Monday, May 11, 2009

Burn Out

I’m still a little shocked, even though it’s been about two hours since I’ve had that diagnosis. I do suffer from a burn-out syndrome.

I had expected it halfway, considering the way I felt the past weeks and months. But expecting it and hearing it are two different ways.

I went to the doctor this morning merely because that would have been the first step in order to see a psychologist. Even after four weeks of recuperation (see almost all April posts about that), I didn’t really feel better. Last week I went to work again, but I barely got through it. I did my seven hours every day (plus a couple of minutes), but hardly really was thinking about what I did. So I decided I needed help with the stress in my life - that’s why I wanted to see a psychologist.

But after I’d told my doctor about the symptoms (tiring fast, sleeping bad, no real motivation for anything, easy riled up and then either seething or crying), he diagnosed a slight depression and a burn-out. Therefore I’m staying home this week and next - and then a bit longer, possibly. I’ve also been described a few pills and I will be seeing a psychologist as soon as possible.

My boss doesn’t much like it, but that’s his problem. I only pity my colleague, who’s not all that well himself and has to do all the overtime now. We’re all sick at the office, each of us has his or her own stress to deal with. And our boss is afraid of calling for help, even though it’ll be the only logical step. Still, no thoughts about the job, now. That’s what probably made me sick.

Although... I’ve been looking back over the years today and I’ve realized the last time I really could enjoy life and not think of anything else has been at least ten years ago, while I was still in the middle of my stay at university. There was stress, too, but there wasn’t all that much of it. From the time I tried to make a living as a freelancing editor until right now I’ve always been running after a goal I could hardly get close to. I was always stressed, always trying to do more than my best at work. (Probably to over-compensate for the fact that I’m not exactly the good-looking picture of a female employee - I don’t have a problem with that as a such, but somehow years of TV shows and movies have ingrained it that you need to be pretty when working at an office.) I rarely took long vacations, either, mostly due to not having all that many days. And while I was not employed, I was desperately looking for new jobs, because otherwise I might have ended up in what is called “Hartz IV” in Germany.

Something has to change now and I need help with that. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I’m sure it’ll be interesting. And it will change my life.

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