What Led Me Down This Path…

The universe blessed me with the unique opportunity to stay home with my children

for the first ten years of their lives. I then entered into a very fast-paced and

highly demanding Education career as a high school teacher and then counselor of

300 students. After four years keeping up with the pace of life and trying to be

a wonderful mother as well I hit burnout. A severe pain bloomed in the heart

region of my chest and my body was in severe pain; so severe I needed my

helpful little girl to pull me out of bed as I winced with pain. Breathing was a

chore and I felt like for many months I was swimming through quicksand just

simply surviving. I was the type of counselor who was always accessible to

everyone else; as many of us women, mothers, grandmothers are. I would

skip lunch or eat my lukewarm bites while meeting with students or trying

to wade through the hundreds of unread emails that sat stale in my inbox.

I rarely made it to the bathroom without nearly peeing in my pants or

cramping up from holding it so long. I never took breaks from the moment

I woke up; 6am until 9:30 10:00pm when I finally felt I had done as much

work, mothering and wifery as I could possibly manage. At which time I

would sit with my husband and choke down some chips, two glasses of red

wine, and half a pint of chocolate peanut butter Haagen Daaz. Then I would

half stagger up the stairs to bed, burping up the sour decadent shame as I bent

down to pick up the balled socks that lay lifeless on the floor. I threw them into

the ever growing pile of stanky laundry that taunted me each day as I passed.

With close to $30 in late fees at the local library, I walked in shamefully, paid the

fees and picked up an audiobook I had put on hold, by author Cheryl Richardson

called “The Art of Extreme Self Care”. The next morning, after struggling to

wake up and shovel through the cement I called life, I got in my car and slid

disk one of the audiobook into my CD player. I then began my 20 minute

commute to work. By the third day I had listened to the entire audiobook and

each one of those days I put her instructions into practice in some miniscule way.

The first day: I ate my lunch in the staffroom, instead of scarfing it down in my

office while multi-tasking. It was only 10 minutes-but there was no one else there

and it was pure, unadulterated bliss! Afterwards I felt like a new, refreshed,

pretty little package that could take on the world. As I walked back to my office,

my husbands words rang through my mind-“Emily, did you know that prisoners

take breaks?” I started to realize that I was really self destructive and abusive

to myself. My days and nights were spent nurturing others and I had become

an invisible shell that was kicked into the dust for years. I went home and had

a long, severely hot bubble-bath; the candles I lit were the only flickering light

and I submerged myself under the lavender bliss, blocking out the demands

of my chaotic life. Silence…………………………………………………………………………….


I exited that bathroom a refreshed, self-loving woman who was ready to

take life by the balls. I had accomplished the impossible; and done two

things in one day JUST for ME!




4 thoughts on “What Led Me Down This Path…

  1. please take care of yourself everyday my darling !

    i adore you
    you are important
    you are my treasured friend

    i need you to be well so that we can grow old together
    retirement bored without you will surely make me insane
    so you better be well and ready for tonnes of fun!!


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