It turns out I’m not Superwoman.
I know, I was surprised too!
It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper update, so let me catch you up.
I hate this time of year.
I find Christmas an expensive, stressful hassle that has no real meaning for me (I’m not religious). My husband and I thought we would simplify things this year by going away, just the two of us, for five days over Christmas but it has turned out to be even more stressful because we have to squeeze in all of our family obligations before we leave.
I applied for what I thought would be my dream job a little while ago.
At the time of writing, I’m waiting to hear whether or not they’re going to offer it to me and I’ve reached a point where I genuinely won’t mind if they don’t. They had some serious doubts about me, which I think may have been more about the person who was in the role previously than about me personally. Through the selection criteria, three interviews and a written response to some issues raised by one of my referees, I’ve just tried to be honest with them and if they don’t think I’m the right fit for the team, then I’m probably better off not trying to force something that wouldn’t work.
My back and hip pain was vastly improved after visiting the musculo-skeletal specialist.
I was doing my exercises every day and feeling much better and then, on Wednesday night, I was at a meeting for a community group I’m involved in and my calves started getting sore. Then my hips started feeling tight. And by the time I got home I was in almost unbearable pain which didn’t improve by Thursday morning.
So I went back to the specialist yesterday and he poked around and gave me some new exercises and that was all fine. And at the end of the appointment I asked him if stress could have anything to do with making the pain worse and his answer was predictable. Absolutely. He said stress is like a hot wind to a fire – it doesn’t start the pain, but it can sure as hell make it a lot worse.
I had my third interview for the above-mentioned job on Wednesday last week and I know they spoke to my current boss (who was NOT the referee who raised the concerns they asked me to respond to) last Thursday afternoon. So starting Friday I was expecting a phone call with news. When it didn’t come I spent the entire weekend feeling pretty anxious, which worsened over Monday and Tuesday.
By Wednesday morning I was planning to call them if they hadn’t called me – the recruiter only works two days a week so I hadn’t wanted to push her. And then I got the phone call outlining the faults a previous boss had raised and asking me to respond to them. It wasn’t much fun, I can tell you. There may have been some tears when I called my husband to tell him about it.
So it really shouldn’t be surprising that I was in so much pain by Wednesday night.
My body has always reacted badly to stress. At a particularly stressful time in my life a few years ago I went to the GP one morning with an earache that had kept me up all night and got sent straight to the emergency room. I wound up in hospital for a week having IV antibiotics pumped into me to try and kill off an ear infection.
Yesterday after my appointment I went home to a warm epsom salts bath and spent a bit of time chilling in my library. I even downloaded some relaxation music (piano only, I’m not a big fan of bird sounds or pan flutes) and closed my eyes while listening to that for a while.
But unfortunately it was back to work today. All I wanted this morning was to stay in bed with the covers pulled over my head. For a week.
I have Christmas drinks at my mum’s tonight, my best friend’s birthday drinks tomorrow and Christmas lunch at my dad’s followed by Christmas drinks with other friends on Sunday. Each of those things would be fine on their own, but all four rolled into one is a bit much for a single weekend.
All this has got me thinking about my body and my mind and how much stress I have in my life. The funny thing is, I feel like I have far less stress than a lot of the people I see around me, but I don’t seem to be able to handle it as well. I get anxious a lot more easily and clearly my body has some serious problems dealing with stress.
But it feels like it would be weak of me to say that I need to cut back on things in my life, because compared to so many people, even some close to me, I have it so easy. And being judged as weak is something I’m not sure I could bear.
So am I willing to just maintain the status quo until the next time stress causes my body to erupt? Not really, but finding a solution won’t be easy and requires some serious thought.