Three Years Later

I remember a time in my life when my stress and anxiety was so intense, I would fantasize about *poof* just not being here. My best friend would tell me on a regular basis, ‘If you don’t get this under control, you’re going to get sick’.

It was three years ago, right this very moment, I sat on the side of my bed, covered in bruises, blood vessels bursting, hemorrhaging, on the phone with TeleHealth to ask them if they thought I should go to work or not. I intended on going. I had already missed a full week in the office for the muscle I had locked in my hip days before. I didn’t want to miss anymore time at work.

It was easy to pass it off as not a big deal. Like I was being a big baby. I should just suck it up because duty calls. My doctor clearly wasn’t concerned. And even when I got to the hospital, after TeleHealth told me to drop what I was doing and go, the triage nurse fluffed my concern off as a heavy period. Why would I take it seriously if the people trained to take these things seriously didn’t? It seemed to suit the rhetoric of my life perfectly. I would scream, ‘Me first!!!’ to the world; was even called names for it but I never really did come first. I blamed the world for that, feeling sorry for myself.

It took nearly a year after that day to realize that it wasn’t the whole world that has neglected me. I mean, I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences but the most deceptive wrong is the one we commit upon ourselves. It had been me, myself neglecting me. Yes, the world could kick you around but at the end of the day, what truly matters is how you treat yourself and I simply did not value myself. I did not feel worthy of being put first.

To think that I was 24 hours away from my own death and still I didn’t trust myself enough to make the decision to seek medical care. That I was 24 hours away from my own death and more concerned what my employer thought about me missing another day. My lack of self-worth almost cost me my life. My lack of self-acceptance; if only I could get there, to help start easing the burden of my anxiety, wasn’t something I could see in front of me. Not even through the strongest telescope. Let’s be honest, there is no telescope that can penetrate a well crafted ego that’s not ready to let go.

It’s been 3 years and I don’t know that version of me anymore. I’m grateful for who I’ve become. I unapologetically come first because the mere fact that I breathe makes me worthy.

If you can relate, I hope you can find it in yourself to love yourself before life shows you why you always should have. Because you are worthy too.

Published by Michelle Burleigh

Michelle is a highly driven, ambitious woman who gratefully possesses a love of learning and a passion for personal growth which support her ongoing healing and career growth. As a mother of two incredible young girls, a wife, and a patient advocate, and most recently, an author, she has not allowed her December 2017 diagnosis of Acute Leukemia stop her from making and achieving goals. She felt compelled to start to help people and their loved ones feel more empowered and informed throughout their own healing journey.

3 thoughts on “Three Years Later

  1. Hey love xo it’s Jackie. I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this today. I am almost 50 and anxiety finally caught up with me in a debilitating way. I ended up in hospital for 4 days and they couldn’t get my BP under control. I am in perfect physical health! After my bilateral carpal tunnel surgery, I worked hard to rebuild my muscles and am buffer than ever before. See bicep picture lol! My brain just cracked lol. I am on mental health leave from work until the new year and am taking my own advice to take care of me too. I can’t give anymore until my cup gets full, and I’m working on it xo Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family my friend from us  xo thanks for all you do With love ❤️ Jackie 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone


    1. Oh wow! I’m so sorry to hear that! It’s true that if you don’t stop yourself your body will for you. I hope that you have been able to reflect so you know your limits better and don’t have to go through that again.
      I’m glad you’re taking a leave and working on getting better. Sending you tons of healing vibes and positivity.
      I hope to see you in the new year. xoxo


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