Neglecting Myself – My Story

October 16, 2016 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Reflections

This is not an easy post to write, but I have not had an easy time. As you may know, I usually tend to keep this blog light and upbeat, but this is important.

As some of you guys may know, I’ve had an incredibly hectic year. From flying to Sydney twice this year, to buying our first home, to starting two new jobs and dealing with crippling anxiety, it’s been an emotionally exhausting time for me.

I’ve always been one of those people who thought I could do it all. Every weekend would be spent catching up on commenting, instagramming, house work, seeing family and socialising with friends. Every weekday would be spent at work until late, with lunches packed with seeing friends and late nights socialising some more. On top of seeing my sister at the hospital, dealing with family drama, keeping up with the blog and keeping up appearances, I knew I couldn’t maintain this for long.

When I started my new job, I cried myself to sleep after work every night from the rampant bullying. I felt so exhausted and blamed myself for moving from a role where I was respected and happy. I kept on going, because I thought that’s just what resilience was, and that that’s just what strong people do. But after having an emotional breakdown which resulted in not being able to leave my bed for days, I decided to leave, which is the best decision I ever made. Sometimes part of being strong is knowing when things aren’t going to change and walking away. That’s a lesson that will stay with me for a lifetime.

daydream23

Thankfully it wasn’t long before I got a new job, with a few weeks off to relax and get it all out of my system. During these weeks, I worked a lot on my blog, but a thought occurred to me. Why should I need to walk away from work, just to be able to do the things I love, to be able to spend the time I have, the way I want it? Why should I feel like I need to somehow justify time spent doing absolutely nothing (ie. reading and sipping tea) to myself?

Before starting my new job, I got incredibly ill. I went to the doctor, tried to get heaps of rest, cancelled a party that we were holding with friends. I started my first day which went really well, but that night, I had a high fever, chills, pain and could barely even walk. Even then, I still tried to go to work. But when I started vomiting up water, I knew I had to go to hospital.

I’ve just spent 5 days in hospital with a kidney infection, I know it was pretty serious because I feel like I almost died. It’s happened to me before, but this is the worst bout of it I’ve ever had. The thing about kidney infections, is that they can permanently scar your kidney, and I know previous infections have done that. I shudder to think about the damage that I’ve done to my body just from ignoring the signs and from not looking after myself. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t get better and didn’t get to hospital that day.

jeann-great-ocean

Seeing as both my mental and physical health have taken it’s toll this year, it’s been a huge wake up call. Your health is the most important. Without it, we can’t do the things we love. We can’t support the people that we love. We can’t even be someone that we love.

If you need to say no once in a while, or you don’t feel like doing something with your time, your friends and family will understand that. Don’t make excuses in order to look after yourself. Don’t feel bad about looking after yourself. Recognise the signs of fatigue, of exhaustion, of emotional and physical health taking it’s toll and do something about it – be kind to yourself.

Thanks to everyone who reached out to me while I was in hospital, while I was going through a tough time with my anxiety, and just in general to see how I was. I appreciate each and every one of you and it definitely meant a lot to me. I’m definitely switching gears for the rest of the year and spending time – on me.

Jeann-Sig

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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79 responses to “Neglecting Myself – My Story

  1. It took me so long to read this because I also thought I could do it all 😉 Thanks so much for sharing this, Jeann, you probably don't even realise how much it means to people <3 <3

  2. Cyn @ Bookmunchies

    Jeann! I'm so sorry to hear that you had to go through all that. But I'm so glad to hear that things are going better now. I hope your new job is better, that you get the rest you need and definitely spend time for yourself! Sending hugs!
    My recent post Review: A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen

  3. I'm so glad you are okay Jeann! And that you left your old job, where they weren't respecting you, to a new one where hopefully they will treat you better. Also, I think this is such an important message to anyone. It's okay to take time for yourself. Always make sure you are healthy, in a good state of mind, etc. Because those things ARE IMPORTANT. And I'm glad you were able to realize that Jeann! Before anything got worse! Though I admit, even I sometimes forget about this, and I really shouldn't. I don't think I have ever taken a real sick day :/ Then again, I have never gotten horribly sick.

