The Ultimate Sacrifice

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I quit my job.

After 5 years of college and a decade of experience in my profession – I woke up one day with enough balls to say – “Screw It! I’m Done!”

I wrote my letter of resignation and never looked back.

It took some finagling, planning, juggling, and shenanigans, but my husband and I managed to downsize and simplify our lives – making a $40,000 per year pay cut possible.

We also lost our health care benefits, 401K, and retirement.

I. Didn’t. Even. Care.

I was so overworked and overwhelmed I ended up developing chronic physical pain. Keeping a full time job simply wasn’t possible for me anymore. I woke up tired. I went to work tired. I vegged out on the couch tired. I slept tired. Everything that happened in my life happened under a veil of achy exhaustion.

Something had to give before I did. My 38 year old body was shutting down. I was under so much stress my central nervous system couldn’t keep up.

We often hear of two stress responses within the human body – fight or flight – but there is a third. When you’ve exhausted the entirety of your nervous system’s ability to fight or flee in a situation, the third response swoops in – shutting everything down while making you completely immobile. It’s called ‘freeze’.

That’s where I was. Frozen in the stress of my life.

We’ve all experienced it in some form or another. For some it may be an addiction or a bad relationship. For others it’s an outdated belief system or daily doses of negative self-talk. Whatever it is that makes you overreach, overstretch, and overwork until all you feel is pain – that’s your frozen.

For me, it was trying to keep up with – well – everything. The career, the family, the house –  date night, homework, kid’s activities, workout schedules, ‘me’ time – these bills, those bills, more bills, and everything else life threw at me.

There was simply not enough caffeine – or nap time…

But let’s be real. By the time I put in my resignation, I was beyond fixing anything with a cup of coffee or a power nap. This wasn’t about putting my big girl panties on – this was about restoring my health and learning how to enjoy my life again.

For me, I was making the ultimate sacrifice – the wasting away of my health – for a three bedroom house on an acre of land with an in-ground swimming pool, two cars, electronic gadgets, cable, internet, cell phones, and a once a year vacation we never had the money to actually take.

I was working so hard for all of it. For myself. My husband. My children. I worked until I was incapable of enjoying anything. I worked until I felt like a zombie walking around in a dark, foggy cloud. Perhaps that’s why $40,000 and a dental plan barley registered in my head the day I quit my job.

That day I decided – whatever is crushing my soul – is being eliminated out of my life.

I started with my job. After that, I made the decision to wake up every day with enough balls to say, “Nope. No thank you, Stress. Not today. Not ever again.”

That’s when I started living again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Spirituality

2 responses to “The Ultimate Sacrifice

  1. I remember this chapter of your life only too well. There wasn’t enough yoga or coffee that could help get you out of the frozen state of stress. You made the right decision for you and that’s what matters. ❤

    • Thanks, Peggy. It was a tough time for me. I feel fortunate to have been able to do the personal and spiritual work needed to move myself into a happier, healthier life! xo

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