Many years of Stress

by Barbara

My name is Barbara and I have been dealing, for the better part of my life, with 'Stress'.

For a very long time I did not know what Stress really was. In my family it was considered to be an 'imagined state of mind'. Looking back over the decades, I must say that every member of my family suffered from that imagined state of mind.

It was only very much later and after my first burnout, that my doctor advised me to stop getting stressed 'unnecessarily'. But then again and in my opinion, stress did not happen to me.

Several years later and after the second burnout, it was time for some serious self assessment. I was smoking like a chimney, exercising obsessively, eating very little, i.e. counting calories to remain thin, and working very long days and weekends.

I was irritable, suffering not only from severe headaches but from migraines which would incapacitate me at times for days. Life was not pleasant anymore.

Sitting back and taking a close look at my life, it all came down to my inability to say 'NO'. This applied not only to my working life but also to my personal life.

So, I decided to change my lifestyle, starting with a new job. The change was felt immediately; normal working hours, having weekends to rest and enjoy. Ultimately, I struck out on my own.

I started my own little company of pet caring and house sitting. There was a different stress to deal with; however, it was manageable and I my health and mental state improved. No more smoking, obsessive exercising and finally eating 'properly'.

Life became enjoyable again.

Today, despite being of retirement age, I am still working and enjoying it very much. I still do exercise, but honestly, I do not mind the additional pound which adds itself miraculously to my tummy at times (my doctor advised me not to worry about it - in his profession and at my age they call it the 'famine tummy').

There are still times when 'things get to me'. But they have become easier to shrug off and are not being churned unnecessarily by my brain.

In all and at the end, life turned out alright. It was and still is up to me at times not to let Stress get the better of me.

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