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Hello, My Name is Heather and I am a chronic stress, people pleasing, overcommitment addict

Hello, My Name is Heather and I am a chronically stressed, people pleasing, overcommitment addict.  I have been on a journey of self-discovery, recovery and healing for a while now but it seems like in more recent months, something has become unavoidable. I cannot keep going at the rate I am going and I am not going to be able to help anyone if I can’t help myself.

I have to stop, take inventory, say yes when I absolutely want to say yes and say no when I want to say no.  I have slowly been removing more and more commitments that were not feeling right to me and as I do, I already feel lighter and more free. I am decluttering my life on every level. My home is being decluttered and so is my life. Your home is a mirror of your life after all so how fitting is it that I am working on all of this at once.  It is amazing the things that come up as you start to remove the “stuff” from your home and your life that no longer suits you.

I am currently reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.  I am sure you have seen this popping up all over the place lately but it is a pretty life changing book. Some people have mentioned having trouble with the ideas in the book but I say that you need to make the core of it work for you if this is something you are drawn to.  The woman at the bookstore said to me, “She lost me when she said to thank your garbage,” but I don’t read it and take it that I am saying thanks garbage.  What I see is that all items in our homes and lives have a purpose, even if that purpose is to teach us that maybe that style or item is not really for us.  We honor the things we own and when it is time to get rid of them, just acknowledge what that item may have done for you. To me, this is much more meaningful than saying, “thanks garbage.”

The book says to give yourself about 6 months to get through the whole process and to sort your belongings by category instead of by room since we tend to keep things in each room of our house that could fit in each category and can’t really process how much we have until all items in one category are sitting together to be sorted. Keep what brings you joy. There is more to it than that but that is my short and sweet rundown.

Next, I have realized that I need to accept that it is time to take care of my health.  I have been dealing with various problems for years now and while some things are slowly getting better, there are other issues that do not seem to be improving.  My weight stays the same no matter how much I workout or eat well, I am fatigued and lacking energy, I can’t sleep well, I crave foods I know are not nourishing me, my hormonal cycle is off and full of symptoms I should not be having, my body aches, my mood often gets very dark and low….I could go on but you get the idea.

After years of studying and reading about health and nutrition and what this person and that person and yet another person says I should do, should eat, should not eat, should not do, I have come to the conclusion that I am going on a should diet. No more shoulds. I am sick of feeling like I am not doing anything right or like I need to feel guilt for eating what I eat or not eating what I don’t eat, for craving what I crave, for eating meat, for not wanting to eat meat, for not working out enough, for working out too much for my injuries, for wanting to change. The amount of shoulds out there is maddening.

I want to BE. I want to LIVE. I want a lifestyle that suits me as an individual with my own individual tastes and background and biology and physical abilities and limitations. I am no cookie cutter woman so why would I follow some cookie cutter diet or plan or program? How about what is right for me?

I decided to listen to my body and what is has been trying to tell me for years. I am going to gather the reliable & trustworthy information available to me and heal my adrenal system. I assume that “fried adrenals” is not a medical term but I am about 99% sure that my problems all stem from adrenal fatigue. I am making lifestyle changes, using food and supplements as my medicine, doing activities that feel good to me and don’t make my body wish I was back on the couch. I will use essential oils and relaxation techniques like EFT tapping and meditation. I will paint and be creative. I will take time for me. I will bring more into my life that brings me joy. I also know of local professionals I can go to if I need more help or support and will if I need it.

Some of my readings say that adrenal fatigue recovery often takes at least 3-6 months. The work I am doing on my home will take about 6 months. I am sensing a theme here.  In 6 months, it will be close to the end of January. I cannot wait to see what changes and progress I have made by then.

As for my business, I currently have zero commitments outside of my day job. Right now, I don’t have any regular clients or any workshops or events scheduled. I left a group of creativity coaches that did not feel right to me even though I love them all, I was not able to make the commitment to what they are working on. I was going to work on paintings and submit them to a local art show in Saratoga Springs and it never happened and you know what, I am totally okay with all of this. My bills are paid. I have a roof over my head and food in my kitchen. I have electricity and a car that gets me where I need to go. I am fine where I am. This is where my life is and it is enough. My business will grow and bloom as it is meant to and I can wait until it is ready, until I am ready. For now, I am taking care of me and trusting my gut instinct. I am painting and decluttering and decorating and sewing and creating. I am learning and reading and enjoying activities that bring me joy. I don’t need to keep committing and pushing myself and forcing myself to do all the activities that I should do. All that I need to do is be here for me and take care of myself.

As I take care of myself and heal, my ability to help others and create art will blossom and grow and so will my business. I don’t need to force it, I surrender and take the time for myself. This is where I am and I am enough.

I hope to keep painting and writing about my journey and plan to share it with you. Stay tuned.

1 thought on “Hello, My Name is Heather and I am a chronic stress, people pleasing, overcommitment addict”

  1. Hi Heather- I really appreciate you sharing your struggles and your journey. I see such a common theme with those of us who are overcommitted and stressed to the max- and seeing how it affects health and becomes a vicious cycle. I’m so glad you’re working to do what feels right, and going by the live happily MO. I hope you keep enjoying painting and crafting and relaxing! I’m looking forward to hearing more about your journey. -Jenn

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