First published on www.lifegrid.com.au on 17/11/2016
Imagine the most stressful, complex situation you’ve ever faced … and then multiply it by 1,000. That’s what every second of every day was like for me.
I was a sugar addict and I lived my life fuelled by adrenalin and cortisol. I spent all my time running around after everyone else, making sure everyone was okay and had everything they needed and, like every great perfectionist, I completely trivialised the impact of stress and exhaustion.
Despite my ability to mask it from those around me, my body and my mind were under such significant strain that they had no option but to collapse – dropping me from such a height, and with such force, that I was unable to get back up again. When your world collapses you are thrust into a deep and dark place where confusion is the only constant.
If you can, imagine a situation where you look around yourself … but nothing is familiar. Where you look at yourself in a mirror … and see a stranger. Where you ask your mind to find you a solution … but your intelligence fails to provide you with any answers.
Then you might understand a small portion of what it is like to experience a total breakdown. Perhaps the worst part of this scenario is not being able to communicate what is happening to you, because you don’t understand it yourself.
I can tell you that when you are in a million pieces, on the floor and unable to stop crying, it is very difficult to work out which way to turn and what you need to do to move forward. Time is suddenly suspended – everything you had planned, every project you were undertaking, everything you were doing for someone else is unexpectedly gone. Your whole reason for being drops out from underneath you.
Suddenly, you have nowhere to go, nothing to do and no one depending on you – simply because you can’t process anything or deliver anything to anyone. Every ball you are juggling falls to the ground and you can’t pick any of them up. You can no longer compete in the ‘busy-off’ you were previously engaged in and everything around you looks and feels unfamiliar.
In the blink of an eye, the only things you can cope with are the basic tenets of life – things like simple food, fresh air and lots and lots of space.
If I learned one thing from experiencing a traumatic event, it is this: we do not have to suffer to be successful.
Our lives do not have to be a slog until we retire, and the societal belief that we have to have a traumatic event in our lives before we can change is one of the biggest furphies of modern life.
From personal experience I can tell you that it is a long, hard and painful climb back to a ‘normal’ life after a traumatic event. It is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.
The bright side? Well, I now know that change can be so easy when we’re taught how.
I am living proof that the most important part of living a stress-free and simple life is learning to take small steps towards things you want. I no longer subscribe to the lifestyle that says that success can only be achieved by living life in overwhelm with adrenalin and cortisol driving every decision. I’m positive that this only ensures a fast track to a guaranteed early death.
Having been forced to rebuild my life from the ground up, I have learned that it is always my choices that determine how I live. I chose to redefine ‘success’ as ensuring my number one focus is on making sure that I have the things in my life that re-energise me every day.
Instead of eating loads of sugar-laden chocolate, I now deliberately and consciously choose to make sure I have chocolate for my soul.
Every day is dedicated to showing people there’s a very different way to live and to sharing my work with the world.
Want more info? There are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy. Follow my social links.
Want to chat? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!