Have you ever noticed when you’re unhappy or stressed in one part of your life, it carries over to the rest? Well, I’ve kind of missed that message until this year, when my body decided to make a point. And make it loud and clear so I had no chance of missing it.
A little back story: I dislike my job. It’s tedious, stressful, annoying, and the people there think I’m their own personal shrink. I spend half of my working hours listening to their problems and trying to fix things. It’s partly my fault for not setting better boundaries and for letting myself fall into old patterns, but the group I work with is so dysfunctional, there were always bound to be problems. I’m bored and unhappy there, but it’s a job and I’m grateful to have it.
My younger sister also recently got married (i.e. last weekend). The time leading up to her wedding was stressful for me, not because of her, but because of my own issues. I dreaded seeing all these people I hadn’t been around in years because I’ve put on weight. I dreaded being in the wedding because I was going to be the Fat Sister, and look horrible next to all the other cute, skinny bridesmaids. And, like always, I have to carry the world on my shoulders and make sure everything was perfect for my sister, because that’s what I’ve always done. I’ve always taken care of her. Needless to say, that added a lot of extra stress to my life.
And yet, I pretended I was fine. I pretended nothing was bothering me. So my body decided to make sure I started telling the truth. I got horribly sick in October – I lost my voice for a week, had a chest infection all that good stuff. I got over it eventually, and then I got sick in November. Just a cold and sore throat, but sick none the less. Got another one in January and finally went to the doctor’s for some antibiotics. They seemed to help. And then I got sick again this week. Same sort of thing – coldish, sore throat, stuffy nose, just plain miserable.
Finally it hit me. My body was reacting, was telling me the truth I was so unwilling to hear. I can’t keep carrying on in the same way, I can’t keep pretending everything is fine when it’s not. I can’t live my life making other people happy and not taking care of myself. I can’t keep stressing over things I have no control over. All lessons I should have learned long ago, but ones that seem to need repeating to get through my thick skull.
So, I’ve stayed home from work the last two days, rested, been kind to myself. My sister’s wedding is over, that stress is gone now. And there’s nothing I can do about the job until I find a new one. It’s there, I need to deal with it the best way I can, but that also means starting to say no, to set some boundaries and some guidelines for how I let people treat me, and how I treat myself. I need to listen to how I’m feeling instead of pushing it away so hard that my body has no choice but to get sick for me to notice. I’m starting to stress about querying, about my current WIP and my next WIP and I can feel the stress starting to rise again. It has to stop. Obviously this is a difficult thing for me, so I’m going to try to be a LOT better at it. But really, what choice do I have? I can’t be sick for the rest of my life! Thank god I have friends, CPs, my family, and my other half to help me with this.
How about you guys? Have you ever had something hit you out of the blue that you realized later was the universe’s way of telling you something? How did you respond?