    Again, I'm glad you're well Jeann!
    My recent post Top Ten Tuesday #96 (Featuring My Cat)

    • Thanks Val! I\’m definitely enjoying things a lot more and feeling better. ITS SO IMPORTANT and so easy to forget and neglect ourselves.

  4. It's definitely so easy to feel so pressured to do things all the time, I'm the worst at pressuring myself at doing that. It's so important, because of everything that has happened to me this year, I've needed that reminder more than ever. Thank you lovely Reg.

  5. Jeann, I’m sorry to hear about your health problems and about bulling on your previous work. You are very courageous and strong person, but you need “you time”. Please take care of yourself. I’m happy to hear you are feeling better now. Thank you for you emotional and powerful post. Thanks for sharing. Sending you virtual hugs.

  6. The importance of looking after yourself is not talked about enough. Taking time for yourself is important and you should never apologise for it or makes excuses to justify it. Sometimes you just need time to yourself and why should we apologise for that.

    I'm sorry you've had such a hectic and difficult year, especially that new job situation (not the new, new job, the last one) I often complain about my workplace but it's in the usual complaints about working when I want a life of luxury. That whole situation sounds just awful and sometimes we think it's just us. That we should be stronger or have thicker skin and that we'll get through but that shouldn't be how it is. You shouldn't hate going to work and knowing when to walk away is an important lesson to learn as sticking it out isn't always the best way.

    I'm glad you're doing better and you've managed to some to some decisions about your plans for the rest of the year.
    My recent post Happy Thoughts // Hot Drinks And The Beginning of Autumn

    • I absolutely agree, I mean of course you'll feel bad and guilty but at the end of the day, you have to do what's right for you. Yeah, I battled with that self doubt and the guilt for a long time. But at the end of the day, it just wasn't worth it.

  7. Wow! Glad you fought through and found your way again. I konw how hard it is when you are at a job that makes you miserable. I finally quit as well, and it was the best decision I ever made. I didn't get sick like you did, but I was depressed and unhappy. This year more than any other after losing my mom, I have found that it is most important to take care of myself, live life and do the things you love. I hope you will do the same!
    My recent post Review: A Promise of Fire(The Kingsmaker Chronicles) by Amanda Bouchet

    • Thank you, everything feels like it's in greyscale when your job is sucking the life out of you. I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through that too but I'm glad that you have learnt now to take care of yourself. I'm making the pledge to look after myself better.

  8. Cynthia

    What a great post. I am so glad you wrote about this. In the past,I have also felt bad for saying no or for not being perfect or for not taking a break. I am slowly but surely trying to pay more attention to my body and trying to actually take care of myself. And sometimes that means not doing everything. Love this. Thank you for sharing.
    My recent post Back From My Much Needed Break

    • Thanks Cynthia, it's so hard saying no and then going and not enjoying it or thinking about what else we would rather be doing with our time. I'm glad that you have come to that realisation too.

  9. Oh, Jeann. Sorry about your recent hardships. You're courageous and you shouldn't have to put up with the stress of being in a dangerous place where you don't feel safe. I hope you're having a better time with your new job. I've also had kidney infection years ago. I was hospitalized and was hooked on to an antibiotic IV. It's painful and it's not fun.

    I hope you're feeling better. <3
    My recent post Hello, Book Lover Subscription Box

    • Thank you Joy, it was such a difficult position to be in considering how we had just bought a house and the fiancee had just started a new job himself. But I'm glad I made the right decision for me. I was on antibiotics IV for 5 days, they almost didn't let me leave because they were so worried.

  10. Thanks for sharing this story with us, I know it must've taken a lot of ruminating on your end because it's personal.

    I can relate to this story in that a few of us have also faced situations where we compromised our well-being for ambition or opportunity. I feel that it's a necessary part of our journey because WE, our overall health, is more important than anything. Sometimes we just have to learn the hard way, but once the lesson is learned the pay-off is well worth it.

