For the time being I’m the lousiest photographer ever. Well, I never consider myself being a photographer, but you know what I mean, I guess. I never take any pictures any longer! Other than occasionally one or two from where I live, or just around the corner.
A friend of mine helped me understand why. I’m suffering from something I don’t no what it’s called in English. A burnout, we say here in Sweden. Or as it also is called, a “Mental Fatigue Syndrome” due to stress for a long time.
I knew I had been living in stress for several years which I couldn’t do anything about, and it was a huge relief when I retired in January. It took some time but slowly I started to feel better. My ability to concentrate came back, I could read again, it was fun to blog, I started to work on my novel again and I put in a lot of time and energy. It was SO fun! I loved every minute of it! I also enhanced my biking tours, and in beginning of May I was very hopeful about my health and my future.
That was what I thought! But it didn’t last! Everything started to hurt more then ever before. An inflammation in the hip area, sciatic pain started may 2nd which now runs down both legs. Back and neck pain. Stiffness. Bad sleep. Frustration. Good days mixed with bad days. Hope and hopelessness.
I concentrated on the pain and the inflammation. Turmeic, garlic, ginger, healthy food. Tried to exercise little at a time but every day. Yes, at first I could still read, write, blog, and I did ride my bike – but not as much as I had wanted.
Actually! Biking helped me soften the sciatica and the muscles, since it was very difficult to stand and to walk.
Every morning after breakfast I biked somewhere, and could reasonably well manage the rest of the day. If I didn’t sit too much and for too long periods.
Then about a month ago I realised I became even more tired, irritated, couldn’t concentrate. I even screamed straight out when things messed with me, which I normally never do. I called it ADHD-outbursts and got a bit amazed. I had never done that before. Been screaming and throwing things around me.
My novel became undoable to work with, I was unable to do anything it seemed. I dropped all and everything on the floor. Couldn’t force myself to do the dishes properly, or clean the apartment… my bathroom is semi-icky, my kitchen is icky-icky. I kind of lost myself and couldn’t understand why!
But I have a friend who lives not far away from me. She’s diagnosed with this “mental fatigue syndrome” and had earlier said that I also suffered from it.
“Oh no”, I said then. “I have fibromyalgia and inflammation around the hip bones and sciatic pain. It will pass! Turmeric works! And all the green stuff I eat… bla… bla…. bla…
The truth was, I did eat a lot of healthy food, but I got so bored with it I almost could scream! So between periods with kale and spinach, vegan stuff and super berries, I just had to have bacon or grilled chicken or something with eggs. And got frustrated since nothing seemed to help! I failed to follow the diet I had put on to myself! All those extra vitamins and minerals. I failed with everything.
I did bike, I did try to take walks, I did do my gymnastic training with rubber bands and such. And I did create those posters I had to do. But it was difficult, and I always managed too little, and with too much painful reactions! Or extra fatigue.
And all this THINKING ABOUT GETTING WELL!
All this TRYING!
All this LOSS OF ENERGY!
Takes hours of trying to do something – and still you don’t do it! The dishes for example. Or putting books aside since you can’t understand even one word. Not even being able to watch a movie! Not going anywhere, meeting people. Feeling lonely and depressed – no one loves me, no one misses me, no one cares! Crying. A lot of crying!
Then it was revealed to me, the main cause was mostly psychological! Stress! And that I kept on stressing myself! Probably an inflammation as well, but that wasn’t the main issue, not the starting point. The pain wasn’t the starting point.
I felt really relieved after that conversation with my friend. That and the easy-understanding article she had me read. And she also very clearly pointed out – “You Ninna, are an HSP! A Highly Sensitive Person!”
So after about a month of hitting the bottom (bounce bounce), this big AHA made me feel a bit better. Not well, but better. I’ll now try: not to try so much, not to worry, not to bother. It won’t be easy, but at least it is a way that seems to be the right one. And I’ve written this now. HUGE!
I couldn’t stop pondering how many hours it would take me to finish this blog post. Probably most of the day. And I, who wanted to write something about this in Swedish as well!!! Too much for me to perform now? Probably… At least I have written this. And in English!!! So how many hours did it take? I’m not quite sure. Four?