For some history, I've always been energetic, enjoyed travelling, could almost function well, had a nice house, family, etc... My partner at the time suspected I was autistic.
Around 13yrs ago, I just quit. The job, relationship, house.. I'm still good friends with the ex, and never had issues with the kids.
Since then it's been a downward slope. I've not felt like the same person, everything took longer, I couldn't get the energy to do basic things like housework, I have at least one shutdown a day, can't function for the first 4hrs of a day (not morning because there's no guarantee I will be asleep at night).
I met a wonderful woman about 7yrs ago. She helped me through the diagnosis (severe), having to go to court for PIP, sorting me out, etc... She's saved my life. But it's been horrible. Really horrible for her. We watched countless videos, read articles - she works with autism anyway, so he had a good understanding. She's got to know ME. She is also a professional singer, so we've had a lot of gigs, travelling, meeting people, etc.. she's always been there.
Sometime at the end of last year, I started to feel different - in a good way. Until the lockdown - small changes effected me, but apart from 5 or 6 weeks locked in a room on my own, I was ok. At the end of that, I felt... great! I can't explain how great. I mean - like I did 15yrs ago, ambition, drive, energy!
So, my theory now having read a lot and watched a lot of videos from the community... I think I had a burnout with masking and working, and had no idea how to "wake" myself up. I've had a 13yr nightmare that I didn't know I was in. And unfortunately, so has everyone around me.
This week I know that I needed to take time to chill, be on my own... I've had days like that, but in between gigs - I produce the music, so there is worrying about that - not making the OH look like an idiot on stage! I set the kit up, help with sound check, the lights, etc... then sit with a crowd of strangers. That could be 2 or 3 times a week. As well as trying to work (I don't now)... there was never a real down period. It was nice though - producing tracks and recordings is relaxing. So although the lockdown means the work is effectively gone, it's given me months to actually recover.. I don't really know - it's a theory.
All I can say is a burnout can and has ruined lives. I went from one relationship to another causing destruction on the way. It's got too much for my OH now, so we have split - I'm ok with it - I'm in a discovery stage now of who I am. I can feel such a difference it's unbelievable, but at the same time, I am forgetting words which I've never done before - if that's the worst of the new me I can live with that! The bad side is now I can look back semi-clearly at our relationship and it's effectively abuse. I'm not a horrible person, or abusive, but what she's been through constantly for 7yrs - she deserves a sainthood. So, I need time now to get some inner peace - I need to forgive myself, learn to not push too hard and pray the neurons are firing in my favour permanently.
I feel terribly sad that the woman I love & has loved me, has never actually met ME. She fell for me and helped me without either of us knowing what a burnout is. Given that she works with autism and still didn't know is a sign of how far behind we still are with understanding. She doesn't work with late life diagnosis, so she had no idea the affects that has (i's taken me 2yrs to come to terms with it and actually tell people on the phone I am autistic because I can tell the conversation hasn't flowed), never seen a burnout, so everyone just assumed that was me - she would have seen the signs something wasn't right if she'd been there when I went wrong.
My plan now is to move house and then chill for a couple of weeks. Learn some meditation techniques. Have a social assessment & work out who I am now. And then start a healing process to forgive myself for ruining another life. I know not to overdo anything even if I think I'm not! I was looking at going into employment again now that the music industry in on an edge, then realised now isn't a good time. Part of that healing will be knowing that she's free and can live her own life instead of trying to live two.
This realisation came as an accident - I was looking for something else and came across a YT channel. I don't know if he is in this group, but this guy nailed it for me. And watching his other videos, he is the only one I can almost totally relate to.So if you are here Andy - thank you... I promise I don't know the guy, never spoken to him and I'm not a walking advert!