    My recent post Bought, Borrowed &amp; Bagged [219] + My First Video!

    • Yeah, it wasn't the easiest but I'm glad to have it out there. It's definitely so easy to overlook ourselves and to sacrifice our wellbeing for others, or for our career. It shouldn't be that way.

  11. bethwade1

    I'm so glad you're feeling better! Scarring on the kidneys sounds horribly frightening. It's a shame we all learn this lesson by reaping the consequences of pushing too hard, but I'm glad you're holding tight to the right priorities, and I hope you don't have any more health scares in the future. Or, as few as possible, anyway. I'm not sure if this means you're stepping away from blogging, or just making sure to prioritize your health despite crazy schedules, but I wish you the best of luck either way (and congrats on leaving a toxic job environment)!
    My recent post Eye of the Week in a Creepy Town

    • Thanks Beth, I'm just sad that it had to get to that point and I definitely will take better care of myself moving forward. If anything, this means that I'll be looking after myself a lot better and this will be a reminder for me to do so in the future too. I'm definitely not stepping away from blogging, but allowing myself a breather with everything from now on. It was hard to do but I've never looked back!

  12. bethwade1

    I'm so glad you're feeling better! Scarring on the liver sounds horribly frightening. It's a shame we all learn this lesson by reaping the consequences of pushing too hard, but I'm glad you're holding tight to the right priorities, and I hope you don't have any more health scares in the future. Or, as few as possible, anyway. I'm not sure if this means you're stepping away from blogging, or just making sure to prioritize your health despite crazy schedules, but I wish you the best of luck either way (and congrats on leaving a toxic job environment)!
    My recent post Eye of the Week in a Creepy Town

  13. daleydowning

    Hope you continue to feel better! You're right, it's so much more important to take care of ourselves than to keep up a certain image. We need to stay healthy and realize what we need to do for our own peace of body and mind! Good for you to share this with everyone! Hang in there!

    • Absolutely, it's like we can only show ourselves to the world when we're happy but not when we're suffering you know? It's hard. But I'm glad to show the other side to it. Thank you, I will!

  14. I'm so proud of you for realizing that you come first, your health comes first, and you went to the hospital. It must have been a scary time for you 🙁 I really hope you're better now.
    I'm so mad you were bullied at work. They should be mature! Ugh! Makes me so pissed off. At least you got out of that toxic environment.
    Focus all the time in the world on you and your loved ones. It's okay to break away from books and blogs. YOU come first.
    I'm glad you're at a much better place now *hugs* Keep going forward 🙂
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

    • Thank you Gen! It was definitely scary and I'm glad to be on the mend now. Yeah…unfortunately it's quite a common occurrence in the corporate environment and it was terrible. I did what needed to be done and took myself out of the situation thankfully. Definitely going to be focusing on myself and what I love doing moving forward. *hugs* I appreciate it!

    • Thank you Inge, it's so important and I'm just glad I've reached that realisation before it was too late. I know you're there Inge and my inbox is always ready for you, too xx

  15. This was a beautiful post, Jeann, and thank you so much for sharing some of your struggles with us. I'm so sorry to hear the year has be tough, and I hope the next part of 2016 will treat you better. You're right, it's so important to take care of ourselves, something I too often forget as well because I tend to want to "do it all", I guess. It's important to take time for us. This post really is inspiring, so thank you for this. Sending you lots of love and hugs, take care of yourself, be kind, and spend time on yourself <3 <3
    My recent post A million thanks and… it’s someone’s birthday today

    • Thank you Marie, the year isn't over yet even though I want it to be. But I'm hoping that means it is onwards and upwards. It's so important to reinforce that we need to set aside time for ourselves, instead of for everyone else or for the future, because without that energy we might not have that. I'm so glad I was able to inspire others! *hugs*

  16. readingwishes

    Sorry to hear this has been a tough year for you, but I'm glad you're taking better care of yourself now. You are absolutely right, health is the most important thing ever because without it, it impacts your whole life. Being unwell myself, I fully understand that. Here's to wellness and taking care of ourselves!

