Yesterday I felt like I was dying. As I was dropping my daughter off at camp, I bent down to sign her in and the room started to spin. I made it to the car, my vision becoming blurry. As I sat in the car, my heart began beating out of my chest.
Somehow I managed to drive home, talking out loud to myself to try and stay alert and focused on the road.
I got home, and knowing it was going to be a busy day, logged in to work. I knew I had to push through, because no one on my team can back up my work when I’m out. I can’t be sick. So for over 4 hours I struggled through.
The words on my computer screen were jumbled. My fingers struggled to type. I couldn’t find the right words on phone calls. Anytime I moved my head, the room started spinning again.
As I was texting my husband to tell him what was happening, we decided I needed to go get help. I spent 5 minutes trying to get a team mate to help with my work for the rest of the day, and reached out to my clients to let them know I had to leave for the day.
I spent the next 7 hours in the emergency room for heart palpitations and vertigo. All the while getting texts from work about what to do.
The end result? Stress.
The doctor told me that the amount of stress I have been under caused my body to shut down. I wasn’t taking the time to care for myself, so I was dehydrated and running on empty.
And this morning, though I wasn’t feeling dizzy when I woke up, it started all over again. The stress. The issues piled up from the day before. The angry clients. The messes to clean up and double the work to get done.
And it has me thinking, why? Why do I let everything fall on me without demanding better support? Why don’t I learn to say no? Why is it impossible for me to have a sick day and not have the proper support in place? Why don’t I pause to drink water and eat a proper meal? Why do I put myself in this situation?
Part of me knows that it’s not all my fault, but the other part knows that I should say no more often. I can’t keep going like this. I will continue to get sick, and my body may not be the same if I keep up this neglect.
My kids deserve a Mom that can function and be present at the end of my work day. My husband deserves a wife that can form a proper sentence when speaking. I deserve to have a career and a life. Not a life that revolves around my career.
I deserve to have less stress. I just need to figure out how.