Tuesday, 13 August 2013

What is health?

When I was 18 I started training to become a nurse. The reasons were basic, I wanted every day to be different and I wanted to make people feel better. It was one of the hardest periods of my life. It made me realise that sometimes there wasn't a pill to make you feel better and that often it was the family that hurt more than the patient.
Our tutors often spoke about the Holistic Approach, looking after not only a patient's physical needs, but also their emotional and social needs too. It was a career change and many more years before I realised that I needed to take that approach with my own health.
I remember the exact moment I realised I needed help with my emotional help. I was in the meeting room of the company that I was the Accountant for, sat across for a business mentor brought in to develop the senior managers. I was the last manager to see him and the team had joked privately that you only went to see this man if you had been screwing up. I knew that I had been making a few mistakes recently and I was nervous about what this meeting would entail.
"Tell me how you are feeling Carrie?"
And with that I burst into gut wrenching sobs that came from nowhere. I couldn't get any words out, I didn't know where this emotion had come from and I was scared.
He let me cry and then when I could speak he gently asked me a little more about myself. I told him how I just wanted to do a good job, how I didn't want to let people down, how when people asked me how I was I would answer "Fine", thinking in my head "Fine...F***ed up, insecure, neurotic, emotional".
He asked me what I was proudest off and I said "Being Independent". But I wasn't independent, I was just isolated. I had built up so many walls to stop bad things happening. I focused all my energy on being indispensable at work that I had the workload of 2 people. I was exhausted every night but would still wake up 3 or 4 times panicking that I hadn't finished something.
He suggested that I didn't need help in becoming a better manager as much as I needed help in becoming a better person and so put me in touch with a counsellor. The time I spent with her was hard, emotional, scary, uplifting and healing. I allowed myself to be vulnerable. I allowed myself to learn what was best for me.
Now when I look at what is health it's not just the drinking 8 glasses of water, eating 5 portions of fruit & veg, exercising every day, it's more human than that;
Being healthy is saying No occasionally
Being healthy is asking for help
Being healthy is crying when you want to and laughing when you want to
Being healthy is being the person you deserve to be
Being healthy is allowing yourself to be dependent on others

This has been linked to The Daily Post's Weekly Writing Challenge. Other entries can be read here

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