I’m used to work under pressure due to the nature of the business I’m dealing with, full of deadlines so sharp that if I fail to meet consequences can be disastrous.
To sum up what I do, I could say companies rely on my services to transport goods from one point to another in the world, and most of times their cargo has to arrive in a certain date. Logistics and transport are not an exact science and there are often incidences, delays and even natural circumstances which might affect a shipment. And to get things more complicated, you have to be attending several things at one time. I’m good at this, and to be honest I kinda enjoy the dynamics of this business. I’ve been doing this for 7 years, even though I started by chance because I can assure you this is not vocational, and I think if nothing changes radically I will go on working doing this for some time.
Nevertheless it’s been more than a month since I’m experiencing some uneasy physical symptoms of stress. I reckon it’s somatization, and is being caused by the damn times I’m passing through.
Somatization is a tendency to experience and communicate psychological distress in the form of somatic symptoms and to seek medical help for them. More commonly expressed, it is the generation of physical symptoms of a psychiatric condition such as anxiety.
Yep, I’m somatizing, and I’m not proud of it nor pretend you to feel pity. It’s as if all of a sudden you cannot cope with everything which is bothering you and not only you feel anxious but start extending this anguish to different parts of your body.
People think it’s a joke, but please do not underestimate the power your mind, perfectly capable to affect you physically, even ruin your life.
I remember years ago, when I was working for a popular company of toys as a sales assistant manager at a store, due to Christmas peak season I had to work 18 days in a row. My back started hurting so much I could barely rise my left arm and every gesture meant horrible pain. When I visited my local PhD even though I couldn’t move, he initially rejected signing my sick leave because he considered it was psychological. I felt so devastated feeling unable to work the following day I burst into tears, and the doctor realized I had crushed and signed the paper, warning me that if pain was extended for more than two weeks he’d send me to the shrink. I felt so much offended by the guy, I wasn’t cheating, you know! My leave lasted the remaining days of Xmas campaign and when I got back, the rhythm at work had slowed down so much I forgot about the whole issue.
Several years after I had another episode of anxiety and backache, this time caused by the upset caused by a close friend and colleague who stopped talking to me for no reason. I was feeling sick all the time, didn’t want to the office because she was there, and every day meant a torture to me. I still feel weird when I see her.
And what’s going on lately? Tensions at the office are simply affecting me way too much. The atmosphere is so poisoned and sick I’m anxious all the time. Everybody is upset, my boss bothers everyone, it’s kind of dictatorship and procedures and way of handling things are chaos. I’d prefer avoiding being too detailed in what’s going on there, and focus on the fact that I’m not fine.
I observe myself and start writing a mental list of what’s happening to myself:
- Food habits have gone crazy. I’m not in the mood for cooking, I have to eat at weird times, and at moments of maximum stress I have the urge to swallow compulsively.
- On the other hand I my digestive system is unsettle.
- My skin is too sensitive lately, sometimes inflamed, and eczema affecting my cheeks is noticeable.
- Back and shoulders are rigid, and my left calf muscle is strained.
- Constant headaches.
- At work sometimes I feel tense and at some point heart beats faster.
- I feel blue more often than usual. Sometimes I feel lonely and sometimes I don’t feel like seeing anyone.
To sum up:
I FEEL LIKE SHIT
I’m not writing this because I’m looking for your sympathy or your solidarity, but because I want to prove that physical discomfort can be caused by stress, depression and some other powerful mental states. You have to be careful and focus on pull yourself together and take things under control, otherwise the line which separates sanity from mental disorders is so thin and fragile, it’s easy to get down in a hole.
It’s been almost a year since I was fired from my previous job position, and it’s been a hard time for me. On one hand 6 months unemployed and confused, and then 5 months working at an office I despise with all my heart, even though I must feel grateful because I left my inactive situation behind.
My former well-off life was ages ago, and I just need a break, and some peace of mind. After one year struggling I am mentally exhausted. For the first time I see myself in pictures and I look older. 😦
PS. Don’t worry, I’m a survivor. I’ll figure out how to overcome this crap eventually.