Do parties and crowds fill you with energy, or send you scurrying for peace and quiet? – By the way I have no idea what INTJ is
Baby spiders seem to grow up in a crowd from the day they are born. I have now become the scurrying type. When I was younger it was not really a thing that bothered me, but now I like a bit of quiet in my life. I can manage to enjoy a family get together, but thank goodness they are few and far between. That has now been reduced to cooking a meal for everyone concerned.
A few years ago, a year before I retired, I had one of these so-called “burn-outs”. Everything got on top of me. Your work was no longer something to be proud of, but more conveyer belt actions. The more you did, the more you had to do. Stress was the daily routine and so eventually one evening I came home and had got to the point where I said to Mr. Swiss “tomorrow I am not going to work. I cannot take it any more”.
The result being that the next day I paid a visit to the doctor, with Mr. Swiss, I was written off work and rest was prescribed, together with some happy tablets. Not really happy tablets, but they were to help and support the problems. Sounds good I suppose. Just lay around at home and do nothing and let the others carry on with the stress, but it is not like that at all. You have to get to grips again with your life. You cannot just switch off and give up. I am not the type to give up or lay around, but I soon noticed what “burn out” really meant.
After a week of being home bound (luckily Mr. Swiss was already retired at the time and took a lot off my hands in the daily routine), I decided it was time to show myself again in the big wide world. First mistake: I went shopping in the local supermarket with Mr. Swiss. I felt like I was sitting in the subway in the rush hour, people everywhere, walking around picking stuff off the shelves and packing them in the basket. What used to be normal every day actions were a burden. I was glad to get home again.
After a few weeks the first telephone call came from the personnel chief in the office. How things were going and whether they could speak to my doctor. I smelt the roast, but no problem. I told them to call her, it was OK I really did not have anything to hide. They phoned the doctor and I spent the next six months at home and had no further calls from the office. Eventually, after a discussion with the doctor and with her support and advice, I decided to go back to work, starting with just half a day. Gradually I increased to a full day again. In the meanwhile the system at work had become more human, but at the same time recession was showing its ugly head on the horizon.
Our company had to save and as usual it was the workers where the first saving is done. I was then approaching retirement age, had another two years to go, but eventually I was called into the office to talk about an early retirement. Perhaps it was because of my burn-out, perhaps it would have happened one way or the other. I was one of the first to go, but I had thirty years of service behind me in the company and to be correct, this was honoured by the company. I cannot complain, the company handled me very fair and I had time to plan my eternal days as a pensioner.
Looking back I am glad, although I did not really want to stop working before official retirement. You can look at it how you want to. I escaped under very good treatment, but not all did. I was a little astonished to see my desk occupied two weeks after my retirement, but that was not my problem any more.
So please, do not give me crowds, parties every week, and get togethers that start in the evening and carry on until midnight. I am not ready for that any more. I just curl up with a compouter, iPad, good book and am surrounded by three felines and Mr. Swiss. Even the crowds at the supermarket seem to have got smaller and a weekly dose of Tai Chi and daily practice is now my idea of life.
This all happened about four years ago, and it is the first time that I have written down for the public what happened at the time.