I’ve been on a leave of absence from work for a few days now, and I am already starting to feel infinitely better. I realize 3 days is nowhere near enough time needed for me to heal from Adrenal Fatigue, but nonetheless, we are off to a great start!
At this point, I think most of the gains I’ve made are psychological ones… Finally, I’ve been able to free my mind and detach myself fully from the rat race! With the mind at ease, I think this is exactly what the body needed to finally allow itself to RELAX again.
These days, I’m taking things really SLOW… I’m moving at a snail’s pace, and savoring every moment that I have… For the first time in 7 years, I’ve managed to chew my breakfast, and eat at a table and not my car! I’m regularly taking morning walks and breathing in FRESH air… I’m taking naps in the middle of the day and meditating constantly.
Honestly, life is great right now… If this is what early FI is like, well then sign me up for more! It’s kind of funny… Right now, I’m just so burnt out from the rat race that I’m fully (and finally) able to appreciate and cherish every single moment that I have away from it.
9-5 long-term is just not a healthy way to live. People always say “take it easy”, or “stress kills”… Those aren’t empty words without any meaning behind them. From my own personal experience, trust me, I am living proof that prolonged stress will wreak havoc on your health!!! Were it not for this break, I honestly do believe that I would have eventually ended up terminally ill and six feet under the ground if I had continued working the way that I had been…
And this whole experience has been an eye-opener for me. One of the main reasons I’m even sharing all this with you is that I really do hope that this message can reach even ONE person out there. No matter how wonderful you think your job is, or how much $$$ they throw at you, if it causes you to have to sacrifice your health in the process, it’s just not worth it!
Luckily for me, I discovered the concept of early FI at a relatively young age. This extended time off wouldn’t be possible if I wasn’t financially secure! Further, I can’t imagine the added stress this break would have caused for me if I wasn’t a single guy with no kids (or dependents)… Unfortunately for many others out there who are battling Adrenal Fatigue, they can’t so simply walk away and quit their jobs… I completely empathize with those folks because this battle isn’t easy! So, I definitely do count my blessings and feel thankful to be where I’m at right now… Things could be a lot worse.
For anyone who has their doubts about the importance of early FI… well, health should be a major consideration as to why you should pursue financial freedom wholeheartedly! From the moment I told my company I was sick, I became a liability. No one wanted to deal with me… especially not HR. Instead, they transferred me to a third party (outsourced) insurance company to handle my complaint… Yup, once you are no longer useful to the company, you had better believe that they will distance themselves from you in a blink of an eye… I’m damaged goods now, and have no more value… Sorry, it’s just business! And business is cold… so don’t think this can’t or won’t happen to you someday.
Take care of your finances, and you won’t ever need to sweat the bullet when the axe falls. In my situation, I’m pretty certain the company will deny me paid leave (since my “brilliant” doctors all don’t think I have a REAL medical condition… Adrenal Fatigue is “all in my head”). Oh well… On my last day, I walked out of the office with my head held up high and a HUGE grin on my face. 🙂
But I also learned awhile ago that this type of hamster wheel spinning is just not sustainable long-term for someone like me, anyway… I’m too much of a free spirit, for one. Subconsciously, that’s probably what drove me to early FI and ERE. To make matters worse, I’m also a Type A personality, so the ravages of stress impact people like me even more severely. By nature, I’m already the classic, high-strung overachiever… Corporate America is obviously not the best fit for someone like me! You could argue that I should have seen this coming from the start of my engineering career.
Anyway, things are getting better again. Today, I decided to go to the park and do some light exercise. The body is still decompressing, so I didn’t want to tax myself too heavily yet… I will probably wait one full month before I attempt any kind of strenuous exercise.
Here’s what I was able to accomplish today:
- 8 laps around the park, jogging at a slow pace.
- 25 push ups.
- 6 pull ups.
And that was it! Those type of statistics would have embarrassed me greatly in high school… but for a guy who’s totally burned out, I’ll gladly take it.
I’m at rock bottom right now… But I’m learning to crawl again… I’m building the body back up after years and years of neglect and abuse!
I’ve always enjoyed this Switchfoot song, and now it has more meaning to me than ever before.
I’m Learning to Breathe:
Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