  17. Oh. 🙁 I saw your tweets about how you were out of the hospital, but I didn't know what you were in there for. Oh my gosh. Your year has been hectic, it sounds like you've been non-stop. 🙁 It can be easy to get like that, especially when you don't want to let people down or don't have a "good" reason to not do something. Even though caring for yourself is definitely a good reason. I think taking a break from social media and blogging can be great. Especially if those things can be stressful or triggering for you.

    Kidney infections sound so scary, so does being in the hospital for so many days. I'm glad you're able to take sometime for yourself. Self-care is so, so, so important. Without it, people just fall apart or can't function anymore or get seriously sick, like you did. I'm happy you're okay from the hospital and that you'll be taking some breaks from so much action. <3
    My recent post October New Release Giveaway Hop

    • Yeah, it has been an insane year with a bit too much drama for me. Sometimes life gives you lemons too. I don't know where I would be if I wasn't blogging and didn't have blogging events and milestones to look forward to. It gives me life you know, and I've tried going on a hiatus before but I just felt so unhappy that I wasn't doing something that I loved. What I find stressful is Twitter sometimes though, so I try and limit myself on there.

      Thank you Amber for your support! It was definitely scary when I was in there, and I'm just glad I'm on the mend now with a much better perspective that will lead me through life.

  18. Thank you for sharing something so personal, Jeann! That's very courageous, and I think it's important to share the difficult times, too, not just the good times. We are all human beings, and there are times when we just need to slow down and take good care of ourselves.
    When I was your age, I was ill much more often than now, and I am sure part of that was because I didn't take good care of myself. I "made myself" do a lot of things I didn't really feel like doing. I had a difficult job that was made more difficult when my boss left me in charge (which was great for my career, but hard on me personally) just a few months after my second child was born…
    It's great that you will be able to learn to say no now. It's actually quite liberating, and it's even more liberating to just say "No, that date doesn't work for me" and not even explain why. It's nobody's business that I'd rather stay home that evening with the newest Kate Daniels and a huge cup of coffee, right?
    Good luck continuing to take good care of yourself, and I hope the new job will be awesome, with people who appreciate you as a person and as a colleague {{{hugs}}}
    My recent post Bought Bagged and Wrapping it Up #155

    • That's completely right, it's so important to share life lessons with everyone in hope that it will help someone out there you know? It's such an important message. Yeah, I completely hear you when you say making yourself do things you don't feel like doing. I felt like I was wasting away and like my energy was down because I kept myself so busy, and a difficult job is the most draining thing. I thought I was doing the right thing by keeping myself busy and wanting to do more outside of work because that was giving me life, but I was wrong. I'm hoping that I will be able to stick to my words and say no when needed, and to put myself first. It's absolutely nobody's business! Everyone else does it, so why shouldn't we? Thank you so much Lexxie *hugs*

  19. Oh my goodness, Jeann! I didn't know you were in the hospital, I am SO SORRY! I just want to give you the biggest hug ever, I am just so, so sorry- but so glad that you got help in time, too. And realized that you need to spend time on YOU- that is so important! And if you EVER need to talk, you know where to find me! I always check my DMs and email and such! Love you, and I am SO glad you are taking care of you ♥♥♥
    My recent post Books I’m Never Reviewing (8)

    • Don't worry Shannon, I only shared it on a small tweet and Romeo posted something on Facebook, it was pretty low key! Thank you, I am so glad I got myself there, because even when I was there I was just feeling so so crook you know? I really appreciate the offer Shannon, and I may take you up on it in the future. Love you too xx

  20. I'm glad you're better Jeann, and oh my gosh, you are so brave for writing this post. <3

    Honestly, this year has been so, so hard for me, too. I don't talk about it a lot–but I have anxiety and depression and hell, sometimes it's just hard to get up in the morning. Or eat. Or go outside. And because of that, I think, I've had a lot of physical problems, too. I've basically stopped blogging (which is TERRIBLE, I HATE that) and I've read less than half the books I have this year… which, let's face it, sucks. So couple that with my debut coming out (which is stressful, and there's that constant thought of "what if I don't get published again" or "what if no publisher takes me seriosuly after this", and I NEVER feel like I'm good enough) and I know I've ben neglecting myself! So I'd like to spend some more time on me, too, even if it means having to be a little selfish (which is actually really difficult for me to do.)

