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The Struggles and Strengths

7.5 mile run this weekend...

I have to admit I'm struggling this time around as far as training and overall motivation for working out goes. Coming back from an injury and taking over a year off from long distance running? My mental game for anything is nothing compared to what I once had. Also, the last time I was training for marathons (which were back to back) I was just starting a different job than the one I'm in now and that job was... how do I say this? Incredibly easy. On my first day of that job I woke up at 4:50am, ran 6 miles, did the November Project destination deck workout at 6:30am, ran back 4 miles to the gym to shower/get ready and then started my new job that was across the street from said gym. I learned very little at that job and my seizures were also very controlled.

As someone diagnosed with a chronic illness at 24 years old and dealing with the panic/anxiety that ensued thereafter, I learned that I needed to/forced myself to not sweat the small stuff. I got incredibly good at it too. This time around my job is incredibly challenging, and while I love this job and love the challenge and the fact I'm learning and growing everyday professionally, it is also an incredibly stressful environment and in this industry I've discovered that everything is life or death/black and white. ...and when I say "everything" I mean work.

I'll be the first to admit that I am brutally honest to the point where I outwardly talk about my condition not caring that it makes people uncomfortable and will also flat out tell my employers that work is not my first priority and that my health is. (Not to say that I don't put as much effort as I conceivably can into my work - because I definitely do just that. I wouldn't be here at 6:30am until 7pm some days if I didn't love what I do.) Most employers are and should be ok with this health priority given the ADA if not just for plain compassion, and if they're not ok with it then I don't want to work for the company/organization. I know this from past experience and I will not compromise my health because others are stressed and don't know how to manage their own health and only care about deadlines and work. Luckily, here, I'm told I have flexibility.

However, as said before this industry is filled with highly stressed out people. I can handle the pace. The work itself isn't necessarily hard. These things are not the problem/what is challenging. It's the being in this stress-filled environment and while the people are literally the smartest, most welcoming people I have ever had the pleasure of working with, it has also left my seizures less and less controlled due to other people's stress. Stress, which I had to previously learn the hard way, is incredibly contagious. It's why I can't live with my parents. I love them but their anxiety literally makes me sick. The same thing applies with work. If I'm dealing with other people's unneeded stress (and stress is usually unneeded in my opinion unless it actually DOES have to do with you/your loved one's health/well-being) it will make me sick and it's doing just that. I've been either sleeping 5 hours or 12 hours a night and my clusters of partials are happening almost every week again.

I tried quitting once after having one of the worst seizures I've had in years during a meeting because I realized how bad it was getting and they wouldn't let me. Thank god. I love this job and I'll never find one where I love what I do as much as what I do here, but if I have to choose that over my health then I'm not sure what's going to happen because as far as managing my health, working full time in this environment, and trying to train for a marathon? It's not going well. I know I'll prevail. I always have and do... but I can't pretend it hasn't been an incredibly rough month. It's been a constant string of those days where this condition gets the best of me which rarely happens for extended amounts of time, let alone this long. Sometimes it makes me lose sight of the strength I know I have.

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