Never hesitate to reach out and ask for help.

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This article is a little different than what I usually post.  It’s about my reality and what I’ve been going through lately and why I haven’t been very consistent.  I write this not to elicit sympathy.  I write this to let you know that it’s okay to be real … to be honest … to show your authentic self … and most of all to seek help..

We live in a time where social media is so prevalent … people use filters to change the look of themselves, their surroundings and their truth.  My question is why?

I don’t believe in whining and complaining and venting on social media.  That’s just me.  The other extreme is to be posting that life is all roses and sunshine and it’s not.  There are dark, cloudy, stormy days along the way.  The secret is to not stay there.

So I’m going to keep this brief and not too detailed because it’s not about me and it’s not about what I’ve been going through. It’s about letting you know that even if you’re strong, it’s okay to admit you’re struggling and to ask for help.

I have been told that I’m driven, relentless and restless which are all great traits when you run your own business.   There needs to be some balance however and I lost that.  I had been double and triple booking my days, out and about all over the place and forgetting to just take time for me.  One of my best friends is a self-care advocate and she was constantly reminding me to slow down and take time out.  Of course I ignored her.

I also ignored the Universe when it tapped me on the shoulder.  I ignored it when I was feeling overwhelmed and just wanted to run away from my life.  I ignored it when I lost 95% of my vision in my left eye.  At least I was smart enough to go see my optometrist.  The Universe finally smacked me in the head hard enough for me to listen.  I had no choice.  I had detached my retina and was at risk of losing my sight permanently.  I truly believe that I was headed down the road to either a complete nervous breakdown or a heart attack so I’m thankful that the detached retina caught my attention and stopped me in my tracks.

It’s been 7 weeks as of the date of writing this article since I was diagnosed.  Of course I couldn’t have a straight forward detachment.  It was complicated with 8 holes and 2 bad tears in the retina.  I had 2 gas bubbles inserted in my eye and 3 laser treatments.  I went down a very dark hole for about four weeks … not really being too involved in my life or my business.  Then on a beautiful, sunny, Spring morning when I was journaling, I wrote that I couldn’t wait to get my life back and it hit me.  I needed to TAKE my life back.  I couldn’t wait for it to just happen.  I was feeling so much better and went for a follow up appointment with the surgeon.  I thought I was golden but the Universe wasn’t finished with me yet.  I needed to go for surgery and have a scleral buckle attached to the white of my eye.  The good thing was this time I had two weeks to prepare.  Surgery was 10 days ago and although Wednesday a really rough day, I picked myself up, brushed myself off and changed my surroundings (went for another walk at the lake) and changed my attitude.

What is the moral of this story?  There are a few … listen to your body; if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back; reach out to ask for support and if you don’t have a supportive circle in your life, seek out professional help.  There is no shame in admitting that life is not perfect and you just can’t seem to cope right now.  Lean on that circle if you must.

But here’s the thing … it’s okay to struggle; it’s okay to end up in a dark place (we learn and grow so much through that process) … it’s okay to visit but please … make it a short visit.  Don’t unpack and move in.

I totally understand that it is difficult to reach out and ask for help.  I’m always so busy looking after others … they tell me how strong I am … and they forget that I’m human and I need support too.  It usually takes me a long time to reach out … too long.  Please don’t do that.  Ask for help!!

So be gentle and kind to yourself, keep things in perspective and try not to let things get out of hand.  If they do … reach out and ask for help before it’s too late. 

With much love

Sandy O’Shea

Sex & Hormone Specialist

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