    Thank you SO much for writing this <3 🙂 <3 <3
    My recent post What I’ve Been Up to Lately, Some More FRAYED Music, and FRAYED reaches Australia!!!

    • Thanks Kara, it definitely wasn't easy getting it out there and I was just so nervous about the response, but everyone has been lovely and I feel like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders you know? I'm so sorry to hear about the problems that you've been having, anxiety and depression is so mood altering and it really takes away your energy. I hope you are taking the time to celebrate your successes though Kara, you are a PUBLISHED AUTHOR! This is a big deal.

  21. *sends hugs* It is so incredibly important to take care of oneself I totally agree. But omg I feel terrible for you that you had to go through all of this. I really hope you rest more and heal and don't feel pressured. Be safe and be well, Jeann. <33

    • Thank you Cait, it's so important to share experiences that are less than ideal you know – we're all people. Thank you lovely xx I will.

    • Thank you Emily, I've wanted this break for so long and I'm hoping that this is what I've needed. Sometimes you just can't change people who are so ingrained in that behaviour you know? It's definitely been going well so far, thank you.

  22. Rashika

    I am sending you infinite amounts of love. I know this has been a tough time for you but I also know that there are so many good things in store for you. I hope that this week will bring you a fresh start and also more time to take care of yourself because you are IMPORTANT <3 <3 <3

    • Thank you so much for reminding me that good things are also around the corner Rashika. Thank you so much for listening. I will keep on doing my best <3

  23. aentee @ read at midnight

    I am so glad you're OK now *hugs* Definitely always look after number one. Now that you're out of hospital and ready to embark on a new job, I wish you all the love and happiness, and hopefully we have left the negativity behind for good. I will always be there to cheer you on <3

    • Thank you An, it's so hard to come to that realisation but I'm glad I finally got there. I am hoping for all of the happiness moving forward too. You are the best, ILY *hugs*

  24. Oh my gosh, Jeann, I'm glad you are doing better now because it sounds like you've had such a stressful and painful time of it lately. I'm glad you are taking care of yourself, and that you recognized the need to! I think all of us need to recognize that as well, and I sure as hell do. I know when I'm putting too much on myself or when I just need a break. The past month has been super stressful with jobs for me, and I've had to step away from social media for a bit because it wasn't helping my mood and mental health AT ALL. But actually doing this without feeling guilty? That's hard for me to get over. Which is ridiculous, right? Why should we feel guilty about taking time for ourselves and practicing self-care? I hope that your self-care has been helping a lot and you deeeefinitely should not feel bad for taking the time to do it! Lovely post, Jeann!
    My recent post October New Release Giveaway Hop!

    • Thanks Holly, I'm only sad that I had to go through all of this before coming to this strong realisation! It's so hard to step back when you're stressing or pressuring yourself because you constantly feel like you need to be doing something. Social media has been toxic lately and I've felt the same as you – seeing all this crap on Twitter is frankly draining, especially when it used to be an escape. We really shouldn't feel guilty at all because otherwise you could end up like I did, in hospital and helpless! Anyway, thank you so much Holly!

  25. Oh, Jeann, I am so sorry that it was such a crazy year for you. Bullying is never okay, and I'm glad that you were brave enough to not put up with it and leave that job. And I'm relieved to hear that you're recovering from the infection. Hopefully, the rest of 2016 will treat you better with only good surprises. Also, thank you so much for posting this and reminding us all what's most important. Continue to recover and good luck with your new job when you return.

