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.