“The bad news is, there’s nothing wrong with you”

That’s what the doctor told me last week. I have mentioned in passing, perhaps, that I have been feeling unmotivated lately (as in a few months now), but did not mention that I have been feeling sick. Like, picking up every virus that sweeps through the office, or at least feeling like I constantly got a virus. Low energy, headaches. Then over the last two weeks, it became BAD headaches, which prompted me to decline the previously mentioned promotion and also sent me to the doctor to run EVERY POSSIBLE TEST in order to figure out what’s wrong. Because if something’s wrong, Ms. Fix-it has to fix it, immediately and effectively, with best possible result and greatest possible ROI.

Except nothing is wrong. All the blood tests show that all my hormones, markers, vitamins and whatnot are in healthy range. My thyroid and various blood cells are doing what they are supposed to. I even had an MRI of the brain, for christsakes! It looks good, apparently. I have a good-looking brain.

So you know what that means? It’s the stress. Which means I have to change my life.

Except it’s not that easy, Mr. General Practitioner and Mrs. General Practitioner and the radiologist dude! Meditation won’t cut it when you spend your day running like a madwoman from meeting to meeting, answering emails on the fly, and then having to deal with twenty-some staff, most of which are in different stages of discontent themselves. And no, I don’t think I’m cut out for the life as a masseuse, unless I could be guaranteed a job for the local football team, then maybe, yes. Actually, I would do that for free.

So instead, I am going to try a new therapy, IDGAF. Yes, it stands for not giving a fox about much. My biggest decision has been not to give a fox about the promotion. Because what good is climbing up higher if my head hurts so much that I can’t see straight? This is unbelievably big deal for me, because the first half of my life was spent as an overachiever, so taking it down a notch to just “achiever” feels wrong.

Interestingly, the next bit applied to my artwork. I have shared my portraits previously, all overworked, with great attention to detail, the desire to achieve perfection showing yet never satisfied. Instead, I decided to try my own brand of “perfectionist therapy” and just went at my dining room walls with this:

Dining room

The perfectionist in me will still continue, until it looks more like what I had in my head, but at least I’m not scared or bothered by it, and I keep experimenting and making mistakes. My husband is worried, but every time he asks what I’m doing and where this is going, or makes a smartass comment about the house value, I laugh uproariously and slap more paint on. Because IDGAF about the walls.

The good news is that my head is not hurting right now. The real test will be whether or not it will start again when everyone is back from holidays and the expectations mount faster than a snowball. So I must practice diligently. I went to the gym today at lunch and did not hurry to get back, because, honestly, it did not matter. Tonight’s plan is more paint on the walls, while drinking wine and eating ice cream. Tomorrow is Friday and I will TGIF while NGAF. Next week is New Year, and well, no prizes for guessing what my resolution will be!

Time will tell what happens. For now, I’m just glad not to have a headache.

25 Comments

Filed under General thoughts, Shizzle, Inc.

25 responses to ““The bad news is, there’s nothing wrong with you”

  1. I give you credit for realizing stress is a problem. I have friends who will not consider that as a possibility even though it obviously could be.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hope everything eases up for you. Love the walls!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the walls too, and can almost see where you are going with it. Creative pursuits are brilliant for stress, but some of the stuff that caused it should be pared down a little. To achieve this, sometimes you will need a gun to get rid of some major headache creators, but all joking aside, we have to destress before it starts to kill us…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Deb

    Hi Ana- I think you are going about this very well. I happened to hear this amazing woman at the MA Conference for Women who was diagnosed with MS and told she had to reduce stress or it would exacerbate the symptoms and kill her faster. She is into conscious minimalism to reduce stress. Her website is https://bemorewithless.com/project-333/. Thought you might find her thoughts a useful aid in your quest.
    Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope your method for reducing stress works. It’s difficult to change if you’re driven and a worrier, but we can work on changing our priorities, that’s for sure. Best of luck, Ana (and I also love the walls)! To a less stressful 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The jobs I have most enjoyed in between unsuccessful careers have been just working on the floor with others, working with customers and passengers doing the run of the mill stuff, not taking all the responsibility. I did once find myself as a ‘team leader’ of two people and motivating Kevin the cleaner proved an impossible task! Writing doesn’t earn a living, but you can write about life without the stress of taking part in it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I have a couple of Kevins, I know what you mean! My biggest problem is that I’m intrinsically an overachiever, so I constantly need to do bigger and better. It’s not that easy to upload different software to the middle aged brain:-) have to learn new tricks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Stress can do horrible things to our bodies. I’ll be cheering your decision on from my end of the world! Some things really, when you look at the big and long term picture, just aren’t worth the bother. It will be hard to break the habit – I know because I have it too – but I know you’ll be happier and healthier when you do. ❤️😊

    I love the walls as well! 🎨

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Pearl! I didn’t expect it, I’ve been this way for 45 years and any time I ever felt like this before, I “dealt” with it by getting a different job or another degree, the excitement masked the effects. But not anymore

      Like

  8. hmmm, those walls look suspiciously like the walls i painted in my little toilet room one time, except i added a couple trunks and errant limbs…and i think something else, but can’t remember. i sure felt better tho and didn’t mind “going to the toilet” so much anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope you feel better soon and are able to follow through on your resolution. Let us know if that works. Perhaps we will follow too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I have not had any headaches in several days, even though I went to work. The pace was slower, the real test will start in a week or two, when it’s back to normal. If you are under stress, please consider doing something about it well before you get sick!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. nick

    Just sending you a hug… I had stomach cramps almost every day for 3 years and during this time had investigative cameras inserted in all orifices … in the end a course of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) cured the pain … but that did take a further year … there’s not always a quick fix available when the ‘grey matter’ is involved (we are often our worst enemies) but treatment does help … good luck … … one thing that also helped me was accepting that the “type of brain” I had which appeared to be subconsciously torturing me was the “type of brain” I needed to write … Stephen Fry talks about rejecting the option of living without both Angels and Demons – it was more about his bipolar disorder (and I recognise this is a serious and physical/chemical imbalance condition) but there are parallels which can be used to help with acceptance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, thank you for sharing, Nick. Three years of pain…I don’t know how you’ve managed. I haven’t had a headache in two weeks and determined not to let it happen again, but funny you talk about the type of brain – mine now wants to resurrect a business idea from a couple of years ago. It just won’t be still or content…

      Like

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