I’ll get to the main part, but first I want to say . . .
Something big is coming
I have had this revelation and I will tell you a little more later but first …
On December 12th 2013, I went on holiday from my office job over the Christmas break. As I walked out of the office, I felt defeated and broken. My boss could be appreciative and generous but she could also be disrespectful and downright rude. I was good at my job as executive assistant to one of the country’s top real estate agents and I had battled difficult bosses before but this one trumped them all. Emotionally I was fragile and physically I was a wreck – RSI in my shoulder and down my arm, daily migraines and a painful, rigid neck. When I look back I don’t know how I got up each morning, always with a headache, at 6.15am and got ready to face the onslaught – day after day. I don’t know what I thought would change. Despite having a civil and in-depth discussion with my boss twice about her behaviour, any promises to change were short lived. She was an angry woman with everyone, including her mother, who worked with her and who never retaliated no matter how devastating the attack. That was just as hard to witness as her occasional, bizarre and unwarranted tirades at me.
The Zombie Stare
I went home that day and sat for the next week staring into space like a zombie. Not because I wanted to think, but because I wanted to zone out. I got good at emptying my head of thoughts because any thoughts that entered were painful. I realize now that I was probably doing a form of meditation. Eventually it dawned on me that I couldn’t go back. When you are in the middle of a hideous situation, it’s very hard to step back and see the big picture, to see the light. You stumble from one day to the next, barely getting the time to take a breath. My job was hideously busy, I had a family and I had a successful blog I needed to upkeep for the sake of my followers. So, there was no time to assess what had happened to my life.
But then suddenly I had the time – her final big mistake was to give me the time to chill out and gradually start thinking like a normal rational human being.
So I sent her an email resigning and kicked THE PLAN into action. THE PLAN is how I bought myself 4 months of freedom. You can read all about how I did that in another blog I started in January 2014 to document my progress as my own boss. The blog is www.the-changing.com and the blog post is HERE.
January 13th last year would have been the day I would have returned to that job had not my brain finally kicked into gear and saved me. A full year has passed and so much has changed.
Have a look at my short video (less than 2 minutes) to get glimpses of my 2014. Life couldn’t be better but that period taught me something about suffering in silence and feeling alone.
I didn’t know how to express what I was going through without sounding like I was whining about a job which paid me very well. And I am not naturally a whinger. I had spent a lifetime not whinging about my IBS so I was well-versed in the art of stoicism. It was only once I found the solution to my IBS symptoms that I started to talk about it publicly on my blog. And that has brought together an extraordinary community of fellow IBS sufferers – all of you. There are over 5,000 of you who follow Strands of My Life, and so I have been doing some thinking – the New Year does that to you, makes you reflect.
I was sitting on the sand at the beach yesterday, staring at all the happy swimmers and thinking about some of the recent emails I have had from new subscribers who I have asked to tell me their story, and it suddenly occurred to me what I needed to do. And it was so obvious! My story with IBS, my story with my unpleasant boss, my story with my father’s illness and death….
I Might Have Mentioned That Something Big Is Coming. Here’s a Small Hint . . .
Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.
What IBS sufferers need the most ….
It has nothing to do with meditation or medication or even having enough knowledge. It’s doesn’t even have that much to do with the low Fodmap diet.
It’s much bigger and more obvious than that.
The #1 thing you need is . . . (stay tuned until next time).
I know that’s mean but I am still formulating it all in my own mind. However, I promise that you will be the first to know.
I would love you to tell me in the comments or by email when you have felt alone and without support.