Thank you for your comments in response to our last post, Is Something Wrong with Me? Many of you responded that this post was helpful because you had worried that perhaps you were losing it.
We understand. In our small team, we’ve regularly had conversations about the ways the strain of this past year has affected us in feeling much of the same worry.
Today, we’d like to talk about losing it and the unsettling, uncomfortable, and wearing ways that may leave you feeling like you’re losing it.
It’s important that you know that we’re distinguishing the unsettling feeling and worry about losing it from a more concerning pattern in your life that needs your attention so that you don’t put yourself in danger.
Whether you find reading this post helpful enough or you reach out for support please remember:
Be kind and generous to yourself
in the way you would be
with someone you loved.
So, how can you tell if you are crossing the line from feeling like, “I’m losing it” to the concern “Am I seeing a pattern here that could genuinely put me in danger?” You’re a unique person in a unique situation so you may not have these exact experiences, but consider how the increase in frequency and intensity increase the risk.
Feelings / behaviors that lead to thinking,
“I’m losing it” that are typically responses
to ongoing strain
- Observing that your brain is foggy and that you’re quicker to be overloaded by information, decisions, and conversations
- An increase in how clumsy you are—like tripping, bumping your head, walking into things
- Forgetting where you’ve placed something or why you went into a room
- Having a glass of wine or a beer to relax when you get home or over dinner with family or friends
- Irritability with family and friends over things that never bothered you or that you took in stride in the past
- Finding it hard to get back to work after a weekend or a vacation
- Not feeling particularly refreshed after a weekend
- From time to time you catch yourself thinking “life sucks”
- While you’re more tired and snarky at times, it’s not hurting your relationships or work life
Patterns of feelings / behaviors that may indicate, “This pattern could put me in danger,” that are concerning responses to your ongoing strain
- You’re finding it increasingly hard to think, get things done, and make day-to-day decisions
- You’re finding you’re off balance and having trouble with coordination
- Most days you struggle with memory like misplacing objects
- You’re finding you can’t get through a day without drinking a considerable amount of alcohol or overusing meds or drugs
- Most days you find yourself overreacting to frustrations
- You’re finding it increasingly harder to sleep through the night or to get out of bed
- Never feeling refreshed by time off, time with friends, or exercise
- Regularly thinking “life sucks” or fearing you could harm yourself or someone else
- You’re hearing from family, coworkers, or friends that your behavior is hurting relationships, credibility, or yourself
We want to say loud and clear that you matter to us and to many others in the world. If you have concerns about yourself that don’t seem to be lifting, reach out to your doctor, EAP, or a therapist for a deeper dive into understanding what’s going on and how you can care for yourself through this difficult time.
Keep us posted on how you’re doing.