Confessions of an Overachiever (III)

Part I and Part II

Somewhere in between all of that driving I had to ask myself what are you doing? While I believe in hard work, I’m also a firm believer that life shouldn’t be hard work. There’s a difference between a challenge and an uphill battle. Facing challenges in order to attain goals is expected. However, uphill battles symbolize something else. They’re signs that life has become harder than necessary. And for me, it was. The rate of return for my “hard work” was minimal. I intuitively knew that I was no longer walking in passion and purpose.

I began a closer and less stressful job in August. But it seemed that I had all of these revelations too late. I should re-phrase. These a-ha moments were too late for my physical health.

My hands would swell every time I ate. Sometimes it would happen over night. At one point, I couldn’t remove my wedding ring. And when I did, there was a big brown bruise underneath. After finishing dinner one time, my belly looked like I was four months pregnant. Aside from that, the lethargy that rested behind my eyes was enough to send me napping. This continued for months. I figured I could get to the doctor after I returned from Japan. But I had a summer conference in Philly. I’d go after that. Then, my father passed away. Damn. I’d go after that. It was October by the time I decided to visit Dr. Kristy, a holistic practitioner and chiropractor.

Dr. Kristy performed nutrition response testing. The results were astounding. Apparently, my adrenal glands were weak and in need of repair. I had overstressed my body to the point where these very small organs didn’t know if I was running late or running from a bear. They functioned in a stressful state most moments, and consequently, released cortisol most moments. What did all of this mean?

“There will be a minimum of 12 office visits at $40 each,” the doctor began.

Additionally, she had a list of several supplements totaling about $90 per month.

Come again Dr. Kristy?

Like many people, I reverted to my free professional go-tos: Google and WebMD. Also, I was in the midst of a 21-day detox. I’d noticed that removing coffee eliminated bloat. Google confirmed it. Ridding your body of caffeine is a huge factor in controlling adrenals. Diet, in general, is a way to manage these organs. With my professional Internet information, I told the good doctor that I would first work on my own health. I’d be back in a few months.

Since then, a berry smoothie has replaced my daily java. I eat more vegetables and lean protein. I’ve kicked CrossFit to the curb. Yoga and low-impact exercise are a part of my new lifestyle. One of my yoga friends recommended something called adrenal repair. The compound of vitamins and extracts seemed to have done exactly what the name claims: restore my adrenals. My energy levels have increased and I’m sleeping through the night.


Holiday cookie baking and snacking also revealed a slight sugar and gut sensitivity. Dwight suggested using Kefir in my smoothies, instead of Silk. The 12 additional probiotics have helped balance my belly’s good and bad bacteria, further reducing bloat.

Every now and then, I mentally abuse myself for pushing myself past my own limits, but more so for ignoring obvious stress signs. Then, I acknowledge the feelings, say something more positive and true, and go take a walk, talk to the birds or write something inspirational.

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I promise I’ll never be overstressed again. And this time I mean it. The alternative is not worth the achievement.

~Dr. kg

45 thoughts on “Confessions of an Overachiever (III)

  1. I am sure glad you won’t be working yourself to the point of being overstressed!!! I will be keeping this post in mind as well as my own personal experiences of overworking myself. You taught me a valuable lesson! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoa…you gave up caffeine? I’m not there yet! Where did you find your doctor that did the adrenal test? I’m always fascinated about that kind of testing, but afraid I’ll get sucked into the 12 visit package that I don’t really need. Bravo for taking your new found knowledge and helping yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alas, I have. Well, I gave up coffee, which I found out is different than something like Coke. There’s a magazine called Natural Awakenings. Your state has one called Mile High Natural Awakenings. Anywho, that magazine had ads for holistic doctors and I found Dr. Kristy there. You do have to be careful about those doctors, though. I’ve found out that you should find one that has an MD so that your insurance will cover whatever s/he prescribes. Otherwise, you’re out of pocket. Thanks for reading all three of these Johanna!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So proud you are taking care of you and eliminating unnecessary stressors. Balance is the key and something I am learning the hard way but at least I am learning while God still gives me more chances. Great read my dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I feel soooo much better, and of course, writing helps. I’m definitely a more balanced version of me 🙂 I just started following someone who gives tips about how to live a little better. I’ll pass it on soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was such a great story, thank you so much for sharing. I loved all three parts but I think Part III was my favourite. I loved what you said about the difference between uphill battles and challenges. I always look at relationships like that – it should be work but it should never be too hard.

    I’m glad you found a balance. The path to any degree, especially a doctrate, is a difficult one. There’s a lot of self-sacrifice needed. Also quite a bit of sacrifice needed to make long distance work. I can’t even imagine how you held it all together for as long as you did. Your story inspires me. I’ve often struggled with balance, often skewing too far towards me-time or too far towards school. I think that’s one of the reasons I love blogging, it’s a productive distraction.

