I was talking about knowing your starting point to determine your route to your destination yesterday. Earlier last week, I discovered my own starting point.
Remember when I suggested that you do not stop looking for the answer just because a medical professional ran a test and did not find anything? You know your body best. You know best how you feel. If the test did not reveal what the problem is, it does not mean that there isn’t a problem. It just means that your GP ran the wrong bloody test.
When my blood tests came back and were all ok, I did have a long hard think about what on earth is going on. I even considered that maybe I was making it all up. So I tried to pretend as if I was not feeling tired. But that didn’t work. And it almost went pretty wrong when on a day out I felt very unwell, became dizzy and couldn’t even see properly any more. That freaked me somewhat out, which you may understand, and so I decided to start looking for answers myself.
I had been working with Jayne Morris, a Burnout Expert, just a couple of months prior, as I had been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after my work abroad and despite receiving Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at London’s foremost Anxiety Clinic, I had not been able to quite let go of what had happened. Working with her was a tremendous experience and it helped me greatly. I barely worked since January this year and was signed off by my GP for most of this year. Finally, in September, after a long, drawn out process, I decided to move on from my employment as an IT consultant.
I fully expected that with this chapter of my life being over I would now be unstoppable in the pursuit of a new life. Except it did not quite work out that way. While Jayne had helped me to greatly reduce my anxieties and opened my eyes to new ways of thinking that are invaluable to start a new life, I was still awfully tired all the time. And I don’t mean the “I’d fancy a wee nap” kind of tired. I mean desperately tired. The kind where you sit on the sofa staring into nothing contemplating if anyone would notice if I wet myself because I didn’t want to get up to go to the bathroom. I NEVER actually did wet myself. Having that thought on a recurring basis is on it’s own alarming.
So I spent most of my day either asleep or on the couch in a somewhat vegetative state. I used to cycle to the stables, clean out the horse boxes, ride for a couple of hours, then go for a 10 mile run only to still be able to tear up the dancefloor in a salsa joint later that same night. Now I needed a nap after just having had a shower because it took so much out of me. All I did was eat and sleep. Needless to say, my food choices were not ideal for the most part and certainly nowhere near my usual standards. I was just too tired.
I spoke to Jayne about this in a follow up and being a Burnout Expert, she threw a few leads at me which gave me something to work with. Looking into different things, I came across a great book “Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome™” by Dr. James L. Wilson. It has been a REVELATION. It all added up. The symptoms, my stress history, everything. You have to understand, stress has an accumulative effect on the body. Especially during times of prolonged stress the adrenals take quite a bashing and if there is no recovery time in between, well, it only gets worse. Having suffered post traumatic stress disorder, working 60-80 hours a week, going through a long drawn out grievance process with my employer which resulted in me leaving eventually, all of that had been eating my adrenals, chewing them up, spitting them out and dancing a particularly stompy version of Flamenco on them. In short, I had shot my adrenals to bits.
You might ask “Why self-diagnose?” A good friend asked me this unhelpful and discouraging question when I told her about what I was going through. But here is the thing: I do not need a doctor to tell me how I feel. I know that how I am feeling right now is not normal – FOR ME. I cannot speak for anyone else. Maybe some people are comfortable in a borderline comatose state on a permanent basis. I wasn’t and I knew that my body could do better. I knew that something was wrong. And as I have followed the advice given in Dr Wilson’s book for almost 2 weeks now and am seeing significant improvements, I don’t really care if anyone thinks that only a doctor can make a diagnosis. I used common sense, read, researched, tried it out and made an executive decision – I have finally found my starting point. And I AM ROCKING IT!
If you would like to know more about Jayne Morris and the work she does, check out her website on http://www.jaynemorris.com/
For more information on the medical site of Adrenal Fatigue and to take a test if you may be suffering, visit Dr James L Wilson’s website http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/