For most of my life I’ve been busy, busy, busy, busy - doing good things, but loved being busy. I would feel happiness, stress, sad, excitement - all of the emotions, at least I thought. I would realize I was sad about something, but I didn’t have time to cry and if I did take the time to cry it would be for a few minutes and then it was alright time to move on and think why did I need to cry about that. I would accomplish big events or tasks and think yes, that turned out great, but the level of my excitement was I’m glad that turned out well, make the notes and move onto the next project. I didn’t have time to sit back and relax and enjoy the success for a few minutes. I had a high level of perfection inside of me.
My health has always been a huge battle for me. When I was diagnosed with diabetes I had a fasting glucose number of 498. My A1C was 11.9. My triglycerides, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc were sky high. I was a walking time bomb to my death. I would blank out driving and not even know how to get to my parents or the school after driving that millions of times. I couldn’t remember my own boys’ names often.
I’ve worked closely with my doctor for years and years and there hasn’t been a lot that has really helped my health. Then a few years ago I resigned, walked away from a lot of stress in my life and the next time I went in for blood work it was improving, not great, but improving. There was definitely a consistency in high numbers when I was stressed and when I wasn’t as stressed, like over the summer, there was improvement, but not all that we wanted.
Then a couple of years ago when I started counseling I went in for blood work and everything had improved immensely. My doctor was stunned and wanted to know what had happened - what had changed? I shared with him I was in counseling and working through a lot of emotional things that I had carried for years and years. That seemed to be doing the trick. This was the magic potion that had been needed for years for my health.
Yes, the counseling was working, but my health also had a lot of things going on so I had gotten to taking 13 medications daily. They were working, but I could hardly keep track of what I was on and when to take things. It was overwhelming.
This last year I’ve continued to improve with my health and was getting really excited at the progress of my health. I had dropped to 8 medications a day and I had set goals of having my health really good by the time I was 50. I knew I could accomplish great things! I’ve been working with fantastic doctors and things were looking super promising and then MY DAD DIED!!!! WHAT???? How could this happen? The amount of emotional stress and emotions that were being felt in my body were extreme. I felt sick, my stomach was a mess, I wasn’t sleeping, massive headaches, tears every day, the amount of body aches were like I had never done anything to take care of myself and the list went on. On top of the tears every day, I was angry, sad, completely lost and the amount of emotions and shut down emotionally I felt were very significant. I didn’t want to interact with people.
With how awful I was feeling I called my doctors office and scheduled a doctor’s appointment. It was also time for blood work and I agreed, but thought the results are going to be AWFUL!!! I felt it and my body had so much stress! Plus I hadn’t been eating very well - whether eating at all or sweets or whatever - I wasn’t thinking about what I was eating.
Last Thursday I went in for my doctor’s appointment and I felt super anxious. I just didn’t want to hear how awful I was doing after working so hard for the last couple of years. First came the blood pressure and it was PERFECT! Then came the heart rate and though it had been super high for the last month, it was under 100, which was a huge win! Then into the doctor’s office for the blood results. He pulls up the numbers and he says, “HIGH FIVE!!! You’re doing great. Your thyroid is in the perfect range. Your A1C is in pre-diabetic range and he continued to go through all of my blood work and it all looked really good. Still a couple of areas of concern, but nothing of great concern like in the past.” I was shocked!!! The most stressful, emotional time in my life ever and my numbers were some of the best they’ve been and not taking as many medications I had taken in the past year. How could that happen???
I’ve allowed myself to FEEL and PROCESS! I’ve allowed myself to feel all of the feelings. I haven’t said I’ve got 5 minutes to cry and then shut down. If I felt to cry, I cried until the tears ran out. If I felt angry I allowed myself to be angry. When people have asked how I’m doing I’ve been honest - it’s been hell, it’s been super hard, I’m worn out, I miss my dad terribly, I’ve had some great spiritual experiences and the list goes on. I’ve not kept anything tied up inside, undone and not processed. I’m not willing to do that again - I did that for the last 40 years and it was at a high price.
"I’ve allowed myself to FEEL and PROCESS! I’ve allowed myself to feel all of the feelings"
The interesting thing is people have thanked me for my honesty. I’ve had people say they were grateful for sharing my real feelings and it’s allowed them to look at their life experiences and face their real feelings. They’ve been grateful to recognize they weren’t alone in their struggles and the feelings they’ve felt.
For most of my life I thought keeping all of these emotions and life challenges and experiences pinned up inside was the best option - no damage done. When I left my doctor’s office the thought I’ve had over and over is “EMOTIONS WIN!!! So often we don’t realize the correlation of our health and emotions - if we don’t release and process our emotions they have to go somewhere in our body - where are they going for you? Mine were causing all kinds of health problems, but now, I’m winning - I’m letting go and processing and there’s no more damage. Our health is worth allowing ourselves to be honest with our emotions!
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity