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Life With POTS: Redefining Success

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

I was so proud and excited when I wrote my 5-year plan in my last year of university.

I was going to live in downtown Chicago and work a fancy office job. Volunteer in my spare time. And travel to exotic destinations around the world in my time off.

Well… all of that did come true. But for a very brief time.

Then my POTS symptoms came from under the surface and exploded.

But I kept pushing, as I was not about to give up! So I started beta blockers and took on a new job in a country with more work-life balance. I thought that would do the trick.

Well.. it didn’t.

After many nights spent crying on the bathroom floor, I realized that I needed to rethink everything about what a successful life entailed.

What did I want out of this life? Two things that kept coming up were my love of the world and its natural beauty and my love of helping others.

But I could no longer do trips like the ones I envisioned. They would exhaust me too much.

So instead, I started going to a small botanical garden by my workplace and admiring the flowers there. I would also sit by the lake and just admire the beauty there. (That’s where these two pictures are from).

Then, to start helping others, I realized that I needed to switch careers. But to do that, I needed to help myself first. This meant prioritizing my health.

So, getting much more consistent about my sleep, exercise, eating, and incorporating more relaxation to balance the autonomic nervous system.

I had to cease fighting with myself. Otherwise, I would get stuck in the cycle of crashing and then feeling sorry for myself. No. Things had to change.

Do I still believe in a 5-year plan? Of course.

But now I appreciate the role of pivoting and of consistently questioning the plan by digging deep in my heart and asking what I want out of this life. Then, finding ways to accommodate those goals with the limitations at hand.

How have your symptoms led you to re-evaluate your goals and life?

Let me know in the comments below


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