I was just looking at some website about stress and burnout. I took a quick online test and answered the questions as to how I was feeling at the time I left my job. According to the test I was at extreme risk of burnout and needed to do something fast. So was it just burnout? Was it fatigue? Was it the MS caused cognitive problems?
I still wonder about how overwhelmed I was when I left my last job. My GP told me I seemed quite sleep deprived (I had been suffering insomnia where I woke up about every half an hour during the night, so never got into REM sleep). My neurologist felt I was possibly suffering some severe cognitive effects of the MS, but didn’t feel testing was necessary. I was not seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist at the time, but it would’ve been interesting to hear their take on the situation. My current psychiatrist and therapist both think it was a combination of forces that created the ‘perfect storm’ scenario for what amounted to a nervous breakdown. I was even getting paranoid that my co-workers or even my boss was sabotaging my work in order to get me to quit or to give them a reason to fire me.
I still hurts when I think about how capable I used to be. My therapist said it was bound to happen, I had too much on my plate, too many people demanding things of me for so long that I had nothing left to give, and certainly nothing left for me. My life was completely out of balance and it doesn’t surprise them that I could no longer hang on. I’ve talked with my therapist about going back to work and she’s of the mind that I should not try. I am just now getting my self filled up and learning how to better manage the demands of life and family. If I have to go back to work a career change would be better for me, then to go back into an executive support role. How I find out something else I can do is the tricky part. She said, who knows, maybe I’ll end up getting a paying job at the animal shelter, or start teaching T’ai Chi. LOL She also indicated I needn’t think about going back to work just yet.
I wonder about what she said about working full time at an animal shelter or something. Certainly, there can’t be as much money as I was making, but it would make me feel worthy. Volunteering is starting to help that sense of worthiness. The exercise classes help wear me out (completely) and allow me to sleep better. The idea of going back to work is frightening. Even if it was something more simple than I used to do, the idea of going to work 8 hours a day every day is daunting. The fatigue isn’t just from the exercise. At least I don’t think so.
Would someone without MS be exhausted for two days after one hour of cardio? Would someone without MS be so beat after 4 hours on their feet walking dogs sleep for 12 hours for two nights running? How does someone without severe fatigue understand it in someone else? I really suffer on Fridays, between getting up (relatively) early for one hour of Tai Chi (which is less strenuous than yoga) and four hours at the shelter. I hurt from my head to my toes after only a half day’s work. If I worked 8 hours a day again I don’t think I could maintain it for very long at all.
My issue is how do you convince the government that you’re disabled because you’re tired? It doesn’t show up on any tests. It can’t really be measured. I look perfectly healthy, so how could I possibly be disabled. Of course, they don’t know how I look right now. I’m expecting some paperwork from DI to complete, about my daily habits. Do I include the exercise I am doing? Do I merely omit that? Seems dishonest, as I am not claiming I cannot walk or exercise, only that my stamina for such things is limited. I suppose a call to the lawyer my be in order.
For now though, I’ve got to take a nap.
Peace to all. May all your wishes come true.