    • Thank you Summer, it was such a hard decision especially with all the other stuff going on outside of work. But I'm really glad that I made the move and am in a much better place emotionally. I am hoping it will be good too, cos it's been crazy. <3

  26. Jeann, you are one of the bravest and most hard working people I know. I personally know that I can't as much as you did this year, and it's inspiring the way you've persevered through it all. As you've probably noticed, I've been pretty MIA. I realised the same thing as you did — that the most important thing in life is to make sure you're happy. With your health, your mind, and your physical state. I'm so sad to hear that you've been feeling unwell, but I'm so thankful that you are okay. <3 <3 I've personally been dealing with some family problems and I had to put my rabbit down this weekend because she had kidney failure too. Most people don't know what's going on behind the screen of a blogger, and it's so meaningful and powerful that you have the strength to share your experiences with the world, so others can become more aware. Love you lots, please take plenty of down time when you need it!

    P.S. Fuck those fuckers from the job with the bullies! >:(

    • You are so lovely Joy <3 thank you so much for your constant encouragement and kind words! I'm so glad it was something that you realised as well. I'm so sorry to hear about your poor rabbit Joy! I couldn't imagine how that would be feeling *hugs* sending you all the positive thoughts. Yeah, I kept quiet for so long and have been struggling so much with everything and it definitely feels like a load off my shoulders to get it out in the open. It's so important to share the bad times as well as the good. YES HUZZAH YOU SAID IT!

  27. booksbonesbuffy

    Wow, Jeann, I had no idea you were so sick, I am so sorry to hear all the stuff you've been going through. Being bullied at work is just unforgivable! I'm so glad you got out of that situation. I hope things are on the upswing and it sounds like you're on the mend. Take care of yourself, I always look forward to your posts:-)
    My recent post Over-Booked [58] – A Book Haul Post

    • Yeah, it's not something I was comfortable with openly discussing, but here we are 🙂 I'm really glad I got myself out too, even though everyone or everything was screaming at me otherwise. But anyway, thanks for being so supportive Tammy.

  28. allthewrittenworlds

    Oh love, I feel you so much right now. It's so hard to keep on top of things in this busy world, there is so much pressure to be who we aren't and to put other things before ourselves. I've been in such a dark place mental health wise this year and stepping back has been the only thing I could do, but even still I've felt guilty for taking time for me… which is ridiculous, really. Being alive and healthy is the most important thing.

    I hope you're doing better now and things are starting to look up. I'm also particularly sorry that you suffered bullying in the workplace, that actually breaks my heart that people would be so cruel as to do that, especially to someone as beautiful and friendly and amazing as you.

    It sounds like you've done the right thing for yourself though by getting out.

    *hugs*

    • Definitely, the only person that knows how we are feeling and knows where the lines and boundaries lie are ourselves. So we need to put ourselves first and foremost and to trust our gut and instinct. Thank you, it's definitely not something that I was happy to experience at all, but it was definitely a learning time. *hugs back*

  29. Bec

    First off, I'm so glad to hear you're feeling better! You've had a crazy year and deserve a break honestly. I hope your year gets better from here on out.

    This is also such an important message! And something I really struggle with. I'm very driven to study study study all the time, to try and do well because I get disappointed with myself if I don't do as well as I think I can. I've also been known to pain and symptoms to the side to keep up with uni stuff. I really could learn a lot from you, in terms of learning to relax and enjoy life and not worry so much.

    Thank you for sharing this, Jeann. I know how hard anxiety alone is to deal with, and I can't imagine how you got through it all. You are so strong, not only for pushing through and dealing with it for so long, but also for learning to recognise that it's okay to stop and take care of yourself.
    My recent post Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

    • Thank you Bec, I am hoping I have a less dramatic year mnoving forward as well. It's so important to take time out for yourself and to REMEMBER to put yourself first especially when you're feeling exhausted or overwhelmed. I hope you get to that stage too Bec and know that there's light at the end of the tunnel.

  30. susandyer1962

    God bless you! I hope it gets better for you and life calms down for you. Take time to smell the roses.