It was a normal work day for me, nothing out of the ordinary… Wake up, work, eat while working, make excuses that I can't possibly work out because I have work, make something last minute for dinner and then sit on the couch and work on my laptop. Then I go to bed after a few cocktails and sleep like crap most of the night before I do it again.

This will come as a shock to hear, but my adrenals suffered and the "stress" on me added up to me getting a bout of Shingles.

Yeah, I have no issue with saying that I had Shingles. I had no idea what that was, or how serious it was until the doctor said that I could have lost sight in my left eye if I hadn't come in for treatment.

Excuse me?

I'm not accustom to having things whirl out of my control.

I have always considered myself strong. I can do anything I put my mind to, and never met a challenge I couldn't perform on, even if it terrified me to my core, like speaking in front of an audience.

I reluctantly took my antibiotics for the Shingles, which I renamed "Sparkles" because it just sounds better, and seemed appropriate since all your nerve endings light up (in pain, but still, I'm sure it's pretty on an MRI or something).

It took me months to get my vaccine. I was way too young to have Shingles, and I was turned away every time as too young to waste a vaccine on.

Well, I finally had an in, and I got that first vaccine.

DEATH would have been less painful than what was to follow.  That night I was in the most excruciating, electrifying, burning pain, I have ever been through.

Suffice to say, I have never gone back for the second dose.

Instead, I went on to live my life as I was, minus a few stress triggers. I assumed all was well, I had much less stress in my life, right?

Surprise…. Once you've tortured your body, your adrenals, your Thyroid, your liver, your hormones are out of wack and your body has now experienced the delight of Shingles/Sparkles… Working less each day doesn't 'put you back to normal'.

It was round 2 of shingles that put me over the edge. Albeit, it was less horrific this time around, it was still annoying, off-putting and inconvenient, as well as painful and ugly, as the rash grew.

Like I said, I don't like being out of control… If something is wrong, I like to take care of it myself. I don't often go to the doctor, even when I did have insurance. I found that nutrition, vitamin and life changes could almost always resolve whatever ailed me before I could get in to see someone.  Not to mention, I rarely had a doctor that convinced me that their treatment was really the best course.

My trust issues may have stemmed from the doctor that suggested they remove my appendix because they "couldn't find it" on the scans.  Anywho…. that's for another day.

I finally set an appointment with a naturopath to treat the Sparkles, but after the 2 weeks it took to make it to the appointment date, the changes that I made resolved the issue.

I realized that my stress management and self care were no longer optional. I took a long look at my life, and my habits and realized that there was plenty of room for change.

I've always considered myself to be strong, independent and in control of my life… well, if I couldn't control the Sparkles, I sure as hell could control my life to avoid having another episode of them!

These days, my yoga and mediation practice isn't about losing weight, or emptying my mind of thoughts… it's about taking time to respect my mind and body. It's about showing myself the respect I deserve, and deciding that I am important enough to put first.

We go through life working it away, because we have a job that we HAVE to do. As a self employed agent that LOVES what she does, I've always reacted to work first.  I lost a client because I couldn’t show a property one day. I lost a client because I didn't respond to email fast enough.  I lost an agent because they found a new shiny brokerage to try out.  I started to realize that I was replaceable. I was SOOO replaceable! I also finally realized that I was not as invincible as I believed I was. Why was I killing myself for a job that would literally replace me in a heartbeat?

Your clients will replace you if you can't meet their needs.

Your spouse can even replace you if you are no longer around.

The only person that cannot replace you, that needs you to be there… is you.

I'm guilty of it…. We ALL make excuses about time, about being busy… it's all crap. I finally saw it.

I finally realized that I could take the time to make a healthy meal. I could take the time to put my phone on silent and take an hour for me. I could turn off social media if I wanted to.

I realize now that those choices we make, that send us down that bad way, are choices…and we control our choices.

These days, I make different choices. I've been making healthier, happier choices for  a while now… and guess what? I haven't lost any clients. My income hasn't gone down… My frantic spending has, so technically I make more these days.

Living my life, with respect for me, my health, my family and my survival in it all has changed everything for the best, and I wouldn't recommend doing it any other way.

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