It starts on a Sunday night. I get annoyed with my husband and I know that it is not his fault but I cannot help it. I hold on to small annoyances in my mind and go over and over them, working myself up into an unjustified anger. I am getting better at identifying when I get like this, that it is not real anger or frustration. I have not gotten to the point of being able to fix it yet however.
What is happening is anxiety about going to work the next day. I know that I will be stressed at work, that the environment will be uncomfortable and I have no way to fix it, so the anxiety builds.
My mind likes to fix things, it likes to plan and work things out but no matter how hard I try, I cannot come up with a plan for fixing my situation at work, other than leaving the job entirely. On some days, I can be positive and come up with ideas and strategies but when I have had some days off it is almost impossible to do that.
So I lie in bed, angry at something else because my mind cannot cope with applying those emotions to my job. After I realise what is going on I still have the anger I have worked up but it is now joined by the anxiety so my eyes are wide open and there is zero chance of sleep. I go over the things I might come up against at work, I stress that I will be tired because I cannot sleep and I get angry with myself for getting into this state.
The next morning I wake up tired and numb. The numbness is a new feeling for me. It is as though I do not have the energy for emotions. There is nothing except tiredness and a queasy feeling in my stomach. I have to go through the motions of getting ready – it is quite quick now as I no longer bother with makeup on most workdays and I have a quick shower otherwise I think too much in there.
As the time to get to work approaches the queasy feeling in my stomach becomes an actual nausea. I begin to feel light headed and my motivation to do anything is at rock bottom.
For a few months now, I have been back and forward to my GP trying to sort these symptoms out, it got to the point where I cannot even exercise because I have no energy and my energy levels drop so quickly it is dangerous. Only recently have I been able to connect the symptoms to my burnout (I will detail how I managed this in another post – but believe me it was not easy). I have wasted so much time, energy and money thinking I was sick when really it was work all along.
I drag myself to work because I need to pay the mortgage and feed my family, I have no sick days left until August and I have minimal leave days. I spend the morning not wanting to see or talk to anybody on a good day, on a bad day I spend the morning trying not to cry. I am normally ok by the afternoon, I still enjoy nursing and seeing my patients and that perks me up a little. But it is repeat that night of the anger, anxiety and stress knowing I have a full week to contend with still.
I do not know how to fix it yet, I don’t know if I can. I am currently swinging between finding a new job on a bad day and remedying my situation here on a good day. Today is a bad day. Let the job search commence.