    I hope you share more stories of this kind.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks KG! I’m so glad you read all three and commented. There is a HUGE difference between uphill battles and challenges, you just have to find your happy medium, I suppose. Hope you find yours 🙂 I’ll be thinking about how I can share more of those. Believe it or not, I never think I have more to say lol Thanks again KG – Appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m really glad Kathy to hear you made changes and committed to look after yourself. Our health is important, sometimes we are indeed guilty of not looking after our well being.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I knew I spent too much time at work when people called work rather than my house, so I started making time for myself, changed my diet to include more fresh fruits and veggies, varied my exercise to include walking, yoga, stretching, and such, and learned to relax and let go of my stress. I’m doing much better, feel healthier and seldom get sick. I have a goal of going to Paris when I”m 90 and dancing on the tables at midnight on New Years Eve. The only way I’ll accomplish it is to stay healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love Vega one! It helps me get through a busy day! I’m so proud of you for quiting coffee .. I’m trying to cut back but in the middle of the school year it’s tough. I do love to unwind with some yoga and stretching. I didn’t think I would like it at first but now I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I tried a few different protein supplements but this one I love because of the vitamins and probiotic. Coffee was super easy to give up once I realized it was connected to better health. And yoga…love it! Thanks for easing and following 😉


  8. Wow! KE, I’m so glad you finally were able to slow down enough to take care of your health! Once it’s gone, life sucks.
    Janice sent me over here from her St Pat’s Day Meet and Greet. I was gonna offer you a piece of cake, but…. I switched it for a kale smoothie! Here;s to your health!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah- nice to get to the bit where you’ve achieved balance and good health. I’m superstressed at the moment and my body and mind is pretty quick to tell me it feels the effects. Have you found that once you start making connections to how your body reacts to something, it gets easier to notice little changes? That’s been my experience. Great 3 part read- looking forward to whatever else you’ve got to share next. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mek. I have noticed. So if I’m stressed I notice how my heart feels and that sometimes I start to sweat. I’ve learned how to slow everything down, take a few breaths and re-group. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve read all three posts and I think it’s amazing how open you write about this personal issue. And being a great write at the same time. It reminds me off your post(s) about your father’s passing. Thank you, you’re a inspiration both as a writer as an overachiever trying to go easier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! It is hard sometimes, but I also decided about two years ago, to be more authentic as a way of life. It’s like I was living a big secret of success and the truth was there was no secret…the secret was I was sacrificing my health to be fill-in-the-blank…like so many of us do. Anywho, thanks for those kind words. I really appreciate them.


  11. This is a wonderful post, thanks for sharing it. I was just Complaining the other day that coffee these days has a terrible effect on me now. Maybe it’s time to kick caffeine, though I find it awfully hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ameena! You know if someone would’ve told me that I would never drink another cup of coffee, I would have spat on them and called them a liar lol, so I understand. But you know when your health depends on it, it’s not so bad. I will admit, every now and then, Starbucks smells really good 😉


      1. Yeah, I read all three posts in reverse order. Glad you’ve worked it all out. I had to learn later in life that “living to work” was killing me so I switched to “working to live.” Sometimes I still find myself dropping back into old habits but the difference is now I do listen to my body. When I’m tired I take the time to rest and re-energize which helps me to be more effective.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s exactly part of my point. Listen to yourself cause your SELF is always going to speak up and say, “Hey lady! Go to sleep or stop working, or whatever” lol Glad you’re doing better too 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you. Today is a good day, yesterday not so much but I took heed, turned off the computer and feel so much better today. It really helps know that we aren’t alone. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I mean I really could feel my heart pounding as I was reading.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You’re so very welcome! And I appreciate your words. I did try hard to convey how horrible it was. I didn’t even add dropping kids off to school, meetings with the principal, family vacay, well, you got the point 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. My old supervisor had a stroke.. at work. Because of work. I ran into him at the airport about a year later and his speech and stride are very slow! And I don’t think he was even 50 at the time! It is very disheartening knowing he has plenty more life to live with these conditions caused by his job.

    It’s quite sad what we allow work to do to our bodies. We end up paying for it one way or another. Very inspiring and eye-opening reflection. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Omgosh! So I consider myself lucky. Strokes are nothing to play with!!! I really blame the culture and the century we live in. It’s almost praised to be doing too much, ya know? Thanks bunches for the words and hanging in there to read all of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! It’s disgusting. All they care about is how much they can get out of you while you’re on their watch.

        Sincere thanks for sharing! I hope it’s a wake up call for your readers who need to reevaluate their lives and take time to breathe.

        Liked by 1 person

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