Burnout

Right now I feel completely burned out in almost every aspect of my life. I have exactly two weeks left before finals are over. I have two practicals exams next week (both at stupid early hours), then one practical exam next Monday and three final written exams in a row next Thursday. Yikes.

I don’t even think I’m nervous for the actual exams. I know this shit. Sure I need to review well and go in prepared, but I don’t really have any reason to be concerned or stressed. But I do feel a little worried because I have been struggling so much to concentrate. And it seems to be getting harder for me to recall the specific information I need when I’m asked – as if I’m processing things slower or something. I honestly think my brain is just so utterly fucking saturated with information that it literally feels heavy. And so there’s all this shit to sort through in order to find the exact knowledge I’m trying to access.

I also had session this afternoon and I felt so all over the place and yet absolutely nowhere. Another “throwaway” session. I’m trying not to panic about it, although I want to.

I did bring up last session and how she offered a phone check in if I needed it. I asked why she offered it. I’m sure she gave a really great answer, but I honestly can’t even remember what she said. Something about how I seemed upset and she wanted to help me contain my distress. I think she also said something how possibly other parts within the system wanted to speak their minds (she specifically said Julia, which actually makes a lot of sense when I think back and also – props to her for using Insider’s names. I like that).

Probably. But I don’t know how to do that without everything unfolding into absolute chaos. It’s hard enough for me to contain myself. Trying to contain other Parts is…messy. She said we could work together towards that goal. Sure.

I told her I felt absolute terror when she offered a phone check in. I didn’t explicitly tell her about my post about it, but I did say that I spent the entire commute home telling myself I would NOT make that call, no matter what.

She said that it’s her job to maintain and be clear about the boundaries and to ensure she’s working within her comfort zone and limits. I agree with her. But I told her I don’t trust her to actually do that. And by calling her, I am essentially inviting her even further into my space – into my support system – and that terrifies me. Because if I do that and she flakes on me….

She said, “That makes a lot of sense. You become more dependent on me by reaching out when you’re upset and I definitely understand why that would invoke terror in you.”

She says all the right things. She’s so fucking on point every session. And I genuinely believe she is a dependable therapist. But I want so much to bail on this. I want out. I want to run as fast as can as far away as I can.

I told her this. She said it makes sense since we’re getting deeper and deeper into the work. I suppose.

Or maybe I’m just wasting everyone’s time.

I’m hoping this feeling of total shit goes away soon. Ideally, this is all just end-of-semester burnout that will lighten up once finals are over and I can do some legit rebalancing of my body and soul. I upped my Klonopin back to the regular dose I’d been taking just to make sure I’m getting as much sleep as I can. I’ll worry about the potential brain fog side-effects after finals. But without sleep, nothing else matters.

My goal right now is to not catastrophize everything. School will be fine. Finals will go well. Therapy will figure itself in time. I will be okay.

This is not my life falling apart. It’s just burnout. And it won’t last forever.

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26 thoughts on “Burnout

  1. Rachel says:

    Does sound like classic burnout. Klonapin is the only thing that kept me sane last year during a burnout, I’m glad you’re using that resource. Hang in there, you’re almost done. Sounds like you are keeping perspective even though you feel lousy. xx

    Liked by 1 person

      • Rachel says:

        Really! Every night for over a year straight or I wasn’t sleeping or having severe flashbacks. I didn’t even conceive of going off until I felt stable with my current therapist. I needed it, and it helped me stay stable during a lot of stress. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. alicewithptsd says:

    I really think it is okay to use medication for times like this. You need sleep. It is one of the most important things in life— espessially during times of stress like this.
    I also totally get not wanting to call your therapist because it means you have let her into your world more and more. I think it would be okay to tell her you dont really remember her answer, and ask her to answer again, or even to write it down. I ask Bea to write stuff out sometimes.

    It is scary right now, but i hope you stick with the therapy, she sounds very, very good. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Thanks, Alice. I appreciate the added support about medications. Always such a hard topic. I might begin next session with where we left off and explain that I think we need more time to keep processing this specific topic. I’ve never asked a therapist to write something out, but that’s not a bad idea. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Cat says:

    It’s difficult to think clearly during a burn out. I try not to take myself too seriously, as you said, it usually does work out and the burn out passes. I wish you all the best for your exams. It makes sense to me that you want to run. My Psychiatrist used to say that the times we don’t want to be there are often the most important, even if we sit in silence. I’m not so sure any session is wasted when we have little to say or focus on. IME the healing comes after the chaos and I wish that for you too, Andi… blow us away with those top marks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Thank you so much, Cat. It’s interesting that you should say that. Reminds me of my yoga practice – I’ve learned that the days I feel most resistant to going to class are generally the days I need it the most. Maybe I should try applying that idea to therapy?

      Like

      • Cat says:

        I did and it helped… something about sitting with the feeling is very special, even if that feels like ‘I don’t want to be here’, it’s worth a try

        Liked by 1 person

  4. insidetheclock says:

    How did you get to that level with your therapist so that she will refer to parts by name? Or that she will actually acknowledge them? I have been trying so hard to make our therapist aware that she isn’t treating just one of us, no matter how much she believes in integration therapy. And it’s hurtful that she will say she is only treating me, the host, and not the dissociative parts I hold inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Hmm. Good question. I didn’t actively do anything. I came to her with a DID diagnosis and she just naturally did that. She sees the Insiders as separate but important parts of a whole person. I’m sorry your therapist won’t acknowledge everyone. That must be so hard.

      Liked by 1 person

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