waves on how strong it has been – basically it has been building in strength until I hit the top of a wave, and then it crashes and I am forced to take time out. This time we are sort of hoping that we have caught it before a major crash, and just a minor one in the aftermath of the flu two weeks ago.

I am therefore on sick leave until our next appointment in three weeks, with a strong admission to not do any work. I disconnected my work email from my phone.

A planned work trip next week got cancelled – which felt like such a huge relief (not have to wonder whether I would have the energy to be around co-workers and be “on”.) that, while I initially wondered about the doctor’s decision, it made up my mind that it was the right one.

For the next three weeks, it will be a matter of first relaxing completely, and then gradually try to fill the energy back up with activities that I enjoy. And then we will evaluate where I am and what we need to do to stop it from happening again.