I am one of those people who don’t stop. Once I have a specific goal in mind, I hardly stop to breathe until I have accomplished my mission. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired, sick, or downright exhausted – I continue until I’ve reached the goal.
For the past couple of weeks I have studied hard to get my Swedish license. I attempted something that usually takes months (sometimes even a year or two depending on peoples’ previous experience and schedule) and tried to finish it within a couple of weeks.
15 driving lessons in 5 days, written test in the middle of all that, and then a driving test at the end. The driving test was supposed to be today, but I never made it that far.
Last week I was so tired due to lack of sleep and breaks, but I kept going. After passing my written test (thank God), I tried to take it easy, but I was already so sick. I almost did not go to my driving lessons the next day, but I told myself I was so close.. SO. CLOSE. Just a little more effort, just a little more time. Two more days of driving lessons and it would be Saturday and I could sleep in.
But the dizziness and weakness overtook me, shortly followed by nausea. I still went to the lessons, but when I got home I’d instantly lay down and felt too sick to eat anything. I soon didn’t want to even consume water, and I continued on a downward spiral that, as far as I know, peaked a few days later (yesterday). The dizziness and nausea wouldn’t go away with sleep and in the end I was almost too weak and lightheaded to walk around and the tiniest bit of stress, whether it be physical or mental, would throw me back over the edge.
Sunday night Sabrina, who was visiting, took me to the emergency room an hour away, but they wouldn’t take me because I was not in intense pain. So the next day I went to the doctor, but they wouldn’t give me any medicine because they wanted to see how all of it progressed. Scary as hell when on top of barely being able to walk around your stomach feels like it was struck with a stomach virus.
This was yesterday. I did not eat all day, but I keep thanking God that I ate the day before. Here I am today hoping that I can find a slot for a driving test next week so all of my money and time don’t go down the drain.
But then the nausea starts coming back and I instantly catch myself and say, “Calm. Down.”
On today’s menu is some ginger tea (one of the best things to happen), blueberry soup, and some rice soup. I am crossing my fingers that if I am really careful, this will get better throughout the week. It was a mystery to the doctor – no inflammation, no internal bleeding – basically nothing that calls for emergency hospital treatment – but it is brutal, whatever it is, and I want to bet that it is a result of me completely ripping my body to shreds.
The point of this post?
If you need to, then slow. Down. We live in a stressful age and we compete with so many people – even with ourselves. There are strict deadlines to meet and obstacles to overcome, but please listen to your body. Many of us feel almost completely invulnerable, but it does catch up to us – sometimes slower and sometimes quicker.
For 30 things to start doing for yourself (including being more attentive to your stress level), click here.