So my crash last week lasted several days. I ended up calling in sick and going in later the day after that. So it took me about two – three days to recover from some inexplicable mental exhaustion. I spent some of Saturday looking up how to cope with working full-time when you have BPD in the hopes of learning something new and to post on here but sadly, there isn’t that much. In handling my other issues – I found a lot on distress tolerance, or handling emotions etc. but not many tips on how to work full-time and not struggle.
The most of what I got was, some people are just managing to do it, or like me, are taking a lot of time off sick. On the other end of the spectrum, those who do manage to perform well working full-time or even longer hours in demanding jobs don’t always have their symptoms under control outside work, in short, their lives are just unhealthy in a different way. This is not to say everyones experience is like that – I have read enough accounts to know it can be done and whilst living a healthy lifestyle, it’s just that I still don’t have enough information on how it can be done.
I did thankfully get some answers to why I might be more exhausted, in therapy. I know in my experience of borderline personality disorder my inner life is a lot richer. There is so much more going on, granted mostly negative at the moment but – I have so many more thoughts, so much more emotion, so many more reactions than other people do, and I don’t entirely hate it, (in fact, sometimes the extra emotion doesn’t feel like a disorder at all but just another way of looking at the world). Plus, in recovery I am learning to adjust, to control, to express, to release, to be mindful, to assert at the right times, to separate and connect with others. In other words, below the surface I am doing a lot more than other people are in any given day. This was true for me just yesterday, I spent the whole day out in the City and there were times, in the crowds I was met with angry, snarky women making comments or hushing under their breath, I could feel the immediate physical sensation of anger come up, the flush of heat in my chest, and my voice tone switched where I was about to become defensive, I stopped before I could finish my sentence, took a breath and explained the situation in a calm, impersonal manner, which suited me alot better. This is just one example from one day. I can go through several incidents in one day – no wonder I’m tired by the end of it.
But, all in all, I had to practice asserting myself in the morning and face reality, I can’t work 5 days right now. I calmly explained my being sick is caused by me pushing myself too hard to work 5 days at the moment and I’d like to try 4. I don’t want this to be a permanent thing, but for now, this is what I need.