I'm Prioritizing My Health (And It's Not Easy)
As you may have noticed from some of my recent Instagram and Facebook posts, I have decided to take a medical leave from work. As of today, I am officially finished work for the next 4 months. The decision was a very difficult one for a variety of reasons, but after carefully weighing the pros and cons, I knew it was something I needed to do.
My reason for taking medical leave is that I am waiting for more intensive eating disorder treatment. I am on the waiting list for services here in Montreal, and after recognizing that I was no longer performing at my best at work, I realized that I needed to take a break and focus on myself.
It's so easy to be self-critical and judge myself for losing (yet again) important career opportunities because of my mental health. I’m going on 11 years now of trying to recover and that recovery lifestyle still hasn't been maintained long enough to keep me out of intensive treatment.
To be honest, I feel close to giving up. After 10 intensive hospitalizations, when do I say "enough is enough" and stop trying? I'm losing hope.
But then, wonderful people like you sweep into my life. I have received so many thoughtful and encouraging messages from you all, trying to get me to reframe my thinking. Okay, so maybe treatment hasn't worked. But maybe it just hasn't worked YET. I'm not recovered at the moment... but maybe I'm not recovered YET.
Instead of getting down on myself for still being stuck, I am working on getting myself to believe that it is inspiring that I am still fighting this nasty illness. I could give up, quite easily actually. But I'm not. I'm still working on prioritizing my health (by taking time off work to rest and by accepting more intensive treatment) and I'm still fighting to get my life back, despite being kicked down and shoved around by my illness for over a decade.
So, maybe there's something to all of this. Maybe instead of criticizing myself for not being recovered, I should celebrate the fact that I haven't given up. I'm trying. I'm really trying. Reframing thoughts is not easy but it is a critical part of my recovery.
A huge THANK YOU to all of you who still stand by me, and who are encouraging me to not give up and keep fighting. I can't consider myself brave, or courageous, because I truthfully do not feel that I am. But I can say that I'm still working on living my life and I owe a lot of it to you.