I share with you my story, my journey, and more so, my recovery of how chronic stress affected me. I had an intractable migraine w/ aura aka status migrainosus, in 2016, that landed me in the ICU where they also discovered an arrhythmia (AVNRT) that I then had an ablation for. Childhood trauma, stress from personal life, clinical stressors, moral suffering and moral injury took me down. I lost myself as a mother, nurse and wholly as a person.
So for my recovery, I first of all focused on mindfulness, gratitude, kindness, authenticity; removed toxicity from my life and replaced it with real, meaningful things. Then, I revamped my exercise to fit my body’s tolerance and schedule and started eating healthy, one small step at a time. Those small steps were my success!
I lost 50 pounds since then and more so….I lost nearly all of negative feelings of guilt and shame that were dragging with me from years of that stress. Even though I still have some of those negative memories, they are in the past. I live in the now and do not have any anxiety about them, nor the future either. I have a whole new perspective on life and have the courage to face challenges in a new way with kindness and compassion.
At this time, I now live with chronic migraine and continue to experience symptoms once in a while when the tables of stress tip a bit too far. However, I’m much improved and feel amazing compared to where I was two years ago.
Small steps forward can lead to the biggest impacts of your life.
I am Strong because I Exercise
I am Healthy because I Eat to Live
I am Happy because I am Grateful
I am Resilient because I am Mindful
I am in Love…I found myself again, my heart, my kindness and compassion. I am able to love others in a whole new way!
I am a better mom and nurse because of this journey. Not only do I value my forward thinking, supportive team mates and healthcare company for supporting my wellness and inspiring my health every day; I also have Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation to thank for those small encouragements along the way too.
Adrianne Ewald-Peterson, BSN, RN is a Senior Market Development Professional, Clinical Strategies|Healthcare Services Organization at Humana.
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