This is hard for me to write. I’m sick, but I don’t look sick. Most of my symptoms are cognitive. Failures of concentration, recall, and communication. On good days, I can force out a few emails. Navigate simple conversations. read a bit. On bad days, my hands shake too much to type or control a mouse. My attention span isn’t long enough to bridge a commercial break. I lose time. I can barely sleep, but when I do, it’s restlessly. Yet, I can’t always wake up without help.
Then there’s all the weird sensory shit. I try to keep myself covered up most of the time because I can’t stand the movement of air across my skin. Every touch – even the absence of touch – is a torment of signal noise. Numbness, tingles, chills, the tickling of imaginary hairs. I can’t trust that what I feel is real.
Because I have PTSD. Apparently.
This diagnosis is new, but it probably isn’t news to anyone who knows me well. Given my history… Well. I’ll just say that life has been too interesting for my own good.
When the workload at my dayjob began to snowball, I asked for help dealing with it. I was told there would be no help for me. I worked so much that I developed carpal tunnel syndrome. I asked for help and accommodation, and was told that, instead of lightening my load, I was expected to take on more. Work during my commutes. Take work home. Type more, not less.
It seemed like I had to choose between protecting my health and keeping my job. I felt trapped. Something had to give, and unfortunately, my mind said, “I QUIT!”
Medical leave started Monday. I have three months to recover from this breakdown. I don’t know if that’s long enough, but I have good meds, a good therapist, and good friends to help me.
Meanwhile, it took me four hours to write this short post. If you comment or email and don’t hear back from me soon, please don’t feel slighted. My mind moves in slow motion, right now. I can’t even keep up with the outpouring of support.