Hi, I’m the Kindness Junkie! In order to understand who I am now, you have to understand who I was.
I was raised just like many of you…to get good grades, go to college, graduate with a high-paying job, climb the corporate ladder, get married, buy a house, have kids….and, viola, you will have achieved the American Dream!
Well, I did all that and yet kept wondering what my purpose was…why was I here in this world? I felt lost and confused. My job was earning me money to afford:
- Nice clothes
- A nice car
- A nice house
- Retirement savings
And yet I felt unsatisfied inside. I couldn’t even recognize my own soul and what it was trying to say to me. I didn’t know what to do about it. Let’s face it, the “golden handcuffs” of a great paycheck always keep you stuck in a job long after the thrill is gone!
Needing more, I eventually transferred my skills to what I thought would be a more meaningful position in academia. Unfortunately, I discovered the daily demand and bureaucratic red tape was just as intense, if not more so, than at my corporate job.
MY BODY WAS TELLING ME SOMETHING
I began to get very sick. Pretty soon I was missing countless days of work, falling asleep in meetings and in my car at lunch time (I had never been a napper). I was unable to even recall how to use spread sheets I’d helped design! And then the bottom dropped out.
One day I woke up and was barely able to move. Do you know that feeling that you get when you have the flu?
- Crushing fatigue
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands
- Fever and chills
- Joints that felt frozen
- Body aches so bad it hurts to even be hugged lightly
- Impaired mental function
I figured it was the flu – or mono – and it would pass in time. I was wrong.
Imagine living with that pain, day after day, with no end in sight. After six months on short-term disability, I was told I would need to apply for long-term disability and social security…that my job was no longer being held for me. I was CRUSHED as well as TERRIFIED! I still didn’t have a solid diagnosis and therefore, hadn’t been able to receive treatment to “get better,” as I assumed would eventually happen.
LOSS OF HOPE
I was told I had a chronic illness and the only thing the doctors could do was help me ease the multitude of symptoms. I was given countless drugs to stay awake, others to “get good rest”, still others to ease the muscle and joint pain, the migraines and on and on. Many of the drugs caused side effects worse than my original symptoms.
I was living (if you could call it that) in a drugged state with little relief for four years. The formerly gregarious, happy (snorts when she laughs), intelligent, physically active woman was gone and only a shell was left. I began to feel like I had no will to go on. I wondered whether I’d ever be able to work again, let alone socialize or find the love of my life. What did I have to offer the world anymore? Who would love me like this?
I’d love to hear if YOU have ever experienced anything like this. Please leave a comment below. If you know someone who has suffered from a similar situation, please share it!