PART III: NAVIGATING THE REAL WORLD
My breakdown, the one where I hit rock bottom happened a few months after I graduated from university. It didn’t help that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my career and couldn’t for the life of me get a job. No one, not even my family, understood the severity of my breakdown. Fortunately, somehow, I managed to pick myself up and dig myself out of a deep dark hole. The first job I managed to get I absolutely hated. Cue high levels of stress. My second job was working with at risk youth and if you know anything about social services, you will know that it is a very mentally and emotionally demanding field of work. I often felt that I was being overworked and constantly thinking about the at-risk youth that I worked with.
The Second Diagnosis
All the while, I was still struggling with my health, chronic pain and mental illness. All of that combined with the stress of work and life, my health continued to spiral downwards even more. I found myself going from doctor to doctor simply trying to get a diagnosis. All I wanted was to know what was wrong with me.
The weight and acne seemed to be under control thanks to the birth control pills but my menstrual cycle was non-existent. I stopped having my period and every doctor told me that it was okay. Deep down I knew this was not okay but I again decided to blindly listen to the doctors. Somewhere along the line, I had also started to have gastrointestinal problems. I spent about three years living with severe gastrointestinal symptoms including loose explosive stools containing undigested foods, 8-10 times a day. Too much information, I know! It was the worst, I constantly had horrible stomach cramps and needed to run to the toilet.
In addition to the diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, I was given the diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and suspected endometriosis by allopathic doctors while natural doctors told me I had Leaky Gut Syndrome and Adrenal Fatigue. All the while, my energy levels were plummeting and I had severe brain fog. I would get home from work and I couldn’t recall a single thing that happened during the day. I struggled to get through the day and hold down a full-time job. It eventually hit me that I couldn’t live like this any longer. I was nearing my 25th birthday and at the rate my health was spiraling downwards, I was afraid to even think about the future. My moment of awakening was when I found myself driving around in circles unable to find a place that I went to regularly. I remember pulling over on the side of the road so confused and dazed. I had no idea where I was or what was going on.
The Leap of Faith
My contract at work was coming to an end and I had come to terms with how sick I really was. I went back and forth for months making justifications for why I shouldn’t leave my full-time job. Deep down I knew what was right but I was afraid to take a leap of faith into the unknown. I took the next month off work and upon returning, I decided to leave my position to focus on myself. This was the start of my healing journey.