Tag Archives: counseling

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!

http://www.cherylrichardson.com/store/the-art-of-extreme-self-care/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdcgoMWTruk