I’ve recently embarked on a journey of self discovery. This past year I tried to prioritize both my physical and emotional health. In fact, if you’re reading this and are someone in my close circle, you probably noticed that I am different. This is because I am changing, for the better. In the interest of, as the kids say: YOLO… right?Because my chronic illness plays a big role in determining the way my days unfold, observers may think that self-care is what I’ve done for the past several years. But the reality is that I am not the best at listening to my body or loving my body, AT ALL (more to come about that I’m sure).
Let me start by telling you about who I was a few years ago. I was a woman who was in a constant battle with her body. I pushed it as much as possible only to be forced into recovery for several days all the while navigating more serious hospital trips, a couple of ‘close calls’ and several intense bouts of pneumonia.
I now believe that my choices and attitude were aggravating my illness. And so, although I was always trying to do things that were better for my health, I was focusing too much on only my physical health and body while letting my emotional health slip away which ultimately forced my physical health to slip away too. I wasn’t focusing any consistent energy on my emotional wellbeing and at the time, I chose to be ignorant to how much of a negative impact my emotional health was having on my physical health (having a Masters in Psychology, I am informed, so it’s not like this was a new concept to me). But let me tell you, I was a classic example of NOT practicing what I preached.
On top of being in a constant state of stress, stress was my baseline for as long as I can remember. I grew up with the nickname Stressie-Jessie! Not only did I have an amazing way of always finding something to stress about, I now recognize that I found so much familiarity and comfort in feeling stressed. Who knew stress could be so cozy? And since stress was such a big part of my identity, it proved to be quite difficult to overcome. Needless to say my life-system wasn’t working for me. I was beyond burned-out.
I was still giving my all to every relationship in my life, except my relationship with myself. I was lost and scared and overwhelmed and spreading myself out too thin.
And… not surprisingly, I had a serious mental breakdown leading to involuntary in-treatment for a couple of weeks because I wanted to end my own life. That was a first for me. And I think it is the intensity and realness of that experience that re-ignited my quest for self discovery that I look forward to sharing with you. YOLO. (Don’t worry I wont make a habit of saying that. Probably.)
Hello and thank you,