Sometimes in life we are recipients of bad news that we may not enjoy at the time, but ultimately are grateful for. I’ve felt the dawning of it for some months now, as if a huge wake-up call was looming, creating a shift that was going to re-shape this stressful little universe of mine.
I’d been feeling “off” for a while, and without pinpointing the exact cause, I thought I knew enough to put it down to part of being a tired Mummy with a child who no longer knew the meaning of the term “sleep through the night” and who seemed to be ambitiously overcommitting her energies in far too many directions. The feelings of dizziness, the headaches, at some moments wanting to scream and at others to simply cry or hide; I assumed it was self-inflicted, thanks to the overcrowding my life of late. Too many appointments in the calendar on weekends, too much going on during the week when my husband I were but ships in the night, taking turns to travel 8 -10hrs a week for work, and seeming like single parents the rest of it.
My desire to “get up and go” was already gone. I felt I was running on empty, but all the while still pushing myself to meet all these commitments, and trying to ignore the ball of anxiety that was taking up permanent residency in my chest. And instead of having full momentum to face each project or appointment, I was instead trying to muster the strength to plaster the smile on my face and push down on the lethargy and pressure I was enduring. Factor in the guilt that I was not being everything I should be to everyone I love and I was a ticking time bomb. Literally.
Stress and I have always been acquaintances; this was nothing new. But when you finally decide you need to make that Dr appointment, because you can no longer deny that niggle in your mind telling you all is not well, and are feeling increasingly highly strung, dizzy and faint, you never quite know what news might rock your world.
Hello high blood pressure, at only 31, and no significant family history of it, its apparently become my new best friend. No wonder my head has felt like it’s about to explode of late. Or that my chest might spontaneously combust. With stress levels through the roof and a life which has left me with no real time to dedicate to exercise, and a diet in strong need of an overhaul, I’ve felt like a balloon who is creeping too close to the sun. Waiting for that moment when its just all going to go bang.
While I still face tests on tomorrow to see the underlying issues that have caused this, I’m also taking matters into my own hands. Immediately I knew things had to change. I am the loathed person who sweats the small stuff, who can let a trivial little matter colour her whole world. Sometimes I just internalise it all, other times I find myself taking it out on the ones I love the most by being half the person I should be. On that note I should issue humble apologies to the Husband and son for being so cranky of late, and heartfelt thanks for still loving me unconditionally! As I kiss each of you goodnight, I’m always overcome with how lucky I am to inhabit your worlds.
So I am reinstating my meditation breathing, reminding myself to live with an open heart (Oprah style!) enjoying a hearty red before bed each night (medicinal purposes only, naturally!) and attempting to refocus my rose coloured glasses outlook on life. Because although I forget in the hurricane of everyday life, I’m actually very blessed. And I am going to try so hard to tell myself it doesn’t matter if it takes 17 times to ask my son to clean his teeth, pick up his toys, do his wees and poos on the potty or go/stay in bed (ok, so clearly it still does, but I’ll work on that, promise); I’d do far better by directing my energies into being the sort of Mummy he deserves. A healthy (and happy) one.
I’m grateful for this wake up call to alter my way of life. Stress, and the resulting trauma, is truly not worth the health hassle.