Burnt out. Monday October 27, 2014
Last July, I burnt out. I could not sleep. I could not eat. I could not think. I went to the doctor. He signed me off work for two weeks, then one week, then another two weeks. It was not getting better. Migraines had started. My hands were shaking. Medication was making my mind blurry. At the beginning of August, I met with a counsellor who advised taking at least six months off. I resisted a lot: how could I the high achiever, the perfectionist, resign from a job that so many of my colleagues wanted? I handed in my resignation, which I could barely write. I thought that I was a failure.
In August, I found myself at a sunny place, surrounded by loved ones. They took me to the beach almost every day. They fed me good food. I stopped taking sleeping medication. I went completely off caffeine. I minimised sugar as much as I could. I started writing a gratitude list every day. Then I started writing a list of beautiful things every day. I barely had the energy even to compose a list. At one point, I remembered my counsellor's advice about reading a book entitled Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Dr Mark Williams.
At the start of September, the book arrived. It was an eight week mindfulness programme. I promised myself that I would follow it through. Around that time, I discovered Moodscope and I started recording my mood. I read your posts silently and kept recording each day. I started practicing yoga again. And I followed some of your advice: eating dark chocolate and putting together a treasure box. My concentration levels improved as much as I could watch films again. I started watching children's films: the Wizard of Oz, the Sound of Music, Mary Poppins.
October. My Moodscope scores have been improving. Mindfulness has brought me peace of mind. My migraines are gone. My hands are no longer shaking. I can now read and write with ease. My attention span is good enough. I can now sleep. This is the final week of the mindfulness programme. On Sunday, I am moving countries. A new job, a new house, new people. The other day I watched a TED video of someone giving advice how to come out of a closet. Well, this is me coming out of mine, with tears and a smile while writing this.
May you all be healthy, safe and happy.
With all my love
A Moodscope member.