My energy began to run down in my late 30’s.
Most people have no idea about their energy levels until they drop to a level of malfunction. I was drifting downhill for years, unaware that my energy was gradually decreasing. Many people think that my energy problems started in 2007 with the brain tumour but it goes back to years earlier. My energy began to run down in my late 30’s.Thinking back my lifestyle was pretty shocking. I thought I was bullet proof of course! I rationalised all my bodily cries for help…I was a successful corporate executive, an introvert trying to prove myself in a very extrovert job, working very long hours and discounting sleep as a waste of time. I ate on the run – anything that was quick or gave me a high or seemed like a treat to keep me going. I was stressed but my biggest problem was that I had a very strong will – which meant that I was able to over-ride physical pain and tiredness…for years. I would not admit that I couldn’t cope. I was totally unaware that my energy was reaching rock bottom.
Most people would have noticed the symptoms…I didn’t want to see them. I was constantly at the doctors. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, constant reflux from a Hiatus Hernia, multiple food allergies and was pre-diabetic. I often felt exhausted and my weight had soared. I compounded all this by having fertility treatment for several years (with no result) which filled me with hormones that are now on the dangerous drug list.
So when I reached 40, I left corporate life to set up my own business and moved to the country with my husband. We wanted a better life. I worked even harder; I became sicker. I loved the land but had no time to enjoy it. We took expensive holidays overseas in 5 star resorts to ‘have a break’ and we ate in expensive restaurants to try and compensate for not having a life. This was our way of trying to renew energy lost!
I noticed my decline now. I found it impossible to get up from the chair after dinner. I was so stiff that it was painful. I had to move very slowly so that people wouldn’t see that I was having difficulty; I thought this was about getting older. On other occasions I would leave home to drive to a distant venue for a residential workshop on a Sunday evening, work all week (12 hours a day) and then drive back at night. I would regularly need to pull over and sleep at the side of the road because I was so tired. John remembers me calling him several times to ask whether I was on my way to the event or coming home…it was dark and I didn’t recognise where I was and was so tired…I was used to fighting my lack of energy with sheer will power.
One of my events - I'm in blue - third row and 4 from the right
Low energy turned into serious illness in my 50’s
I hadn’t learned my lesson and at 51, after my father died, we sold the country home to build nearer to my mother. Little did we know that those plans were to be delayed and we would rent for almost 12 years before building again. At 52, after a year of terrible symptoms (which my GP diagnosed as menopause of course) a scan discovered an enormous tumour in my uterus. We assumed it was cancer although the specialist wanted to do a biopsy to confirm. I just wanted it out. There was no point in saving any of that cancer prone equipment after years of giving up on children. So I had a radical Hysterectomy. The lump was a Molar pregnancy (where the embryo had died early on but the Placenta kept growing). It weighed 7 kilos and was apparently the equivalent of an 18 month pregnancy. A million to one chance they said. It was an easy way to lose 7 kilos – but I wouldn’t recommend it!
My learnings mid 50’s to mid- 60’s changed everything for me.
I recovered well. Started to take yoga classes, walked on the beach and felt more energy again. My tumour markers had reduced from 3000 to 10 after the operation – but below 6 was normal and the score stayed stubbornly high for some reason. Then I started to notice other symptoms and my energy fell through the floor. Yoga poses hurt, I fell over while walking. I couldn’t climb a fence or get out of the bath by myself. MY GP diagnosed depression and gave me pills. I knew it wasn’t. I had depression before and this wasn’t that feeling. Eventually I couldn’t walk straight and shuffled for fear of falling over. I lost all sense of time and was constantly late for appointments often with food spilled down my shirt because I hadn’t noticed. I decided to resign – I just couldn’t work anymore. I was exhausted and defeated.
In a strange way it was a relief when the MRI showed a massive tumour in my brain.Another million to one chance on top of the first they said...a good excuse for not diagnosing this second life threatening complaint. It was an explanation and a form of closure. It was also the turning point for my life; the final warning; the thing that finally convinced me to change. After a year of operations, complications and huge amounts of drugs I was alive but seriously in need of energy! My brain was damaged and so was my body. I wasn’t just starting from scratch – I was starting from way behind. This was going to be a challenge.
That challenge is ongoing. At 67 I have far more energy than I can ever remember; maybe not as much as in my teens and early 20’s, but certainly more than I had in my late 30’s and it’s still growing! I look forward to the future with anticipation and a feeling of freedom. I can no longer afford luxury holidays or expensive meals out – but I don’t need those any more. I have land again, and this time I have the time to spend time in it with John.
I have made some massive but gradual changes since 2008 when I emerged, like a butterfly, from my 2007 chrysalis. I needed two warnings of epic proportions to make the change. I understand why others find change too hard when there are no such drivers. On the other hand, everyone is not as lucky as me. I could easily have died – many times – over that period of transformation…and many do. I will share my experiences and learnings for those who care about their lives. For those who want to generate more energy to really live rather than drift into an energy less old age. It is possible. If I could come back from where I was in 2007, so can you.
I became a Wiring Warrior to share that learning.