I nearly killed myself stressing is probably a better title!
It’s been three years since I broke away from the corporate madhouse – or I am enjoying my third year on sabbatical as I like to put it.
If you have read my previous blog on surviving burnt out, you will have some insight into the spectacular crash that made me call time out.
Over the past few days I have been critical about the lack of discipline and structure in my life at this point.
Yes, I have managed to achieve a lot of “stuff.” Selling up and moving to a new country is not easy, and then a lot of online studying, setting up this blog, learning new skills, and the list goes on and on…
– but for what?
Well, that’s the question I have been asking myself over the past few days – what has all of this accomplished and what is the next step, what does the future hold… all these questions and not many answers.
I tell myself reassuringly not to panic at times like these!
So I slowed down, took a step back and reflected on my life before I stepped out of the corporate hamster wheel.
This is the ugly truth:
For years I felt like all I did was give – everyone wanting a piece of me. Yes, I was sliced and diced and tossed like a salad ready to be devoured. It sounds terribly conceited but that is what it felt like to me – everyone was wanting, demanding, making withdrawals to the point that I had nothing more to give.
To stay in the game, every part of me was sacrificing itself so that I could sacrifice myself.
I was one of those disposable components that had to consume itself to help land a person on the moon; or like a male praying mantis that is cannibalised by the female after mating.
This is life, and some of us cope better than others! But do we?
If we accept this as normal, then it’s no wonder that we accept all the “benefits” that are tied to this perceived success like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer disease, depression, anxiety, obesity, broken marriages, broken people and the list of GOOD STUFF goes on and on.
Like I said earlier every part of your being jumps and sacrifices itself to keep you alive in this vortex.
Reflecting, I took stock of what my life looked like as I climbed the corporate ladder:
- Anxiety and panic attacks became unwelcome companions. It was debilitating and paralysed me to the point of being dysfunctional. So the solution was to carry prescribed countermeasures with me at all times.
- I battled to sleep at night. Of course, I needed a prescription for this!
- As a result, I was depressed, and I needed something to help me with this as well.
- I was constantly sick and in pain. Aliments ranged from severe gastrointestinal conditions, prostrate infections, bladder and kidney infections (kidney stones too), sinus and allergy problems, persistent headaches, blood pressure issues, cold sores, skin disorders – you name it, I had it. Of course, I needed all kinds of prescribed miracle potions for this.
- I was a regular visitor to my doctor, at least twice a month.
I was the poster child of success in the corporate world. Big-pharma loved me and if they had a loyalty programme I would be cashing in on rewards.
Sadly I was not alone, and we often joked about who was taking what to cope.
I wonder what the cost is for those who cope better than others – I think it’s about the same.
Things could have been a lot worse if I had not embraced some key health and holistic habits. I invested heavily in keeping fit, eating healthily, meditating, outdoor activities, holidays, making memories with family and friends, and of course testing natural remedies for my many ailments.
None of this was enough to prevent me from hitting the wall and making the live-saving decision to STOP the insanity and eject myself from the vortex, no matter what it cost.
Upon reflecting I asked myself how long recovery takes after years of abuse – I don’t really know the answer, but looking at the mess I was in, I know it cannot happen overnight.
I don’t know the formula to becoming whole and I don’t know what my life is going to be like next year this time, but I do know that I must be on the right track.
Progress and Recovery
You see, my ailments have all but disappeared. The anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and insomnia occasionally pay me a visit – but I don’t give them too much attention and they no longer enjoy prominence. I have stopped most of the prescribed medication and have not visited a doctor for nearly two years.
I nearly killed myself with stress – there is no doubt that my life was unsustainable and I felt trapped. But being trapped was a mental state rather than a physical one.
When is enough, enough?
I don’t feel the need to explain myself or my decision anymore – an that’s a sign of progress, being content and not giving a hoot about what other people think.
My husband, family and friends continue to support my decision, especially as they observe the person I have become over the past two and a half years.
I know I am not alone.
If you have read this post to the end, what are you waiting for? It takes a lot of courage to vote for you, take it from me, the reward is greater than the fear you feel when you take the first step.
My advice is:
- Do not be reckless.
- Don’t make big decisions when you are emotional – this is my golden rule.
- Start planning now and you do this by changing your mindset and priorities.
- Start reading books, listening to podcasts, reading blogs, and watching YouTube videos in preparation for your big change. You too will soon realise that you are no alone.
“Getting Unstuck” by Timothy Butler is a great read – even if you just download the sample. Read the story on the first few pages, it will give you some food for thought! Trust me!
In this blog, I mentioned that it took many years of preparation before I could confidently take the leap. Apart from building up some savings, most of my effort was on my mindset. Preparing to step into a world that seemed a lot more uncertain than the one I was trapped in was monumental.
If you are feeling stuck, at the end of your line or even just have that nagging feeling that things feel out of balance – start preparing yourself to take the next step – you never know what is waiting for you around the corner!
Thank you for reading my blog, I hope that it helps you along your journey.
…one more thing – if you are at a point where you need help, check out these resources.