That’s what I did.
I hit a wall. This is an official quote from my legal testimony at the Hearing to Appeal the Social Security Decision (they denied me at first but I’ve been approved since thank goodness). The judge asked me what happened…why I stopped working. I told her, “I hit a wall.” Apparently that was clear enough for all to accept because my attorneys highly encouraged me to say that and the judge seemed satisfied with that response and moved on to the next question. In fact, she didn’t have much more to ask me after that.
To me hitting a wall means I was all done. I had no more to give. I was in critical need of refueling my spirit physically and mentally and I had no energy left. I’m not even sure where I had these stores of energy to begin with. My work situation was toxic for me. Whether I was reacting in a toxic manner, the workplace itself was toxic, or whatever… I had to get out of there. I had no idea how to do that so my body decided for me. In fact, it was screaming desperately for help.
I’ve heard talk over the years of trying to force a square into a circle and how that really doesn’t work. Well, that’s what I was doing. I was pushing pushing pushing through my days. I only had knowledge of my body dealing with multiple sclerosis (had no idea I had lupus yet) and that wasn’t enough apparently I guess. It might be for some people but hey, I could get up every day right? Well, then I gotta MAKE IT WORK. Sure I was taking care of myself, but like a machine. I had a routine down. I knew what I had to do to make it happen. Sure I had mechanical self care down but where were my feelings in this? I “had to” “had to”" had to” right?
Wrong. 2010 was a hard year for me with my health. In the beginning of the year my thyroid started acting up. Then in May my eyes started throwing up warning flags that I had surpassed the idea of being overwhelmed. I was drowning. May is a heavy stress time for people in my profession. I was using everything I could just to work. But what about the rest of my body? …I kept going. When I look back I don’t know how. A lot of that time is a blur. And then in June I started having digestion problems that were keeping me up at night the pain was so severe but I kept pushing. I was crawling inside and struggling so hard but even my denial was so bad I ignored it. It will pass. Really. Right?
Nope. A week after my stomach pains I was vomiting severely. I’m not someone who vomits so I had no idea that the manor in which it was happening was out of control. To me it felt like there was a monster inside trying to dig out my insides but I thought that’s how it worked. I couldn’t do anything. My body was ALL DONE. I was somehow making it. It must’ve been automatic. I did everything I could to work and then at home I couldn’t do anything. I had a “body migraine”. ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING would make me vomit: sound, talking, lights, reading, moving you name it. By Friday I was vomiting and could keep NOTHING down. By that Saturday night I was FINALLY in the ER. Why did I wait that long to get help? Because I really thought it was a stomach bug and it was going to pass.
I HIT A WALL…
You know, when there’s a wall that’s too thick, too tall, too low, too wide, too dark, and impenetrable you can’t get through it, around it, over it, under it, or anything. My Body told my mind to Step Down and I had no choice. I had nothing left. I was beyond dehydrated and put on a VERY strict diet of chicken broth for over a week. That was it. That was all my body could take. I had to rebuild my diet and ability to eat again. Turns out my liver was toxic. There’s that word again. TOXIC. Scary word huh? Scared me enough.
It wasn’t until two months later that I learned I had lupus along with multiple sclerosis. Turns out my thyroid and eyes were acting up in the beginning of the year due to lupus. I was probably having both an MS exacerbation and a lupus flare so that’s why I had no energy, severe fatigue, could handle nothing, and my digestive system was purging itself. MY BODY WAS DONE WITH ME. My running the show didn’t work anymore. It was taking over and to me I had no choice. I didn’t want to hit another wall. I smashed so hard into the wall that I don’t know how there was any of me left.
I am still recovering and rebuilding from that physical and mental turning point in my life. Because I’m still here and alive and kicking I try really hard not to find myself at a wall again. It’s a struggle because the old programming says to go go go but I don’t want to feel that horrible and desperate ever again if I can help it.
MY BODY IS WORTH IT. I DESERVE TO FEEL BETTER.
And I am slowly getting there one step at a time…