My response? Hell, tell me something I didn't already know! For most of my life, I didn't have to go to the doctor nearly as much as other people did. In fact, I used to brag about it. I wasn't on any medications (save for birth control) and it wasn't unusual for me to go *YEARS* without a doctor or hospital visit. Except for colds and the flu, nothing of concern was happening with me.
About six years ago, all that changed. The overwhelming stress and pressure of soul-crushing life circumstances tripped switches in my body and, all of a sudden, a whole bunch of health conditions and diseases showed up out of the blue. I thought I was Super Woman, but I wasn't that at all. Let me tell you, adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue will knock you flat on your ASS and MAKE you take notice.
I firmly believe when you're under near-constant mental duress and crushing stress, your body exhibits problems and conditions in ways you can finally see on the outside. In other words, when you ignore or try to dismiss the internal issues, your body gets your attention in ways you CANNOT continue to ignore.
I haven't had a full-fledged vacation since 2001; I'm way past due for one. I started working a full-time job at age 16. Even before that, by the age of 10, I took on more responsibility than kids my age usually had. The adults around me often acted like children (I loved them, but it's TRUE), so I had to grow up (at least mentally) faster than I would've liked.
At age 11, I began babysitting. Then I worked in the Provost Marshal's office in Mannheim, Germany, before we moved back to the United States. Bit of trivia: that's where I first learned what 'fellatio' meant from the various reports I had to log. *laughs*.
In college, at one point I worked THREE jobs in addition to attending classes – National Supply, Pizza Hut, and the switchboard at Phillips University. I eventually had to drop down to only two because sleep is important, but I carried a full load of classes in addition to those remaining two jobs.
I don't mention any of this for pity or that kind of B.S. I mention it because I have done my fair share – and even more than my fair share – in this lifetime. I'd still rather work than do anything else, if given a choice. Then again, writing and editing are NEVER chores to me. I get to do the kind of work I enjoy!
But I digress (which is normal for me)...
I am a hard worker and have had a lot of shitty things happen in my life. I've had to deal with unmentionable events and circumstances that NOBODY should have to endure. This is why my psychiatrist was surprised I wasn't a drug addict, alcoholic, or had committed suicide by now. I was lucky I didn't fall into any of those traps. However, my life experiences (and mental health issues that run rampant on the maternal side of my birth family) led me to diagnoses in 2006 for PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
But guess what? I'm still too stubborn to give up. I have dreams, goals, and a butt-ton of ambition. I have persisted and will continue to persist. Nobody should EVER underestimate me. It may take me a while, but I will eventually find a way. I'm a tenacious and determined woman. If I cannot find a way through something, I'll look for ways to keep moving forward by going around, over, under, or any other way I can. I'm not a quitter. If I'm blocked on all sides, I'll simply plow a new path.
Here's my message to YOU: if you're tired, stressed, worn out, or ready to throw in the towel, I hear you. I know what it's like. Getting up every day is a struggle. LIFE can be a struggle! But you can do this. WE can do this. The only constant in life is change. Don't ever give up on your dreams or goals. Don't listen to naysayers or critics. Do your thing! It doesn't matter what they think or what they say. You are the captain of your own ship. Steer it toward the horizon you seek, waving at them as you sail past them!
On my right forearm, I have a big tattoo of the rune Ingwaz (Inguz). It signifies a lot of things, but to me it means, "Where there's a will, there's a way." If you have the will, then you can eventually find a way.