‘I felt like a building was collapsing on my chest. I had sharp pains. When I got up to get my screaming baby, I fainted. I couldn’t move, so I just sat until my husband came home.’

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“Yesterday I was worried I was having a heart attack.

I’ve been feeling out of breath for two weeks, been exhausted and yesterday I felt like a building was collapsing on my chest, I had sharp pains and when I got up to get a screaming baby I fainted.

Afterwards I couldn’t move so I just sat until my husband came home.

As soon as I felt better, I was up cooking and doing the laundry. But then it struck again.
I asked four medical professionals what I should do before considering anything, because I didn’t want to seem like a hypochondriac. I was clutching at my chest, couldn’t move, but was worried I’d be wasting peoples time if I did anything.

I went to the hospital by ambulance and apologized to the paramedics.

She asked me why and I told her it was because if I wasn’t having a heart attack, I’d feel bad.

We both laughed at how ridiculous it sounded.

But I continued to apologize to everyone.

I felt like it wasn’t anxiety because I knew anxiety. But everything came up negative. No odd heart readings, no blood issues, no odd things in my chest.

I was embarrassed and the doctor told me, ‘Don’t be. You googled all heart attack related symptoms, but have you ever googled stress? They’re almost identical.’ She said, ‘You have stress every day, and that can correlate to contribution to stomach ulcers, IBS, colds, increase your blood pressure, can give you heart disease and can even contribute to a heart attack. It’s very serious. I am glad you’re not having a heart attack but I’m also not happy you have stress. It’s time to cut the people and things that cause that.’

I KNOW she was right. So here is my wisdom from my not near-death experience.

Stress IS really serious. As a people pleaser I will say yes to someone even though it stresses me out to. But why? Because I hate for people not to like me and I hate to disappoint people, and that’s a real problem… because most people don’t care. They’re not worried about me; they wouldn’t visit me in hospital if I was having a heart attack. So why let them contribute to one? I’ve had people fake friendships with me to advertise their business and disappear once it’s done.

Give your time and you as a person only to those who would visit you in a hospital ward.

Everyone else can wait.

Not everyone is going to like me, and why should they? I’m not coffee. And they’re not coffee either, they can’t make everyone like them too, and some people don’t drink coffee (weird) and prefer tea.

If you don’t fill yourself up, you have nothing to give. I’ve been a yelling monster that’s wanted to hit my kids with a wooden spoon (I didn’t, relax) but that aggression in me was so deep rooted and that’s not who I am and that’s not who I want to be. And it was because I was stressed out of my brain!

You can still be a good person and say no. If someone doesn’t respect your no, then that is on them. Not you.

It is all a journey, and I’m going to try my best… because not being able to breathe, crying your eyes out and looking at your children wondering if this is the last day you’ll see them, and the last day they’ll see you, with everyone’s weight on your shoulder and a lot of resentment, stress and anger, is not how I want to leave this world.

Your brain might deny it and you’ll try and push it down, but your body cannot! Make yourself a priority once in a while, it’s not selfish to put yourself first. Selfish is not self-centered. There is a difference. Remember that!

P.S.  Forget the dishes too while you’re at it.

P.P.S. I have to check my ears out, so it wasn’t a total waste of time.”

Courtesy Laura Mazza

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza of Mum on the Run, where it originally appeared. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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