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Silly me. When I got income protection insurance through my super, of course, I told them I had been treated for mental health issues and was on medication. Because I am an honest person and it was the truth and you get in trouble for not telling insurers about things like that. So of course there was an exemption on my policy, excluding me from claiming against anything resulting from depression, anxiety and stress. Of course, I had no memory of this. Of course, the person at the super company didn’t tell me that there was an exemption on my policy when I called to ask if it was worth making a claim in my current situation, and even though I explicitly said the claim was as a result of depression, anxiety and stress, he said there was no reason I shouldn’t put in a claim. So of course, after all the rigmarole of getting the paperwork sorted out and annoying my GP and former employer, the claim was rejected outright because there was a bloody exemption on it.

Wah.

Like most things I’ve tried to do lately I have just assumed the worst outcome, but it’s still disappointing. It was a momentary possibility. I have to keep reminding myself that my dependence is on God, my identity is in him, I am safe and looked after. My identity is not in money or being clever or whatever.

That’s okay. I’ll just keep trudging along like I have been. I hate it.

Had a 7am appointment with my psychologist yesterday — honestly, who does anything requiring conversation that early? — and after telling her about potato brain (a metaphor that she liked and says she’s going to use as a descriptor in the future) and lack of focus, creativity, energy, memory, critical thinking, on top of all the crap we’re untangling from my late teens/early 20s, she says I have got cortisol damage from so long living in a fight or flight mode. So we’ll be doing the neurofeedback training again to try and re-establish…I don’t know, my actual BRAIN I guess? This article from The Conversation about the effects of chronic stress on the brain is pretty sobering…

There is also evidence of chronic stress effects on hormones in the brain, including cortisol and corticotropin releasing factor (CRF). High, prolonged levels of cortisol have been associated with mood disorders as well as shrinkage of the hippocampus…

…depression impairs cognition in both non-emotional domains, such as planning and problem-solving, and emotional and social areas, such as creating attentional bias to negative information…

…In addition to depression and anxiety, chronic stress and its impact at work can lead to burnout symptoms, which are also linked to increased frequency of cognitive failures in daily life…

So yeah. I’m a garden variety stress head (it’s good to know I’m not alone and I’m not really dying but also, ugh, it’s so obvious and standard that it makes me feel ever stupider). Also if you are under chronic stress, don’t take it lightly! Don’t wait til you get potato brain like me.

Also from that article’s advice (and EVERYONE’S advice) I have to connect with family and friends (check), learn stuff (I have a Masterclass subscription, that’s a start), develop mindfulness (sigh) and I really, really have to start exercising consistently (wah).

Anyway. Off to Sydney in a couple of hours to do nice things and connect with friends and that will be good. Hope your long weekend is peaceful!