Stress Kills and Love Heals
“At the End of the Day, It’s All About Loving Yourself!”
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With nervous anticipation, I had decided to audition for a Ted Talks event while living in my magical Monterey, California in 2013. The title of my talk with “Stress Kills and Love Heals: My 10-Step Program to Recovery.” It is a step-by-step program that I masterminded and had outlined quickly. I broke down the 10 most important things that have made a real impact in my recovery.
As an example, I narrowly escaped “Karōshi.” In case you aren’t familiar with this strange but devastating illness it’s labelled as “death by overwork!”(Source) Although, at the time that I was stressing and overworking myself, I didn’t know that such a thing existed, but I did know that it felt like I was literally “killing myself” and that I didn’t feel like I had much of a life outside of my business.
Once, while on my deathbed in my late 30’s, I made a promise to myself and to my young son. We were going to stop this pattern of unhappiness and find a way to go chase our dreams. For us that meant, moving away from Washington state. Even though, I grew up here as well as my son, Nick did too for the most part, for me, there was just too much negativity and boredom with staying there any longer. I felt like I had seen and done everything I wanted to do while living there, it was time for new adventures. All the while, the hardest part was leaving my Mom and Dad behind and venturing into unknown waters so to speak. A favorite saying, I know is: “In the waves of change, we find our direction.” Albeit my big, life-changing decision was a pretty uncomfortable and somewhat painful decision, it was one of the best decisions that I had made in years.
In the years to follow, I made a lot of changes, both big and small. I learned a whole helluva lot about things that were important to me and made steps towards regaining my health in all aspects. Things really started improving once I made purposeful decisions with a clean intention and that I stopped living in a state of denial.
I learned how to trust myself and understand my body as well as my mind much better during this time. I also learned a big lesson, in that there will always be work that needs to be done. After working for myself these last 10 years in various businesses, I almost lost my life to avoiding taking care of myself and I can tell you it is not worth the toll overworking, over-stressing and neglecting yourself can take on you, your body, your loved ones and your health. So, when confronted with pressure to keep working, after a long hard day or when your body is giving you warning signs that you choose to ignore, remember that there will always be work, so don’t work simply for works sake. There will be more work that needs to get done tomorrow, so enjoy time away and get out and go play!
My point it to pay attention to what’s going on inside and around you and if you see that you are doing something to an extreme, no matter what it is, you need to identify it, try to understand more about it. Only then will you be able to move past being in denial, so that you can incorporate and strive for your perfect combination of work/life balance.
I am a writer, of sorts. I have a few years of practical training and hands-on, real-world experience and as I come out the other end of realizing this all, I come back to writing. Oh, how I love putting my thoughts out there. It’s been too long and a hell of a journey to where I am today and so I write…….
Having a healthy love relationship with your equal helps you live a better, more fulfilling, less stressful life than going it all alone, research has proven these facts. We tend to live longer lives when we have good relationships. In fact, Harvard did a nearly 80-year study titled: “Harvard Study on Adult Development.” who’s focus was to figure out what truly makes people happy. (Source)
I don’t think that I’d be alive today to tell you my story without the love of someone very dear to me, myself. Yup, you read that 100% right. I used to feel that someone else was the only person to that could helps me feel stronger, braver, truly loved and secure among a thousand other wonderful, powerful feelings. In the last few years, specifically, it finally sunk in that the love and acceptance I have been seeking for so long, it has to come from me.
At the end of the day, the only person that can save you is Y-O-U, but your ride will be much brighter, lighter and shiner with a partner that you adore and that adores you back. Although, I’ve been fortunate to have loved hard and with all my heart, a long-term, healthy relationship still eludes me. Maybe one day in the distant future, but for right now, I’m all about me and giving myself everything I need to be complete and living my truth.