When Does Stress Become Burnout?

Have you ever found yourself desperately wanting to make a decision that you know is right for you, but just not having the courage to go through with it?

Have you ever found yourself actually making the decision that you know is right for you and actually going through with it, only to then back pedal before you’ve completed the whole process? 

 

I Couldn’t Go Through With It

Back in March 2007, I tried to end the relationship I was in and tried to be bought out of the business I was in with my then partner.  However, I wasn’t strong enough or courageous enough at the time to carry it through.  I allowed the process to cause me great stress and to be emotionally abused and physically threatened.

Life was feeling pretty shit shall we say.  I continued to stay in a situation that was pretty horrendous for me.  It took another 2 years for me to finally end the relationship, and another 18 months after that to find a way to finish the business we were in together.

The whole process (unbeknownst to me at the time) was way more stress than my system was able to cope with and gradually I had begun to see signs of my system breaking down.


About 12 months before it all ended, I noticed many physical changes that did not appear to be normal for me. I noticed:

– an increased inability to exercise, I literally had nothing in the tank (and for the most part of my life I had been fit)

– my muscle beginning to waste away, especially in my usually strong and muscular legs, which were becoming unusually skinny

– more clumps of my hair starting to come out (much more so than usual)

– feeling “stressed” most of the time, with a tightness in my chest and a feeling of anxiousness

– I was becoming very wired at night and unable to get to sleep, having fitful dreams when I did, and having extreme difficulty waking up in the morning

– I had become very addicted to Coke Zero (my body craved the caffeine)

– I was losing weight.

And this was just the beginning ……………

By the time I had finally completed the end of this business (12 months after these symptoms first began), ending it in liquidation and having to go bankrupt, I absolutely crashed in a heap. I couldn’t work at all for a few weeks, and for many months after that, I was only able to work in a limited way.


I was so weak and tired, ALL THE TIME.

  • My digestive system was in dissaray, with diarrhoea, stomach cramps, constipation, sometimes nausea.
  • I couldn’t sleep properly.
  • I was having nightmares about all that had gone on (probably post traumatic stress disorder)
  • I was anxious and depressed.
  • I couldn’t function for more than an hour or two without needing to go back to bed.
  • My blood sugars would crash within 2-3 hours of eating.
  • I had become sensitive to just about everything I was eating and drinking.

 

As the months went on,

I kept getting viruses every few months, throat infections, flu like symptoms, stomach bugs, it seemed endless and at this stage I still didn’t really understand what was going on.

The effects of stress on my adrenals had affected many, many, systems in my body and the effects of the previous few years had taken its toll on my system.

 

STRESS HAD BECOME BURNOUT.

BURNOUT = ADRENAL FATIGUE or ADRENAL EXHAUSTION.

 

I came to learn through much research of my own, and many dissatisfying visits to doctors and natural therapists, that this was what adrenal fatigue looked like. In my case however, it had become very severe and had gone to adrenal exhaustion.

I came to understand more and more – my thyroid was now being affected as a result of the adrenal imbalance and after the earlier weight loss, I was now gaining weight and suddenly became heavier than I had ever been in my whole life.  I continued to feel incredibly tired and my ability to bounce back from any exertion or slightly stressful event was just not there…………………………………………………..

However,
there was a job for me to get to. 
And this job was about me,
my needs,
and my life. 
Yes, it was time to be incredibly selfish
and focus entirely on my self care.

 

TIME TO HEAL

Slowly, over the next few years, I was able to rebuild my system.

I can tell you that:

  • Healing is possible.
  • A total change in lifestyle is necessary.
  • Taking time to “smell the roses” is essential.
  • I began to visit the beach, regularly, either to just sit and meditate or stroll (no over exertion).
  • I experimented with various supplements and found things that felt right for me (there is no definitive answer on this one as we are all different and have different needs)
  • I listened to my body, if I needed to rest, I would rest.
  • I began to practice the beautiful art of kundalini yoga.
  • I did things that were extremely calming on my nervous system, i.e. meditated, went for slow walks, read inspirational books, breathed 🙂
  • I eventually worked with a naturopath.
  • I had spiritual counselling sessions.

 

I BEGAN TO BELIEVE ONCE AGAIN

I began to believe once again that I was worth it and that I was free to be the person I was uniquely meant to be.

I began to look at my life and the burnout for the spiritual message that it had come with, for the greater meaning that it had in my life.

I began to find a place of gratitude for all that I had been through.

I practiced forgiveness for all of those who were involved in my life during the burnout time.

I understood that this was one of the greatest lessons and miracles of my life, and that healing is always possible, that my life had been restored and rejuvenated and I gave thanks and continue to give thanks for the messages of this experience.

I was blessed with this gift of learning so much about myself from this experience, and I am now blessed to be able to share my experience and help all of you in any way that may resonate with you.

So grateful to be on this healing journey with you.

You too can do this.  One step at a time.

Take a great big exhale with me.  There was a time when I too could only hang on, but not anymore.  Take another great big exhale with me, and let it go.  You too can create a new life and come back to you.

All my love to you

Lisa

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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