I feel as though I have become a person suffering constantly from symptoms of long-term stress and I am kind of struggling to figure out why.
I was just looking at a list of common indicators of stress and I seem to be suffering from quite a few - including constant tiredness, difficulty making decisions, difficulty concentrating, going from task to task without finishing anything, tendency to irritability, etc. I also have at least occasional weird physical symptoms like sudden heart palpitations, migraine-like symptoms (without really getting full-blown migraines), etc. Plus in the last four-five years I've had a couple of phobias which I'd had a little bit my whole life get much worse.
I have had way way way too many sick days off work in recent years and I suppose I'm fortunate that my jobs have been reasonably tolerant of it. Sometimes it's more due to exhaustion and feeling unable to face the day than anything else, but I avoid telling them I'm stressed. The thing is, I don't feel like I have major reasons for stress. I don't have major personal crises going on, I have a busy life but it should be manageable, I have friends...etc. I don't have an enormously stressful job. I have a boss who tends to be unpredictable and can be a bully, but my relationship with her is about as good as one could hope for under the circumstances (ie. better than that with quite a lot of others in the office) and actually she is leaving in December, which unless we get someone nightmarish I would consider a good thing.
I feel guilty because I don't feel like I am coping and I don't know why. Fortunately my job doesn't have complaints about my performance (in fact, my performance reviews tend to be good to excellent in terms of how I'm getting the job done) though my sick record for this year in particular is dire. I have almost always managed to stay on top of my work but I tend to feel constantly overwhelmed - in life generally - and honestly my life and job are not THAT overwhelming. It's almost worse to feel that you are suffering from stress and maybe borderline depression and you're not even sure why.
I have wondered if I have had a long buildup of stress for years in my life. It just doesn't seem quite right because I've had an easier life than many, I think. I have a supportive family and social network and good friends. But there have been a number of years for - well - about half my life when a lot of stress has occurred and I wonder if things have built up for a long time. In my late teens particularly, a lot of people died. A few years after I moved away to Europe I was depressed (fairly seriously, I think) for more than a year in the wake of a breakup. My first few years in the UK I had some interpersonal stuff which in retrospect I think caused a lot of stress, plus a living situation which gradually became less than ideal with constant construction work going on around my apartment, and bedbugs for a few months! Then this year I had to move house when I didn't want to and hadn't planned to though it has worked out fairly well.
But you know, none of this is that major on its own. It's not like I've gone through divorce or even a massive breakup or something like that. I tend towards paranoia and I worry that some day (although I've had no warning) I'm going to get told that I'm just sick too much and I'm going to lose my job. You know, something like that. I worry about not being able to cope emotionally/psychologically and that makes my feelings of not coping worse.
Sorry for the tl:dr. Any suggestions? I think I may be paying a visit to the doctor soon at least, though when it's all vague they often seem at a bit of a loss, too.