Over the last few months, I’ve been realizing more and more how I’m human.
My soul knows this. My body knows this. And yet, a huge part of me hadn’t yet caught up to this fact – the part that thought I could do it all and continue to push myself harder and harder. The part of me that both naively and arrogantly assumed I would always have the reserves and the energy without ever needing to take time to recharge. The part that thought I was immune to the things that humans needed: balance, self care, nurturing. You know – that part.
Yikes. I am currently in the midst of a huge reality check/wake-up call that has forced me to admit that I am, in fact, human. And, to be honest, it hasn’t been a lot of fun to have to come back down to Earth.
My adrenals have decided that they are tired – really tired. And they have made it clear that if I wasn’t going to slow down, they were going to force me to. I felt the warnings, and I saw the signs that asked me to slow down, take care of myself, just be. But I ignored them and assumed that my body would rally once again – that it would support me and swoop in and help me keep going.
I mean, this was the routine throughout my life. I pushed myself beyond what was human, expected more from myself than was oftentimes possible, and when I felt tired or worn out or overwhelmed, I pushed even harder. And for years my body supported me in this lifestyle. For years, my adrenals kicked in and got me through the late nights and the working around the clock and the daily stress that became such a normal part of my routine that I didn’t even see it as stress. And I just assumed that I would always be able to live this way.
And then eight months ago, my dog-ter, Xena, died. And because of the way she died (having a violent seizure in the middle of the night), I wasn’t able to sleep without reliving it for months. And I haven’t slept through the night since. Through this intense grief, my body helped me remember the grief that it felt for the kids that I would never have. Because in my head I knew that this was right for me, but my hormones weren’t as sure. And this all spiraled me into a grieving, non-sleeping cycle that piled on top of years of caretaking and overworking and overstressing. And all of that landed me here – to a crash unlike any other that I’d been through before.
Much to my surprise (and anger), the rallying didn’t kick in this time. My adrenals were tired. They were on vacation, and it felt like the only choice I had was to join them (after much kicking and screaming and pleading, to be quite honest).
This is my wake-up call. This is that moment when I come back down to Earth and embrace my humanness. This is that moment where I share my truth and my vulnerability and let it be known that I am doing the best that I can.
Because here’s where I am right now: I am oftentimes so tired that I can hardly get out of bed each morning. I am so tired that taking a shower oftentimes feels overwhelming. I am so tired that the thought of brushing my hair and putting on clothes other than pajamas can send me straight back to bed. I am so tired that every. single. thing. feels. completely. exhausting.
I have been feeling this way and getting progressively worse for months now. And I’ve been letting go and prioritizing each part of my life. I knew this was bigger than what I could handle on my own, and so I started asking for help. I knew I needed to change how I lived. I knew I needed to love myself enough to know that it would be okay if I stepped back and relaxed and stopped trying to control every single thing and be there for every single person all of the time. I knew that what I needed more than anything else was sleep and rest and quiet and calm.
And that’s where I am right now.
I recently went to the doctor and found out through my bloodwork that my adrenals are in serious trouble. I like knowing the facts. I like knowing where I’m starting from, so I can feel good about any progress that I’m making along the way.
I feel hopeful that with some serious lifestyle changes (including hormone/vitamin supplements, diet changes, meditation, stopping work earlier, not taking on more than I can handle, delegating, and giving myself permission to rest), I’ll come through this and will be back to my vibrant self soon.
Part of these changes means that I’m admitting I’m human, which is something that you already know but still feels vulnerable for me to write. It means that I’m asking for your love and support while I learn to take extra care of myself and turn some of the love that I’ve been putting out back toward myself. It means that I may take longer to respond or may not be able to respond sometimes at all. It means that I am doing the best I can to be a whole person who can receive just as much as I give.
I know that I’m not the only one feeling this way right now. I know that so many of us have pushed ourselves to the limit and are currently facing levels of fatigue and overwhelm that we didn’t know were possible.
My purpose in writing this and in sharing where I currently am is to hopefully give us all permission to stop rallying – to let us know that it’s possible to stop pushing ourselves and start easing up on ourselves – to know that we can get through this in a loving, supportive way that honors ourselves and also each other.
I am such a huge believer in sharing our truth. Because I believe that when we do so, we set ourselves and others free. We give everyone permission to share their truth, and it has such a beautiful ripple effect.
So that’s what I’m doing. And it’s my hope that if you’re in the midst of rallying, you’ll ease up on yourself. It’s my hope that you’ll listen to your body and give it what it needs. It’s my hope that you’ll give yourself permission to rest. You’re so deserving of that. We all are.
That’s what I’ll be doing, and I would love to know that you’re doing it right alongside me.