Exhausted beyond comprehension and ready to quit, a saint
came into my life.
We were living on a farm east of Red Deer, Alberta in the
district of Joffre. We had sold property in Northern Alberta and put everything
into building a house on this new piece of property, had run out of money, and
were trying to work our real estate business to cover living expenses.
I seldom saw my children awake. I was in the office early in
the morning calling "For Sale By Owners" or showing properties and
holding open houses in the evenings and on weekends. I was top listing agent in
our office and had lots of properties to show. I was never the best
"closer" in the world, so I figured that if I had most of the
inventory that other realtors would have to come to me for product. It worked
like a charm!
However, when I was at home, the work just began. I was up
late canning and preserving food from our garden to feed our family through the
long winters. I was doing all the work that did not get done when I was at
work. I was living on less than 4 hours of sleep at night most nights.
Sometimes I even pulled all-nighters working to get ahead of my work.
I felt burnt out with
this sinking feeling that I was going to have a nervous break-down. Me...the
perpetual cheerful person of the family, and my office!
One Sunday I was sitting in the hallway at church with one
of my, not so reverent, children trying to teach them what it meant to be
reverent, when a girlfriend came up to me. She asked me if I was ok? It shocked
me to have her ask me that, but I was at the end of my rope, so I just blurted
out..."I feel like I'm going to have a nervous breakdown!"
My girlfriend quickly asked if she could chat with me for a
bit because she had something very important to share about this revelation. She was my friend and I welcomed a sympathetic
ear. So she pulled up a chair beside me and began sharing her story.
I had no idea that her husband was a counsellor with Community
Services. She shared that her husband had told her many times, that as he
counselled with many people who had nervous breakdowns, he had discovered that
virtually every time someone had a nervous or mental breakdown, at some point,
they had made a mental decision to "give up".
Then she told me that once a person has a nervous breakdown,
they never ever completely regain their original strength and acuity of mind.
Once they have given up the first time, it becomes easier and easier to have a
breakdown again and again. They end up on medications that keep them in a dazed
mind-frame for the rest of their lives.
When she told me that, I was in shock!
She shared with me some key things that people need to
practice on a regular basis to keep themselves mentally strong and able to rise
above any level of stress in their lives.
Know what that was?
"You were given this life because you were strong
enough to live it!"
Rise up to your challenges. Face them head on. Be honest. Be
true to yourself. Practice integrity in all you do. Remember that you can do
anything you put your mind to. You can choose to have a nervous breakdown or
you can choose to be a person of strength. It is all up to you.
Stop blaming life and other people for your challenges in
life. We are all given "hic-ups" along the road of life. What we end
up with at the other end of life depends on how we choose to deal with them.
I choose to be a woman of strength. What about you?
-And, No, I never did have that nervous breakdown. I never
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