I am unwell. I have been for a long time. I have adrenal fatigue. This means that I have been under stress, running on stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol, (which one should only be exposed to for very short periods of time) for dangerously long enough for my body to decide to cut me off by shutting down my supply.
As the doctor explained, it’s like I have been driving my car for too long in first gear, and to prevent the engine from seizing the car cut off the petrol supply. Extending this car analogy, he observed that based on my test results it appears that I had driven from Cape to Cairo in first gear. According to the Google that is over 12 000 km 😦
To be honest, none of it was news to me. I have been exhausted. Not for days, weeks or even months but for years. What I didn’t understand is knowing what I know, being who I am, doing what I do, how could I wreck myself to such an extent?
Correction. I knew exactly how I had wrecked myself – by taking on way too much responsibility, I am not called superwoman for nothing – what I didn’t know was why I keep on finding myself bearing such a heavy load.
So after a crying fit I made an impassioned plea to the universe, wanting to know why I kept on repeating this pattern. Thank Goddess the universe returned an answer loud and clear.
It turns out I mistook myself for a stove, when I should be vase.
You may buy a vase to hold flowers, however if you purchase a vase to place in a space you value like your home, you usually pick one you find pleasing. One that feels good to behold. One you enjoy. It pleases you whether it is presently containing flowers or empty. Simply just being a vase. It is rewarding with flowers in it, it is just as pleasant without. The vase is worthy just being. Much like babies. I, for instance, have a new niece. She is less than a month old, so she doesn’t really do anything useful but I love her fiercely. She lives on the other side of the globe and I often catch myself plotting ways to secure time and a plane ticket so I can get some cheek-to-cheek time with her.
I, on the other hand, have been operating like a stove.
You may buy the most well-crafted, top of the range stove. It may even be the price of a small car, and elicit the envy of all who enter your home. You may love your stove, how well it cooks and how great it makes your kitchen look, but if said stove stops working you will replace it, fact.
I have been a great stove. The best stove I can be. I have perceived my value as functional. I have believed that I am worthy because of what I do. Thus I have been doing, and doing, and doing and doing. Now I am exhausted. Medically exhausted. Not, let’s go on a holiday exhausted but IV, meds and lifestyle counselling exhausted. Why? Because I have a belief that if people need me they won’t leave me. I will not be discarded as long as I am useful. The more responsibility I carry the safer I am.
I am now about to embark on an interesting journey at 40; to unlearn securing love and safety through doing and just allow myself to be worthy simply from BEING. Just like a ming vase or an irresistibly loveable baby who can’t do much of use but is an absolute love magnet we happily and easily adore, nurture, cherish and protect.
Maybe I can be like a baby IN a vase!
No, make that TWO babies in a vase. Wait, two FAT babies in two vases wearing FLOWERS! There I go again, trying to overDO.
Baby steps, KG, baby steps. Breathe and BE.