Why We Need To Stop Thinking We Can Do It All

 

There is a lot of debate as to whether stress is good or bad for you, with some people arguing that stress makes me you more productive. Which I don’t dispute.

However, I maintain that too much stress (be it good or bad) still negatively impacts on the body… otherwise we’d be able to handle it and we wouldn’t become physically or mentally ill from it.

I have learnt a valuable lesson this week… that ‘good stress’ is just as bad as ‘bad stress’ – a predicament I’ve never experienced before.

As you may know, I started my new job about 5 months ago now (time flies when you’re having fun!) and I reckon I enjoy it as much as anyone can enjoy a job. It’s the right level of challenging yet rewarding.

Because I’ve been caught up in all the fun, I didn’t realise that the stress of the challenge has continued to impact on my body and as I’ve ended up taking on the role of 3 people’s job this past week, I’ve found myself once again being on the brink of being burnt out.

My memory is shot. I’m in bed by 8.30pm most nights. My epilepsy paranoia is out of of this world. I’ve had migraines. Last week, I had a couple of nights of being inconsolable for no valid reason. I’ve not even attempted to lose weight for the past 3 weeks. My stress management strategies are long forgotten and I’ve had random aches and pains. I accidentally ate yeast because I forgot to check the ingredients before I tucked in. But the most dangerous thing of all… I didn’t realise any of this had happened because I felt happy.

I assumed because I was mostly enjoying the challenge, it wasn’t stressing me out. However, once again I’m left wondering whether long term, working as a therapist is the right job for me.

For now, I’m off to chill out and try and regain control over my life. Starting off with car insurance. Because the joys of adulthood never stop.

Embrace You

“Two things you need to give up: 1) Processed food 2) Processed people”

I was recording a vlog earlier (before I got struck down properly with Tonsillitis) and what started off as a discussion about happiness and gratitude, ended up going into a full on rant about no one being happy because we are forcing each other to do things we don’t want to and be people we don’t want to be. I’ll probably have to re-record as to not offend 😂

In this instance I’m referring to the dieting, fitness and fashion industries. What started off as ‘this is how I get muscles’ or ‘this is how I lost fat’ has become a competition for trying to be brand ambassadors for active wear or protein powder and is no longer about encouraging each other to be healthier.

As I spend my days trying (and failing) not to be generic online, I have come to realise the pressure there is to be just like all the others that have made their social media fame.

The majority of these people landing the huge days with major fashion brands (fashion influencers too), come across as being straight out of the factory, and almost robotic in their opinions (and with great bodies).

Of course you stumble across the odd gem who has stuck to their guns and continued to show their personality (and they are my heroes), but you can easily understand why young people are feeling like massive failures because they aren’t conforming to social media’s expectations.

The reality is that to be robotic is a costly and time consuming process which most of us can’t possibly achieve whilst going to school/working full time. These influencers also tend to hire their own photographers to get the best photo, and sell the contents of their home for their ‘hauls’.

Sadly the algorithms favour these people making them an easy spot for big brands. However, rather than sacrificing our young people’s mental health to conform to a computer, why don’t we make the algorithm conform to young (and older) people expressing their own individuality.

The reason I set up my social media identity was ALWAYS to be (dare I say it) ‘the best version of myself’, but never did I say that that would be the best version of myself based on society’s expectations. I would be a massive hypocrite as an OT (which is a therapy based on what’s meaningful to the person), to try to conform and quite frankly, I don’t really want to.

I vow to maintain my identity online – do you care to join me?

Life Update: 4 Months Later

It is 4 months since I started this blog (where does the time go?) and I thought it would be a good time to reflect now that hopefully I have come through the other side.

If you’ve not read my blog before you may not know that my career and I went through a bit of a breakup back in April/May time… we both said a lot of stuff and it was hard. Mostly because I didn’t know what direction to turn in next.

The biggest problem of all wasn’t the clients I was working with – they hadn’t done anything wrong; it was some of my colleagues. They were ruining everything, including my mental health.

Since then a fair few tears have been shed. My mental health did take the plunge initially but I refused to be defeated and with the support of Tim, my family and my friends I’m turning a corner, especially after I managed to get some closure.

Despite all the fun stress of being unemployed and feeling lost; what scared me the most was how much life I had missed since 2012. Some of it very superficial, some less so. As part of being a therapist I often preach about occupational balance but in fact realised that I had very little balance myself. I’d shut down all my hobbies and I couldn’t even remember what my interests were! Somehow, despite making the vow that I would never do this, I had been consumed by my job.

In addition to (re)discovering the gym, watching ALL of the vlogs on YouTube, learning the ins and outs of our finances and learning to live on a tight budget, I am now starting to develop my own business – something I was never brave enough to do prior. It’s still very much a baby whilst I try to work out legal stuff, but considering Telle’s Nutritional Life wasn’t even a thing, I’m pretty pleased with how it’s slowly forming. One thing that’s very important to me is that I don’t want to force it.

I now also have an almost full time other job that’s going to let me be more of a therapist than I have been in a while and let me develop in a way I couldn’t have done whilst working as my actual job title. In addition to this, the hours are perfect for giving me time to focus on TNL and my pay cut is barely noticeable.

My relationship with Tim is stronger than ever and I admire him more than I thought possible. I won’t gush about him on here because no one wants to read that but he is annoyingly perfect.

The biggest thing I have learnt is that you actually can’t control anything and in some ways it’s surprisingly comforting (for the most part). I learnt that I can be the friendliest, smiliest, confident (but not arrogant), knowledgable candidate for a job yet still won’t get it because of that pesky internal candidate. I learnt that you can be exceptionally resourceful when you need to be. I learnt that going for a walk in the middle of nowhere makes you realise how much we generate our own stress and that life doesn’t need to be that complicated. I realised that living in Scotland with Tim means more to me than my career. I realised that sometimes we just have to wait for our dreams to come true (and sometimes this wait may have to be a decade or so). Finally I learnt that being a ‘realist’ or ‘pessimist’ has literally got me nowhere in life. I had spent my life preparing for failure because I didn’t think I could cope with the disappointment. I now partly think that instead, I had been setting myself up for the moment where I came close to losing my career, my home and my savings.

For whatever reason I have discovered positivity (of which many people who know me think I’m faking). But genuinely… we can choose to be happy in life or we can choose to be miserable. I was placing too much emphasis on the wrong things instead of realising we only have one life to live and that we should try and make it a good one.

Hitting Rock Bottom

I have been desperately trying to stay as positive as I can recently, but today I’m struggling.

To be honest, I know people go even lower than I am but today the feelings of disappointment, anger and failure are real to me.

I’ve discussed it before but I have always had a strong internal drive to succeed and be self sufficient. And I am failing. Big time.

I have worked for the past 10 years in my field. I have endured seizures to obtain my Masters to get to where I thought I needed to be. I have got myself in more debt by paying out for 88 miles of petrol per day when earning basic wages to gain experience in the field of OT and now I am stuck. Stuck in a job where I have spent £335 on diesel in the past 5 weeks and the only mileage I am being paid for is £35. Between travel time and mileage, I am reducing my hourly rate by £5 per hour. I am sacrificing my happiness, my marriage, my friendships and my future (now unobtainable house) for what?!

My savings for my house deposit are about to drop by £2000 when I walk out of my job. I was really hoping to buy my first property at the start of next year.

Yes it’s all money. But my vow to myself was that I’d be ‘comfortable’. Enough to cover the bills and go out for dinner once in a while. Is that really too much to ask?

It appears yes it is and my heart is breaking.