This week has been trying. From Ginger's up all night party attitude (see last post for what's going on with her), to my own illness/doctors appointments/hospital trip....it's been long, exhausting, and just emotional.
Enter my need for comfort. Enter my need for warmth. Enter my need for Pumpkin Almond Waffles...my go to soul food.
Now this is exactly what my body needs. These waffles and a good night's sleep. Well, wait....did I tell you? Last night, Ginger slept!! In a bed--not her own bed, my bed, but hey I'll take it. And she slept All.Night.Long. Cue Lionel Richie please.....you're welcome for getting that song stuck in your head ;)
Seriously can we celebrate for a second....I got a full night's sleep!!!! I'm praying tonight will go just as well. I feel like I've been living in a real life version of Goldilocks & the Three Bears. We've tried sleeping on three different couches and two different beds in order to find the one which is juuuuust right. Fingers crossed this bed is the winner. I'll keep y'all updated for sure. In Ginger's world, it is always an adventure :)
As for my medical world, well, that's always an adventure too. So, for the past two weeks, I've been splitting my time at my day job in two different places. I'm working my usual job and learning a new one, to fill in while some people take upcoming vacations. Well, I was so excited when I was asked to learn this new job. I'm always down for learning & increasing my own skills, especially when it's something I truly love to do.
However, from the first time I walked into that department, my body (and my universe) really began acting funny. And by funny, I mean allergic and malfunctioning. By the time I left from my first day training, I was in a full blown allergy attack--sneezing, watery eyes, and itchy ears. And before I even got into work on that day, my car--my super reliable, always running, old faithful--did not start??? Yeah, I just felt it was a fluke, so I just kept on doing my thing.
By day two's end, my eyes were almost swollen shut. Okay, definitely NOT a fluke. Something was going on...but I didn't want to see it (no pun intended).
Enter this week and more training in the different department. First day, I experienced the same swollen eyes which plagued me the week previous. For my second day; however, things got a bit more serious. I woke up the morning after my second day in that department unable to get a deep breath. It was so scary. As I've alluded to before, I've experienced debilitating panic attacks, and I would get short of breath during those attacks; but, this time felt so different. I knew it was different.
Luckily, I had a doctor's appointment the same morning; and, as soon as I got there, I was sent to the hospital for a chest X-ray and all kinds of allergy & breathing tests. I hadn't experienced any of that before, so I was scared....but what was interesting was I felt more scared to have to tell my bosses I was having health issues and might not be able to fulfill the duties they wanted me to.
Enter my people pleasing nature which has clouded all my life, career, and personal decisions. In fact, pleasing others has even overruled the relationship I have had with myself.
Yeah, that's a heavy realization for me to admit. I can't believe I actually said it out loud. But, the only way to change how I've been living is to bring light to it and learn a new way at the same time. And encourage my moving through this discomfort of changing my ways by eating waffles....tons and tons of waffles.
And a little comfort food (done in moderation of course) is good for the soul. It's good for the psyche. And heck, let's just admit, comfort food, in the form of these waffles, is just good.
But enough about these waffles (for now), let's move back to people pleasing. Because so many of us do it. The actions we take may look different, but the end result is the same--we don't want to disappoint someone else. And I certainly don't like disappointing anyone. Especially my parents; and in this case, especially my boss.
But, as I took multiple breathing tests, chest X-rays, and blood draws this week, I asked myself was the fear of telling someone "no" really worth THIS much? Was it really worth having my health compromised THIS much? And, how many times have I compromised my health in smaller, more subtle ways which have brought me to this moment?
Too many to count. And despite all the evidence I could point to, I still debated about my decision.
So, as I walked out of the hospital, my plastic bracelet still adorning my wrist, I was petrified to tell my boss. But, I also knew until I began standing up for me, I'd continue to repeat these people pleasing situations, albeit in different forms. And the next time I could see that pattern, things might not work out quite as well as they have this time. My decision now was clear.
And by clear, I still had to talk it over with a few coworkers to get their perspective, even their permission, to move forward with telling my boss. And when he got there, I told him. And you know? It was awkward. My voice was shaky and timid. My delivery was quite childlike. But, I did it. The longer I spoke, my voice became more "adult". I spoke clearer. My voice got louder. The tone I used came back down to my normal range. I spoke from my heart, sharing my fear of disappointing him and then having him be mad at me.
And he understood. In fact, he was super concerned WHY I didn't come to him when I first started having physical reactions. And he thanked me for telling him the truth. I mean, who knew telling the truth would feel so good? I'm used to creating elaborate stories, blaming others, and always running around stressed trying to remember what I'd told people. And when I spoke my truth, I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders. I was removed from the department which was causing so many physical problems. Which was exactly what my heart & soul needed--even if it wasn't what my ego exactly wanted.
Now, I ask you:
Are you a people pleaser?
Are you sacrificing yourself for someone else?
And is it starting to affect your health?
What do you really want to do?
Is your truth in alignment with your current actions?
If yes, great!
If no, then how can you realign to yourself & put yourself first?
Even if your voice shakes, and is high pitched.....maybe even kid like, speak up. The mere act of speaking up begins to raise your confidence; helps you stand in your truth; and, allows the chance for a genuine connection between you and the other person.
And each time you make these waffles, you get the chance to remember that moment where you stood up for you. Now THAT moment is always worth celebrating.
adapted from Nutrition Stripped