Thank you for stopping by.
Yesterday, my condition seemed to turn from bad to worse. In the recent weeks, I have been experiencing signs and symptoms of overly stressed and strained. I have been trying hard to slow down. Over the last 1 week, I have been experiencing signs and symptoms of panic attacks.
I have been praying and cutting down on some activities. I was still busy with my freelance work as it is the avenue where I earn my living. But I have been taking a longer time to complete some freelance jobs and tried not to push myself too hard seeing that my health is deteriorating. Sometimes I find myself simply not able to work on my freelance assignments. I just can't concentrate and felt mentally over-stretched. So I turned down freelance jobs that I don't think I can managed.
I attempted to cut down on some blogging but not quite successful as this blog serves as an online journal to me and journaling is therapeutic to me. It helps in managing my stress, strain, manic and depression due to bipolar disorder. It is helpful for me to verbalise my thoughts and feelings. It also helps me to can see things from different perspective.
I also look upon this blog as a ministry, a way of serving God, by sharing God's goodness to me in facing various challenges, as well as sharing Bible verses that have encouraged me and other resources that I have found helpful in managing stress, depression, bipolar disorder, etc etc.
I have tried to kind of slow down and I cut down on some activities. I have gone for walks when I can. But the problem with me seems to be that whenever I am slightly better, I will began to pick up on my activities again or tried to catch up on as much tasks as possible. I am not sure whether this is due my being a little hypomanic whenever I am better or my perfectionist trait playing out on me again. And I am not always conscious of these. But this is what is happening recently.
Yesterday, I felt kind of out of action. I couldn't concentrate on my freelance work. At first I jumped to the conclusion that my freelance work is too mentally taxing for me and I started praying and looking into alternative ways to earn a living. But later I found that I just couldn't do much work in front of the computer, not even blogging. I shared that video on depression yesterday but that's about all I could do.
Last night I slept very very early as I felt totally exhausted and can't focus on anything. This morning I was up very early and the first thing that come to my mind is I am experiencing signs and symptoms of burning out. It had happened many times in the past years and they usually precede my relapses of severe depression. But the difference was in the past years I usually only realized it after I have fallen into severe depression. It was always too late. This morning it suddenly occurred to me that I am going through the same ground that I have gone through in the past prior to my relapses of depression! Thank God for allowing me to realize this so that I can try harder to slow down and take the necessary precaution to prevent my condition from worsening.
In the past besides working, I am always busy finding out various ways I can serve God. I will take on more and more projects that enabled me to reach out to others. I have this innate desire in my heart to encourage others. And over a period of time I will began to give more and more of my time and energy in these area of reaching out to others despite the stress and strain I face at work and through these area of service.
Now I began to see the pattern. What happened after several months was, I began to feel easily stressed up, panic attacks, extreme exhaustion and thinking that my work is the cause of the problem. I will continue actively serving God in those outreaching ministries as I derived great joy and satisfaction in ministering to others. I will began to start looking out for other job opportunities that I think will not drain me without realizing that I was experiencing signs and symptoms of burnout. Several weeks later I will plunged into severe depression where I am totally out of action, including those areas of service of reaching out to people.
In fact those outreach work I have been doing have been increasing in their volumes so much so that unknowingly they have become something like another part-time job for me. So though I am working part-time through my freelance work, I am in fact working part-time also in my outreach work. In other words, I was actually doing 2 part-time work which is worst than a full-time job because I was stretched in both directions. And I suspect that most of the time I am working over-time in these 2 part-time work because I enjoyed them so much :-)
But the long-term effect of such stress and strain is that a burnout is sure to follow and then an episode of severe depression will follow too. Now I suddenly see more clearly that this is what I am going through again recently! I thank God for bringing me to see this more clearly this morning!
I am praying that God will preserve me from plunging into severe depression. I know that I really really really need to try harder to slow down. I am praying for wisdom to manage these symptoms of heading towards burnout so that I can recover and not get worse.
I found one helpful article on burnout:
Preventing Burnout by HelpGuide.org
Thank you for stopping by.
And dear blogging friends, if I am not able to visit your blogs as often as I wish to, I hope you will understand. I will drop by whenever I can. Meanwhile, you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
I will still post here every now and then, in order to journal my thoughts and feelings. I hope to also continue to share with you resources that I find helpful in coping with my condition.
Thank you once again for your friendship and support. I thank God for all of you. Do drop me a note whenever you can so that I too can know how you are getting on.
Please take care.
My Flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. Psalm 73:26