A few years ago, I landed the PERFECT job..... in the city. It was a dream job, a dream location, a dream salary! The office was located right smack in the middle of mid-town. Macys was a two- minute walk away. Victoria's Secret was down the block. Sephora around the corner. Madison Square Garden right across the street. A great job, incredible shopping, amazing restaurants, concerts, The Knicks, The Rangers, and more than enough money to enjoy it all! Who could ask for anything more? I dove right in- head first.
If you have never been to New York City, you need to come here. There is no city in the world that can compare. The smells, the tastes, the sights, the sounds, the energy. It's exhausting and invigorating at the same time. It's a rush! A high! To exist in New York is a different thing all together. You are always on over-drive. You are always rushing. There is no such thing as leisurely stroll down the street. Everyone is moving quickly and you must move with them to avoid being trampled to death. All your senses come to life at the same time. This is the city that never sleeps!
Combine all the great things a city like New York has to offer, a very stressful job, and a completely unbalanced life. You have a recipe for disaster. I was commuting back and forth from Long Island, working 10+ hours a day at my job, and then after work, taking advantage of the night life. Sometimes I went home, other times I crashed at a friend's apartment uptown. I would sleep for 2 hours, get up, shower, and begin my day all over again.
The food here is incredible! Anything your heart desires you can order and have it delivered. I ate breakfast lunch and dinner out every single day. I joined co-workers for drinks after work and noshed on unhealthy appetizers to soak up the alcohol. Did someone mention a 2AM concert at some dive down the street? Count me in. I don't have to go home! I can play all night and still put in a full day of work tomorrow! Everyone else would call it night and I would still be out. Sometimes, all by myself. You are never really alone in a city like New York. There is always someone to talk to and always some place else to go. I would call my friend if it was really too late to go all the way back home and I would crash at her place. I kept a change of clothes, a toothbrush and assorted toiletries there just in case.
Weekends I came home but didn't rest. I never had time during the week for local friends so Friday nights I would hook up with them straight from the train. We would dance all night until the sun came up. Saturday was the day to take care of errands, laundry and house work so there was no rest for the weary. Saturday night was the same thing--back out with friends until the the light of day. Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest but there was always something on the agenda and I just couldn't say no. Sunday nights I tried to force myself to get to bed around midnight. That didn't always work, however, especially if I was out and having fun. Next morning, back to the madness.
I kept this up for the longest time. I had the perfect life and the energy of a teenager. I never stopped. I had more money than I knew what to do with and gave it away. A round of drinks for everyone! Let's go out to dinner. No money? That's ok...... my treat!! I had the greatest clothes, the latest hairstyle, the trendiest handbags, the best shoes!! What a life! I was like a kid in an amusement park riding the roller coaster over and over and loving every minute of it.
Then one day it hit me. It was a hot, humid Friday night in August and I was trying to get home. The trains were running late. I felt ill. My heart was pounding out of my chest, my head ached, and I was out of breath. Oh dear God, please don't let me have a heart attack right here in the middle of Penn Station! I will fall down and people will just step right over me. Just get me home! Get me home! I did make it home that night but I ignored all the signs my poor exhausted body was trying to send me. I had places to go. People to see. I showered quickly and ran out to meet my friends. I packed everything I possibly could into one weekend just like I always did. When that Monday morning rolled around, I couldn't lift my head off the pillow. Oh, God, I am dying. My head hurt so bad that the pain made me physically ill. I was throwing my guts up over and over until there was nothing left. For the first time in years I actually called in sick. I never took sick days EVER.
My dad rushed me to the hospital. My heart was racing, my blood pressure was dangerously high. Ordinarily my blood pressure was low, so low my doctor would joke that I was dead! Not today. They insisted on admitting me. I refused. I had to get back to work. I had a job to do. I signed a waiver to not hold the hospital responsible when I dropped dead and went home.
A nice hot soak in the tub would cure me. I was just tired. I needed a rest and tomorrow I would get back to the office and I would be just fine. After my bath I took a good look at myself in the mirror. It was as if I was seeing myself for the first time and it was not a pretty sight. I looked awful. Dead man walking. My face was pale, my eyes sunken into my head. The circles under my eyes were actually black. I stepped on the scale. I had gained thirty pounds! How could I not have noticed that? I was always thin. I had a great figure for my age. Not anymore! What happened to me?
Tomorrow I will share what did happen to me and the steps I took to restore my health and sanity. Stay tuned.
And this is my Daily Cyn........