“Your blog makes me feel bad about myself”

Anxiety truth who i am Mama Pyjama Blog

This is something I’ve heard several times over the last two years.  It’s never said with ill-intent, and it’s usually always followed with something like, “because you’re doing all this stuff and I’m just sitting at home watching the TV.” 

I won’t apologise for how my blog makes others feel…but I will say I’m not here to make you feel bad.  I want to motivate you and support you, but most importantly I’m here to share my life honestly with you.  Because honesty is important.  Because there’s not enough of it in the world.

So in case there are any misconceptions about my life – I’ll lay it all out for you to see.

I’ve always believed that there are 24 usable hours in every day.  I’m an achiever.  I am driven by a need to make things happen, to be great at what I do, to be leading the pack.  It’s how I’m programmed, and it’s tied up in my self-worth.  It can be a really awesome thing – I get stuff done, and most of the time I do it well… BUT, it can also be a truly destructive force in my life.

Three weeks ago I crashed and burned.

It was like everything was happening all at once.  Instead of having five or six colourful balls in the air to juggle, I felt like I had forty three flaming fire sticks….  Work pressures had mounted. My extended family were going through a significant period of pain and change.  My son’s health issues were growing.  I was trying to launch my new website which took crazy hours and was a huge learning curve.  Financial pressures were increasing just as I was launching myself into the world of e-commerce, and I was feeling quite dejected in general after several setbacks and lost opportunities over the last 6-12 months.  Put simply, the world was spinning around me with crazy speed and force, and I was standing in the middle feeling exhausted, undervalued, nervous, helpless, vulnerable, anxious, and well and truly out of my depth.  

I found myself sitting in my manager’s office, attempting to have a conversation about a resourcing issue I was having on my project.  It wasn’t a fun conversation, but it’s certainly not something I haven’t done before.  All of a sudden the room felt like it was on fire.  Hot.  HOT like I’d never felt a room feel before.  I could feel the colour filling my cheeks.  I took off my jacket.  My voice changed tone and I was talking really fast.  It was like I was in an inferno and the walls were closing in.  BAM.  I was having my first ever panic attack.  I’ve never felt so out of control in my whole life.  I walked out of the room and straight out the front door and found a park bench to sit at. 

I sat.  I breathed.  I wondered what the hell just happened.  Then I took myself back inside and kept on going.

I should have stopped.

The following week I got influenza.  The universe clearly wasn’t taking no for an answer on this one.  I was bedridden.  I am never bedridden.  I hate being still.  I find it virtually impossible to sit and do nothing.  I was so sick that I literally couldn’t even muster the energy to watch TV, yet I was sitting there with off-the-charts anxiety because I was ‘wasting time’.

I had to take 1.5 weeks off work.  The Sunday before I went back, my youngest was diagnosed with pneumonia.  That same week, my eldest nearly broke his foot.  It doesn’t stop.  But what can we do?

Well me?  I take a deep breath, and I keep going…because that’s who I am.

I’m still going to push myself and I’m still going to try everything in my power to ensure I’m living my life to its fullest potential but my dad, who’s a fellow ‘achiever’, had some good advice for me.  “It's about knowing when to get off the merry go round or change direction”. 

So I will continue to look for new directions, and I will be focusing more on speaking up, saying no, finding balance, supporting my health with supplements, asking for help, and finding ways to get more restful sleep to ensure I don’t reach breaking point again.  I'll also look at ways to slow down a little, and to manage my achievement anxieties a little better too...because if I didn’t, that'd just be stupid, right? 

So there it is.  My life’s not perfect.  I’m not super woman.  I do have a break point.  I do yell when I shouldn’t.  I do take it out on my family sometimes; in fact I completely lose my shiz sometimes.  I do watch reality tv (with a passion way disproportionate to the quality of the show).  I certainly don’t succeed at everything I do.  I do drink too much wine.  I am terrible at phonecalls with friends and family; I often miss texts or emails completely.  My house is an absolute bomb-zone, ‘cause something’s gotta give.  And last week I forgot to supply the grated cheese for all the kids making their own lunch wraps for my son’s 100 days of school celebration. 

I’m not here to make you feel bad.  I’m here to make myself feel better…because all this?  This is my passion.  I’m here to inspire you to find your passion too.  And I’m here to spread the honesty around the universe.  Life’s not perfect.  I’m not perfect.  You’re not perfect.  And that’s ok.  That’s exactly as it should be.