Preparing to Retire

For those of you who are my close friends reading this, I'm sure the title probably shocked you. It still shocks me too. I decided to write this post for myself to heal and to share with you what I've been going through for the past couple of months. I thought it was time to be transparent because it's not healthy keeping this to myself anymore. And, I will try to keep these entries (Part 1 and 2) as positive as possible and keep any sad parts to a minimal.

I'll start off by saying that I've been quietly and silently near the breaking point. It began about 2 to 3 months ago. I am not diagnosing myself, however, the truth smacked me in the face recently and I couldn't ignore it anymore. I was about to have a nervous breakdown and about a couple of weeks ago I suffered a severe meltdown. The anxiety was the worst I've ever felt. My chest hurt, my heart rate was off the charts, I couldn't focus or speak correctly. I wasn't able to form complete sentences and my whole body was shaken. It scared me. And, after what I've been through, I can understand how stressful situations can cause heart attacks. I also haven't been able to sleep and spent many nights up till after 3 AM.

I always thought of myself as a tough chick.

This is difficult to admit because I've always thought of myself as a tough chick. I've been a fiercely independent woman for years. But, the reality is... none of us are tough until we realize we're weak and need God. I even hid my condition from my husband but it became harder and harder to mask. The demands coming from my day job coupled with personal problems, running a business with and trying to be supportive to hubby, ministering to friends, and of course making time for my crafting and running the blog was burying and literally sucking the life out of me. I've talked about my dream career in another blog post and in my thoughts, I keep wondering if it is possible, being that I'm not in a position financially to retire. So, that also contributed to my down sliding into severe anxiety.

When you can do what you love whether it be career, volunteer work, or family life, it makes a difference. But, when you're not happy at what you do, it adds undue stress. And, you can only handle so much before you end up exploding. As I'm not young anymore, I realize that I don't want a demanding and stressful job. I want to take my time and work at a slower pace. I want to create full time. I want to be on my own schedule, no longer tied to my computer, email, and phone.

A BIG Kudos to my Hubby who has been so sweet to me realizing just how serious this situation is and came up with a plan that this time next year he wants me to retire unless a miracle happens before then. I'm not sure I have it in me for another year working 2 and 3 jobs, but The Lord knows that. He knows we need a breakthrough. In the meantime, I will be making some drastic changes in how I take care of my mental health. It is so important to not ignore emotional care which I think most of us women do. We wear so many hats and we're doing several jobs at the same time all while trying to keep up our looks, weight, and attitude. It's really too much. And, we have to be honest with ourselves and find ways to minimize these extra responsibilities.

Talk to someone you can trust. Don't keep silent when you're in trouble.

If there's one lesson I've learned from this it is to not continue pushing myself thinking I'm alright when I'm not and then not talking about it with my husband. I kept telling myself that he has so much on his plate trying to run our business to increase our income and I didn't want to put more on him. That was stupid pride! No one can read my mind and I should have spoken up sooner to him that I was in trouble and taken more time off.

My piece of advice if you or someone you know is dealing with severe stress is talk to someone you can trust that will help. A prayer partner is key. Getting away and spending some time with friends is also good. For me, I am also glad I have this blog as my outlet because it feels good to write about this and frees me that I don't have to hide it and pretend I'm alright anymore. So, don't you neglect your mental health my friend, it is very important and right up there with your physical.

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