Prior to my becoming single again……I experienced the most frightening time of my life to date.
This strong, independent, bright, bubbly woman lost the plot!!!!! How could that happen to me? Well I’ve already told you that my choice of men wasn’t the best. This breakup had been coming for years, I just didn’t want to face it.
Our life and the way I allowed myself to be treated chipped away at my very core. Little by little my self worth and self belief was gone. The only thing I thought I was any good at, was my job. Work became my place of escape. I’d arrive early, leave late……I very rarely said no to any request and took on more and more.
Now you might think that it was work stress that caused my breakdown, no, that was my refuge. It was something quite different that finally tipped me over the edge.
Our dog, our beautiful Oliver (ollie) of 9 years, was diagnosed with untreatable cancer….4 weeks later he was so sick he had to be euthanised. This was a very special boy who I referred to as a humog…….he was a 28kg lap dog. He had the most loving personality……..and then he was gone.
I know there are people that don’t quite get the grief attached to the loss of an animal……but for all those that do, you’ll understand. My problem was that I didn’t seem to get over it. I now understand how that was the beginning of my spiral.
Ollie was the same day in and day out……with him gone the constant in my life was gone too. Because of this, everything else that was wrong at home came crashing down on me.
Getting out of bed was becoming difficult, I was constantly tired, I was in physically pain all the time. I was eating out of control and working my butt off to cope. You only had to look at me and I’d cry uncontrollably. I remember trying to hide it from my family at first, but once I opened up, I didn’t stop.
I had what in old terms was called a nervous breakdown. My Dr called it a total physical, mental and emotional breakdown. Emotional…….I felt unworthy and unnecessary. Mental……I couldn’t sleep, concentrate and was starting to have trouble keeping up at work. The physical…….the tiredness was chronic fatigue, which 2 years later still sneaks up and hits me from behind every now and then. The pain, was a form of fibromyalgia, brought on by stress.
You know that lactic burn you get when you exercise? Imagine that, in every muscle of your body…….all the time. Even clothing brushing over my skin hurt. Every joint burns and aches from the top of your head and to your fingers and toes. I still ache to a certain degree every day, I just don’t talk about it.
Add to all of this a 15 kg weight gain due to my constant emotional eating and you have me.
It broke me do much that even work wasn’t helping. It was one of the casualties of all of this. Medication for my emotions, meds for the pain, meds to help me sleep at night. Because of the chronic fatigue I’d be exhausted, because of the depression and pain, I couldn’t sleep.
Long story short, I started going to a therapist…….if you think you’re in trouble but don’t want to seek help…..think again. It was the best choice I made at the time. I also had to have time off work. In all I had 7 1/2 months off work. In the middle of all that is even I ended my relationship and had to deal with the my son moving out with his father.
The only shining light through that time was my daughter being pregnant with my first grandchild. Make that grandchildren……yep, twins. They were born 2 weeks after I stopped work. Two healthy identical boys. Wow how lucky was I.
I returned to work in July 2014, with less roles than before I became so unwell. It took me 3 months to work back up to full hours. I can’t even try to explain how grateful I was yo my staff and company for never giving up on me and allowing me that time to heal.
I’m still healing…..I work at my life daily. The one thing I do know is that I would never have gotten through this if it wasn’t for the strength, support and love of my family, my friends and my colleagues. I can’t ever thank them enough.
If this has taught me anything, it’s that no matter how strong you think you are……..you may not be. I would never have thought this could happen to me, but it did.
I am now very grateful for everything I have and the very special people in my life.
Thank you so very much for believing in me.