The endless lesson you end up having to learn over and over again: prioritise your health, otherwise your health will decide when it's time to shut down and take over everything. 😵💫
It's been a few weeks* that several members of my "health team" (the nickname I give to the docs, physios, and infirmières practiciennes spécialisées around me, #SpoonieLife) have been asking me to seriously consider taking a long break from work. I was very reluctant to listen to their advice. At work, I'm a bit of an island. There's no one else who can step in and take my place. I kept telling myself that I had too much on my plate, maybe I could take more long weekends here and there (lol), maybe I could double the amount of athletic activity I was doing (🧐), and in any case it was just the worst moment imaginable to stop. Even if I know rationally that a convenient moment to stop everything will never knock on my door.
Burning out, even without all the medical complications, is insidious. When I was having days full of tachycardia or even syncopes, I still kept convincing myself that I was completely capable of accepting one more last minute urgent contract. But overworking rarely correlates with doing good work. Another bitter detail: my health team thinks I waited too long to take this pause, because they now recommend the break be of indefinite length, at minimum until some medical factors concretely improve. Hard not to see this as a complete failure, both personally and as an independent worker.
Last week, I saw a doctor at the recommendation of my IPS who finally convinced me that it was time. I then made a plan with my IPS (1 in 5 people in Québec such as myself don't have access to a family doctor, so big shout out to the nurse practitionner who helps me manage all my medical hiccups) about what that was going to look like concretely. So now it's official, I'm off work. A small silver lining, I'm allowed to not check my email every day.
I hope I actually don't look at my emails everyday.
A small concrete detail to communicate with you, kind readers: the contact form on the main page of my website is disabled until further notice.
Take very good care of yourselves, I will attempt the same, and until next time.* It's been how many weeks since June?