This time I did not listen to my body until my body screamed at me. When I look back on the last several months, my anxiety was increasing. It seemed to have happened so gradually. I let my stress and anxiety over my work take over everything.
It came to a head when I had a severe colitis attack over a weekend. It began on a Friday afternoon where I could barely leave work for fear of not having a bathroom nearby. It settled down Saturday, but Sunday left me weak and on the couch. My body told me to rest. I did not take a sick day. I worked from home that day. Thankfully I had gotten an appointment to get in to see my primary care doctor the following morning.
My anxiety was unmanageable. We increased my medication dosage, and we spoke at length about what had caused this anxiety. I was strongly encouraged to find another job as soon as possible since my anxiety was exacerbated by the stress I was under at work. I had scheduled an appointment with my therapist for the following week. I had initially thought about asking for paperwork to take a medical leave of absence from work to get my anxiety under control. After I had spoken with my doctor, I felt validated. I did not think that it would be necessary to get this paperwork.
I was already actively looking for a new job. I felt hopeful leaving this appointment. I left my appointment, and I went directly into the office. I spent the next three days working with no break for 10 plus hours to finalize procedure updates. I had to text my husband and call in favors from child care. I did not set the expectation about what time I needed to leave the office, so my boundary wasn’t respected. I still felt weak and extremely tired. I finished the week on adrenaline and caffeine.
Now that I am no longer in my position, I see how much of a physical toll the stress took on me. I finally feel rested. I lost weight. My colitis flare subsided about a week after I left. I feel lighter. I’m tending to my whole self – mind, body, and soul.