Day 1 back at work and I am exhausted… It was overwhelmingly wonderful to see my team, the love they expressed with me being back, the love I feel for all of my wonderful co-workers. It was also overwhelming being so bone weary tired and not feeling like myself. Something feels like it has shifted inside of me, something feels off. I am so concerned to protect my insides, my mind putting up a layer of glass to bounce off the negative stress that usually can be associated with high pressure situations. It was as if I was going through the motions, engaging as best as I could, but not feeling as present as I need to be. I am sure this will get better with time, but will my shift in my protective attitude change as well?
I have always thrived off of stress and high pressure. I was a store manage of a multimillion dollar retail store at the age of 21 while a full-time straight A student. I have been a District Manager covering a territory from Chicago to the West Coast and part of Canada too. I have had high pressured positions while being the Book Fair Chair for our PTSA which encompassed me taking a week of PTO since I was at the school for 10 hours a day, turning out extremely successful and lucrative Book Fairs for the school. I am always spread thin, always doing many extra curricular activities, and now I know I cannot be that person anymore. I have to learn to say no, I have to ensure I have downtime. I have to know it is ok for me to work a 9 hour shift, not a 10 or 11 or 12 hours. My team rocked it while I was gone for four weeks, they can surely embrace me knowing when my body needs rest. But can I embrace it?
Remember, (I tell myself constantly) this is a road to recovery and self-discovery, of changing my lifestyle and knowing what I need to do to stop the inflammation. I have a chronic illness, it is time to treat my body like I do, which is so damn hard to wrap my head around! So here we go, to day 2!