I’m shaky, I’m anxious, I drop everything, I feel overwhelmed by every little task. There seems to be so much to do, yet I flail between tasks like a headless chicken, accomplishing nothing. The idea of getting myself to a departmental meeting on Thursday is daunting. It looms ahead like a formidable task of terrifying proportions. I try answering student emails but can’t formulate a single sentence. The need to choose what to make for dinner scares me. When I imagine that starting next Monday I will have to get up, get dressed, put on make-up, and go teach my classes gives me a panic attack.
“What is it?” I ask myself. “What’s happening to me?”
I vaguely remember reading about this. All of my symptoms sound very familiar.
Finally, it hits me: I have the “housewife syndrome”!
I’m not even a real housewife. In these past four months, I worked a lot. I taught my online course, translated, worked on my research. Still, being at home, away from the structured environment of the workplace, the hierarchy, the network of daily professional relationships has turned me into this indecisive, unproductive, disorganized creature who is daunted by the simplest tasks.
The year I spent writing my dissertation produced very similar results, only they were more intense. It took me almost a year to get fully rehabilitated and reintegrated into the workplace.
If anybody has any advice or suggestions on how to get myself together, I will appreciate that.