I ran out of steam the other night before I could really go into the benefits of ignoring bad advice – medical and otherwise. But that’s good. I’m paying attention to my energy levels, and I went to bed earlier last night than I have done in months. I’m still tired, but at least I got some rest.
Anyway, when I think about bad advice, I’m probably a poster child for ignoring it. Not – mind you – because I just don’t feel like doing what others tell me to, but because I usually do exactly as others tell me, and then I find out all too quickly that they’re full of sh*t and I have to change my direction… or else. I’m willing to try just about anything, especially when it’s suggested by a qualified professional. I guess it’s just my luck that the things they suggest are often the worst possible things I could do – and I have to find out the hard way that they’re completely wrong in my case.
Take, for example, the years I spent in excruciating, crippling pain, about 20 years ago. I suddenly started having terrible pain in my joints. It truly sucked. I also had a small patch of rough skin on my face that got dark. I went to a doctor, and they told me they needed to do some tests. So, they did their tests, and they came back with a diagnosis that was a very serious, relatively unknown ailment that people didn’t know much about at the time. They told me that was the reason for the rash and the pain, and I should see another specialist to help me figure out this serious situation.
Long story short, I spent the next several years not only in excruciating pain, but also living a life that was just a shadow of what I could have been living. I went to plenty of specialists and followed their advice, was compliant with their orders… and my condition just got worse and worse and worse. Until finally I did something that was not in keeping with their instructions – I went outside and got some exercise. And I stretched. And the next day I felt remarkably better. I continued to get exercise, changed the shoes I was wearing from hard soles to soft, and I stretched. I also quit smoking and started eating better. And wonder of wonders, the pain abated.
I can’t say it’s gone away entirely, and some days it’s back with a vengeance, but I’m not living in constant debilitating pain, day in and day out, anymore.
And I seriously question if their diagnosis was correct to begin with.
Now I realize that there are some situations where you should definitely NOT disobey your doctor’s orders. But if you’ve followed their instructions and things just aren’t getting better, you owe it to yourself to try something different.
Likewise with work (or, should I say, over-work?) My current job, I see now — after a frenetic year — is a setup for overwork. The two people I report to are on opposite ends of the spectrum, and their boss is out in a completely different spectrum, period. They either want EVERYTHING DONE RIGHT NOW, or they just don’t care if/when things get done. If I follow either of their leads, I’m toast. Seriously. Even though one reports to the other, they don’t seem to have any interest in behaving as though there is a chain of command. It’s odd. Why would they complicate things like that? Chains of command make some things — like getting work done — so much easier. I guess it’s a case of the person in charge not wanting to be the heavy… or maybe the subordinate person threatened to quit, and they know where bodies are buried, so they have to be placated. Or maybe everyone is just weak? Who knows. Probably the latter. Ocam’s razor strikes again.
Anyway, enough about them. I just have to follow my own lead, do what I feel is best, and trust that I know myself and my habits well enough to manage them properly. Of course, there’s always the chance of my “issues” showing up and getting in the way, but that’s nothing new. I just need to be aware of that and manage it.
But whatever I choose, in all things, I need to take care of myself. Make sure I get sufficient rest and exercise. Eat right. Don’t bombard my body with sugar and cheap carbs, and make sure I get away from the work, on a regular basis. Step outside. Get some fresh air. Stretch the gunk out of my bones and muscles. Do what makes me feel good and strong and keeps me going.
Just keep going. Take care of myself. Be smart. Keep going. So long as I do that, I have nothing to lose.