Something I have not mentioned publicly, but my close friends have had to hear a lot of, is that I have been struggling with adrenal fatigue since before I began For Strange Women. There are different stages to adrenal fatigue, and I did not recognize what my problem was or begin to deal with it until a couple years ago, when I was at a point where I could not get out of bed anymore. It wasn't depression; I felt as creative and inspired as I usually am, but my body physically crashed. It had been crashing for some time, as I kept pushing through stressful situations and taking on more work, difficult people and relationships, and dealing with everything from my home being burglarized to my car being totaled.
Although I have always loved my work since beginning FSW and I maintained good energy in that environment, outside of my perfume world I had become a magnet for people with anger and addictions, who took faster than I could give, like black holes. My memory became depleted, my body collapsed, and I have struggled the last 3 years with insomnia. Out of desperation I began eating meat after 12 years as a vegetarian. I went to the western doctor who of course told me I needed psych meds. No thank you. I went to a naturopath who confirmed my cortisol levels were completely out of balance, and too high at night, which is why I don't sleep. I have been to several natural doctors since, all which have helped me piece together the formula to recovering. But a part of this recovery is spiritual and I am trying to understand what about my own consciousness attracted this, so that I can untangle it.
In 2008, when this began, I went to a Chinese Acupuncturist, who said,
"Do not tell me what is wrong, I will tell you what is wrong."
After reading my eyes, tongue, and pulse, he said,
"You are like girls at the plaza. Are they paying cash? NO! They use credit cards. You put your energy on a credit card, and it will take you a long time to pay this off."
I asked him what I can do to get better and he said I must rest. Of course, I didn't know how. I had been raised with a midwestern work ethic and I've never really felt that I had a support system to catch me if I fell. I kept trying to help other people because it was so much easier than taking care of myself, and I just kept thinking that if I could fix other people's problems around me that my own wellbeing would magically be restored.
Well, three years of insomnia woke me up. Now that I am wholly focused on myself, my energy is coming back, and slowly, my sleep is coming back too. Adrenal Fatigue can be so difficult to overcome, and it affects women most often. Many people just live with it as I was, drinking coffee until one day the coffee doesn't help anymore. In a way, I realize that my stress could have manifested into a much scarier illness, and maybe this was the best thing that could have happened to teach me to take care of myself, practice more patience, live in the natural flow of life, and pace myself. If any of this story sounds familiar to you, I hope you do the same.