UNITED STATES—Oh, I had an interesting weekend to say the least. The past few months have been stressful to say the least; probably chaotic is a better term to use. Like most men, I don’t take my health as seriously as I should, but I got a wake-up call when I suffered from exhaustion.

The doctor pretty much laid out for me that I have to rest and pump the breaks on doing too much. I’ve been working midnights, and juggling side jobs; on average I was easily putting in 60-70 hours of work per week, and sleeping if I’m lucky maybe 5 hours a day.

The body has a weird way of telling you to STOP. I usually know when a crash will take place because I tend to get ill and I mean seriously ill. This time around that didn’t happen, my body just crashed and it crashed hard, unlike anything I ever, ever expected in my life. Is that scary, you’re damn snappy.

What’s worse, my level of worrying has hit a fever pitch. Between dealing with work, family and finances I just wanted to transport to an island to escape it all. Easier said than done because it appears my worrying may be linked to more than just stress. After feeling like I had a mental breakdown of the brain, my doctor suggested seeing a psychiatrist and it’s likely I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Yes, anxiety is something that has always been prevalent in my life and I’ve wished it away as just a bit of stress. But it appears that stress comes from a host of things that took place during my life (bullying, being robbed and working so hard to please everyone). I’ve come to realize with this latest health crisis that I matter too.

I can’t keep bending over backwards to focus my energy on pleasing the entire world. I CAN’T, and I WON’T do it anymore. I can only control so much and that’s where I plan to leave things. When the work day is over, it’s over, I’m no longer putting in the extra hours to cover someone else’s workload or to make sure things are completed. It can wait till tomorrow.

My cell phone it’s going to be turned off when I’m not working. Why? I’m sick and tired of all the texts and calls that I get when I’m trying to rest. People have to be a bit more aware of respecting other people’s time. A lot of people don’t care. Am I nervous about missing calls or an emergency situation arising, yes, but I also have a house phone for that, so if it’s truly serious, someone will get into contact with me one way or another.

I actually started off the New Year eating healthy and regularly exercising, but as my workload intensified I found myself falling into bad habits. I had been so good with no caffeine and cutting back on sugar intake. Things are still good in regards to caffeine, but sugar has snuck up on me a bit and I’m working to reprogram myself to eliminate that issue.

I’m coming to realize that stress is a big proponent in a person’s health and what I have discovered more than anything is that work might be the biggest contributor. So many people ask why I’m working 2 jobs and I explain it’s because I’m trying to make ends meet. There is no way in hell that I want to work multiple jobs that in the world actually would. It gives one absolutely no time to relax and enjoy their personal life. My latest health scare has put into perspective that it could be time for me to consider the decision of not working multiple jobs anymore especially if the level of stress from one job far exceeds what is taking place at the others.

My health has to be a top priority, because if I’m not actively seeing the issue, my body will react in a way to make me SEE IT. I’ve always been told that in life that you have to work in order to live. For way too long I haven’t done that, I was always living to work, but my body has shaken me to the core to realize there is so much more to life than just work, it’s sad it took me so long to realize that.