If you were following me on twitter this week, you saw the emotional rollercoaster I was on. Tuesday was a very low point for me, perhaps the lowest I’ve been since my divorce. I was coming up to a very important work deadline (that happened today) and at the crisis point of “It’s not going to happen!”
I knew October would be busy, but the exact number of “top priority” assignments that happened turned into way too many twelve and fourteen hour days, weekend hours, high stress levels, and very little acknowledgement of just how hard I worked to make it all possible. My boss has said repeatedly he believes in having 5 “number 1 priority” assignments and being able to handle it – its part of how he manages. Well, that culminated to Tuesday, partially.
What else happened Tuesday, because I kept it off twitter, was the BF and I were having an argument. A really, really bad one. I was at work, so it all happened in angry texts (never EVER smart) and things were said out of anger and not clarified for hours.
Even in my crappy marriage, I’ve never fought quite like this. To some that might be surprising, but I think, when you are really in it, it means more to you and you’re willing to fight harder for it.
The text that refocused me was this one:
I am sick of your job spilling over and I pay for it with you being crabby with me.
Ouch. I completely deserved that. My mentor frequently tells me that I need to get a handle on my stress. I need to learn to deal with it in a healthy way.
The thing is, I have almost zero healthy ways of dealing with stress. All I do is internalize it until I explode, like I did Tuesday night, into a pile of tears. And wait for it to happen again. It eats at me. I blame myself. I miss sleep. I skip meals. I stop worrying about my appearance. I’m way to focused on “making it better” when all I do is run around like a mad woman, not realizing I’m the problem, not the rest of the world.
For years I’ve struggled with “boundaries” on what is in my control vs what I think is in my control. Growing up, you just didn’t make mistakes. Every mistake was considered “on purpose” and was therefore punishable. It didn’t matter if you forgot or simply didn’t know. You should have remembered or been smart enough to figure it out. In a way, it turned my sister and I into over-achieving machines. We both had straight A’s until college where, if we got a B or B+, we cried over every test and quiz result. I have few fun stories from college because I spent so many hours studying and doing homework and working. I double majored in two degrees with ZERO overlapping credits while working part time and still managed to graduate in four years with a 3.89 GPA.
My career has been no different. If I’m not promoted at least every 18 months, I feel there’s something wrong. If I’m not meeting every deadline and exceeding every expectation, there’s something wrong.
That’s not a bad goal to have, is it? My parents certainly don’t think so. But then again, let’s review my personal life. I don’t exercise. I barely sleep well. I have frequent neck/head aches. I take stress home and turn on those closest to me. My life is backwards!
Tuesday night, he apologized. Then I apologized. And then I admitted something that is so hard to say: I need help. I don’t know how to ask for it most of the time, but I’m going to try. I’m going to be vulnerable to him. I’m going to admit I can’t do it all and I’m going to try and be open about how bad I am feeling right now.
Like the amazing, incredible man he is, he just held me and said OK. He helped me find words I needed to say, mostly by repeating, “Tell me. Just say it.”
Tuesday night, I remembered to tell myself that: I’m human. Dropping the ball and not juggling all top 5 or 8 priorities is not a requirement. I will be OK.
Wednesday I approached work with a “Let’s see how it goes and if its late, oh well” approach. Amazingly, more came together that day than the prior days. Accepting my limits helped me be a more stable and capable worker.
After being fingered to orgasm three times then fucked for at least 10 minutes with legs in all sorts of positions, I feel asleep reflecting on how giving up my insane need to juggle it all actually made me happy and productive. I realized what I needed: more self-acceptance and I needed to make time for myself.
|Source: Wikimedia Commons|
Then I remembered what Kendra Holliday tweeted earlier about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Your goal should be to reach the tip! The only way to do that is be authentic & think for yourself. Ditch the shame!
Fuck. In Maslow’s hierarchy, I was living in “Safety” and flirting with Love/Belonging. At work I had Esteem, but I was nowhere near close to the top. I needed more.
I have a spare room that contains rubbermaid bins and an exercise bike. A dusty, exercise bike. Also, a yoga mat I’ve never used. The walls are all white. I never go in there. But what if I cleared out the bins and bought some paint? What if I bought a giant pillow for sitting on while I do some calming meditation? What if I painted half the room day and the other half night in a beautiful outdoor setting? What if the theme and purpose of that room was: peace. self-awareness. self-love.
What if I actually made myself a priority and put myself ahead of work — only to discover what others have told me will happen –– so I can be truly successful as myself in all aspects of life?
I’m going to give it a try.