Monday, October 3, 2016

Starting Somewhere

Originally written 9/24/16

I don't know where to begin with explaining where I am.

Perhaps I'll start with the fact that after about 9.5 years, I just recently gave my employer my two week resignation notice due to health reasons.

In July 2015, while in town for my sister's bridal shower, my mom had commented that my hair was looking a little thin.  At the time, I hadn't really noticed.  Suddenly, I found myself staring at other women's heads in an attempt to ascertain if my hair was actually thinner than an average women my age.  I came to the conclusion it was.

At the time, I juggling the equivalent of 3-4 roles in my company, traveling every few weeks, and navigating relationships with people who would eventually become my husband and step daughter. I was maxed out and anxious. I didn't really have time to think about my hair being thin, or what it implied. 

Summer 2015 turned to fall.  Paul and I were engaged in early October, and married two weeks later. we both were traveling right before and after our marriage. We barely saw each other that first month as husband and wife.

Work continued to be stressful. The holidays happened in a blur.  

In late December/ early January, I felt the need to put on a multi day training for the new hires at work.  I was so overloaded with client deadlines that the training was designed, written, and scheduled almost entirely by me, and almost completely on weekends.  I essentially worked for an entire month straight.

I had gotten really good at doing what needed to be done for everyone else but myself.

The week after training, when I had some time to breath, was when I started to notice that things were going downhill. My hair loss seemed to be increasing.  I was abnormally tired.

I went to the doctor.  

We did some tests and discovered I had adrenal fatigue. The stress I had been under had maxed out my little adrenal glands, and they weren't working quite right anymore.  I found out, when you have adrenal fatigue, there are lots of things that don't work right anymore.

I couldn't work 8 hour days anymore.  I was using my flex time and vacation time to lessen the number of hours I was at work each day.

My Dr. told me to take time off work, then start working reduced hours. I did.

The time off was interesting.  I had weird symptoms pop up when I stopped working.  Heart palpitations, fluttering in my throat, waking up in a panic.  Sometimes it felt like I was being lightly choked.  The symptoms lessened over time, but were still disconcerting.

Going back at half time seemed like something I could manage. I got an office outside of my house to deal with some of the stress I was experiencing.  It helped for a while.

The summer  of 2016 had it's challenges and heartaches. We had a family tragedy in July.  My beloved dog Claire battled cancer for a month, with me as her hospice nurse. She finally had to be put to sleep in early September.

At this point it doesn't matter where stress comes from, whether it's work or home. Any stress from any where effects everything. 

I've come to the point where I feel like I am barely functioning on most days.  Sometimes I can only complete one thing well - making breakfast lets say-  and after that I'm spent. Oh I do things the rest of the day, like go to work, but I function like a zombie.

Which is how I got to the point of leaving work.

The best medicine for adrenal fatigue is rest, and that's what I plan to do.

I was reading the Bible the other day, and Matthew 10:39 jumped out at me:

"If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it."

And all of a sudden, the verse made perfect sense.  It spoke to me in a way I had never heard before.

I had been clinging to my job, to my sense of pride that I could do it all and then some.
I was clinging to what the world saw as worth.

I remembered what some dear friends had told me repeatedly... that I had worth because I was a child of God, not because of all the stuff I did.

I feel like I'm in the process of being deconstructed. That the life I had clung to is being torn away.

I hold onto Matthew 10:39 as a promise.  A promise that my old life, the one I had created around the world, is passing away.  And in that death, a new life will be constructed for me that is built around God, and I count that as a joy!

A few people have asked me, and I'm sure more will, what I'll do in the future.
Will I go back to my old job?
Find a new one?
Become a permanent housewife?

The honest answer is that I'm not even thinking about it. 
I can only take care of myself one moment at a time, anything else is overwhelming.

I'm choosing to trust God in this deconstruction.  He is calling me to rest. In my Bible reading this morning, Matthew 11:28-30 spoke to me: 

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

And once I read those words, it felt like my whole being sighed and said yesssssss. Please.

So what I will do, moment by moment, moving forward is rest, to trust that God has a plan for me, and that He will provide.  I have no anxiety about that, no indecision, just peace.


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