Next month will mark one year since the start of my road to recovery and boy has it been interesting! It has been quite a rollercoaster year with lots of ups and downs and many unexpected turns. The truth is, it has been a whole lot harder than I had expected and at times I have wondered what on earth I have let myself in for.
That doesn’t mean I thought it would be easy. After all, I have had lots of practice at recovering from illness and injury! I knew I would have to work damn hard and I was very prepared for this, but what I hadn’t fully prepared for was the number of bumps in the road and the whirlwind of emotions that decided to tag along for the ride.
I started the year with an abundance of enthusiasm, I had succeeded in reaching a major milestone at work and I had taken a giant leap forwarded in my training, life couldn’t be better. Then out of nowhere came the first set back, I started to get super tired and really struggled to find the motivation or energy to do anything. The quality of my work started to deteriorate and I couldn’t train the way I wanted to. I started to doubt if I was doing the right thing, can I really work full time, recover from major surgery and try and train all at the same time? I found myself pulling away from everything I loved, but this wasn’t right, I am not this person, I don’t ever walk away from things – not even a chocolate cake when I’m supposed to be on a diet ;-).
At this stage it was very easy to blame how I was feeling on everything that had happened 6 months earlier, but deep down I also knew this wasn’t true. I started to ask myself a number of questions, should I really be working 14 hour days? Is the tiredness that I am feeling really just stress? I went looking for answers. I talked to my boss and agreed that I needed to cut my hours back. I went to the doctors and was put on medication for a Vitamin D deficiency and a virus. I quickly started to conquer my emotions and pulled myself back on track; I was able to focus on priorities at work and I started to enjoy training again.
Why am I telling you this?
Over the last 11 months, I have noticed a distinctive pattern in my actions and emotions. Every time I succeed in something, not only in my training but also in simple daily life tasks, I seem to pass through a series of stages:
Now, as I’ve said before, I am no psychologist and nor do I ever want to be (no offence to my psychologist friends), but the more I reflect on it, the more I honestly believe that this pattern is completely normal. The times when I don’t succeed are the times when I get caught up in self-doubt and walk away without questioning myself or my actions. Based on this theory I have started to work on accepting my emotions and actions and I’d really encourage other people to try it. Next time when you are doubting yourself, try and remember it’s normal and in actual fact it is healthy! Walk away for a while, but don’t stay away. The world is round, the place that may seem like the end may also be the beginning!