A Saboteur Heals


“Sometimes you hit a point where you either change or self destruct.” 
― Sam Stevens


Life sometimes brings you messages, signals that if you pay attention will serve you well.  I missed many signals for a long time.  And while life brings on its own stresses some jobs add to it.  But we can manage stress in our lives, if we can see it happening.  I did not see it happening for a long time.


Stress builds up in your body and disrupts all your systems.  You don’t eat regular meals, you gain weight, you work long, long hours and bring work home.  You are on call with little time to play or have hobbies or exercise.  Years of bad eating habits don’t help….I have been a sugar addict from a very young age.  And more and more illnesses escalate and can bring you close to death.  I had several wake up calls, all unanswered.


But life kept intervening, thankfully, and I started to pay attention.  Change my diet…harder to do but not impossible.  Exercise….start slow and have fun with it.  Take time to do the things you love….absolutely.  So why could I not sustain it, keep it going?


I have tried to change some habits.  I knew my health depended on it.  I added meditation which helped with some stress. I would give up sugar only to run right back bingeing on it until I was almost sick.  I would start an exercise regime knowing I couldn’t sustain the time needed.  So why were these bad habits that got me into trouble not changing?  They crept back in, and even a little was enough to start the unhealthy cycle.  And when I finally stared hard in the mirror, I realized I was sabotaging myself and not really wanting to heal.


rose paint

“My illness, I well knew, had been entirely brought on by myself by such negligence of my own health, as I had felt even at the time to be wrong. Had I died, it would have been self-destruction.” 

 Jane Austen


I am still wrestling with this and trying to figure out why it is hard to make these changes…and maybe I am afraid that all the effort will not work yet again mostly because my heart was not in it.  But regardless I know I need to do something.  And I am determined to go down this path of healing now that I have decided to retire.  The retirement itself was for my own health.  But it is not enough.


What is important for me is that I heal the whole me….mind, body, spirit.  I have worked first on my mind and spirit.  And I have made great progress in these areas.  So now it is time for me to heal the rest of me.  And this is the hardest work.  And I will make false steps.  I will fail.  And I will make small steps forward and big steps back.  But the important thing is that I not give up.  That I not engage in that incessant negative self-talk that always sabotages my efforts.  That instead I keep the picture of perfect health front and center.  Yes I do believe that this idea of already having perfect health will finally diminish the saboteur until she is finally silenced.


Note:  It is said that if you cannot find an herb to treat your disorder then try the rose.  The rose is said to be a panacea and can treat stomach disorders, kidney and bladder disease, gallbladder, exhaustion, skin problems and more.




Update 3 months later:

This post was originally published July 7, 2014 as my last post for Vision and Verb.  It was a bittersweet time as I did not want to say goodbye to writing for Vision and Verb.   I had just begun 7 months earlier and had so much I wanted to share with this incredible group of women.

But things will end as they must and we must find our next path.  And this blog was born from that change.  So I thank Marcie the founder of Vision and Verb for pushing me out of the nest a little sooner than I had anticipated.

And to the tribe I found at Vision and Verb, thank you for continuing to show up here and support me.



I leave you with another thought about healing.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

healing wound


All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.


10 Replies to “A Saboteur Heals”

  1. I am glad that you found a space to share your voice and continue the journey you started at Vision & Verb. I too miss that space that we all shared together and I haven’t quite come to terms with its loss.

    I have have been invited to a different outlet to share my travel experiences in Visions & Verbs, it is helping me to move on…

  2. Oh stress can definitely take a toll if we don’t pay attention. Exercise and eating healthy help to alleviate it. Meditation, hobbies, slowing down a bit. Otherwise it builds up in the body. Positive self-talk helps too. Prayer. I agree we need to listen to those wake up calls!

  3. I think the healing is made all the more complicated by the fact that all these unhealthy reactions are intertwined. Many of us have learned to search for comfort in food when we are stressed, but this is exacerbated by the body’s physiological reaction of hunger when we’re sleep-deprived. All of which makes it hard to work on improving just one bad habit at a time. During the last four years I was teaching, I had moved to something called a “3-2 teaching load” — three courses in fall and two in spring. I quickly noticed that I would always put on weight during the fall semester, when I was working 80-hour weeks and sleeping only 5-6 hours on most nights. And then, in the spring, when I was only working 45-50 hours a week and sleeping 7-8 hours most nights, I had fewer food cravings and could take weight off. Sure enough, although this summer and fall have been stressful because of my house construction project, I have been getting enough sleep; and although I have sometimes sought comfort in not-good-for-me foods, I have not put on weight.

    1. Well said Jean..the stress and reactions are all intertwined…I am still untangling and working on those reactions. I have many of them worked through but the weight is still an issue…but it will work out too now that the surgery issues are done. I remember your crazy schedule and thought how grueling…but I am glad to hear you are almost done with the construction and can move on with retirement plans.

Comments are closed.