Friday, January 9, 2015

Recovery Post Workplace Abuse: Getting back on track with recovery

As you can see from my recent posts, that the ending of the old year and the coming of the new year has put me in an introspective sort of mood.

I don't believe in resolutions as they tend to be short-lived and in the end do more damage than good as they fall rather quickly by the wayside and guilt ensues.  I don't need any more guilt on top of that which I already carry around from various incidents ... and am working hard to get rid of.

However, I do believe in goals.  Long-term.  Short-term.

Looking back at the first few months of 2014, I realize that I was doing fairly well in making some rather necessary long-term lifestyle changes.  For the first time in years, I had engaged in several changes.  (1) Eating breakfast which was preparatory for (2) regular exercise.  As it was winter - and a bitter cold one at that, I was utilizing a stationary bicycle in our basement.  I was also engaged in reading a devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, each morning and the corresponding Bible verses.  Each of these three changes, had a significant positive impact in my life.

As I continued with these simple lifestyle changes which I was hoping would become part of my permanent lifestyle, I began to take more control of my life with the exercise and then enlarged that with taking control of my diet.  Working on eating healthier.  I lost a few pounds.  The doctor was able to take me off of two blood pressure medications that I had been on for years.  A major victory.  I felt I was becoming whole again.

Life was starting to be good once again.

And then things started to slide slowly downhill.

First, I had a bout with pneumonia which laid me on my back for the better part of a week.  Hubby took off work to be with me, I was that sick.  The exercise and healthy eating went down the tubes for that time period.  Let's face it, it's hard to exercise when you're having trouble breathing.  It's hard to eat anything when your fever is raging and you're lying in bed.

Then, just a few weeks later, when I was starting to recover from the bout with pneumonia, I got knocked down a second time.  Hard.  This time I had what we now know was a cluster headache - or rather a cluster migraine:  an extremely painful headache that comes out of nowhere and brings on extreme pain within seconds of onset.

Debilitating is one word for it.  Painful is another.  Also, especially since I'd never experienced anything like this before, there is always the not knowing whether it is something to be very concerned about ... like a bleed in the brain ... or "just" a headache.

At the age of 64, I experienced my first ever ambulance ride.  My daughter met me at the hospital.  After spending the better part of the day there, the doctor informed me that (a) I do have a brain (I do love a doctor with a sense of humour!) and (b) as far as they could tell there was no bleeding in my brain.

Good news to be sure.  BUT ... this headache lasted for nine straight days.


Also, in the same timeframe, I had initiated a relationship with a woman who was going through similar things to myself.  I reached out to her, thinking she could use a friend.  Someone who had already gone through some of the things she had.  Someone who could walk with her.  Instead, the relationship became more and more one-sided.  She began to make demands that I couldn't fulfil.  She would vent at me.  I was damaged myself.  I was working towards recovery myself.  I was in no position to carry her.  I simply wasn't strong enough.  My time and thoughts became more and more consumed with this woman and her needs to the point where I was neglecting my own needs and my family's needs.

These three things combined started the downward slide.  I never did resume the healthy eating and exercise after the bout with pneumonia.  The lies I've mentioned in an earlier post - "I'm not good enough" and "My best is not good enough" rose up to torment me by the spring of the year ... and never left.

At the very end of 2014, while working on a special hat - a Christmas tree hat - for one of my grandchildren, I had a thought which was originally concerning the hat, but which I eventually realized seemed to sum up my life at that point.

I was off track.  With both the knitting of the hat and, more importantly, with my life.  I needed to find a way to get back on track.  To take control once again.  To work towards recovery and enjoying life.  To work towards the point where life was good once again.  Altered maybe.  Different from the past.  But still good.  Very good in it's own way.

At that point, I didn't have a clue.

And that, my friends and readers, is what these first few days of 2015 has been all about ... to find a way to get back on track.

There is too much happening in my life, positive things, right now to cover them in one post.  Just know that just like the finished hat on my grandson's head above, I'm finding ways to start getting my life and my recovery back on track.

Until next week....

In the bleak midwinter ....

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