A Real Life Cautionary Tale About Work / Life Balance that Will Scare the Crap Out of You

June 19, 2017

There’s good reason that various experts and gurus consistently tout the benefits of finding balance in all that you do. Whether it is in your personal relationships, your leisure activities or your professional life, balance is crucial. Of course, it’s the work/life balance we are talking about here, and that is where this story takes place.

We have a helpful blog post about work/life balance from a while ago, but this is more of a personal story. A few years back, I got to a point where my work/life balance was so out of whack; it resulted in full on nocturnal seizures that have had some lasting effects. Here’s how it happened….

Writers Gotta Write

One of the reasons The Content Company strikes a positive chord with clients is because of the balance between its founders. I was a freelance content writer, Cara worked for a couple of large SEO companies and had a sales background; put them together and there you go.

However, it was from an imbalance that our current corporate balance came about. When I was a freelance writer, I was a writing fool. As a freelancer, you don’t get paid unless you write, and I guess I really wanted to get paid because I wrote ALL THE TIME.

There was a period of time, where I wrote from the moment I woke up until the wee hours of the morning, then a little sleep and repeat. Now, keep in mind our youngest was still pretty new, and this was before Cara dove into the world of SEO agencies, so it was our sole income. But still…not the best way to go about earning money.

When Things are Out of Balance

The first thing that is affected when your work/life balance is out of sync is relationships. You neglect those around you, and even though they may understand, they notice and it makes a difference. Losing all track of time is common, and hours can just speed by without you even noticing. When I really got into content writing at a maniacal pace, we were living in a big house on a lake in a small town, and I was writing in the basement. I’m told that it was reminiscent of The Shining.

The Mother of All Signs

And while neglecting your family is certainly a negative side effect of a poor work/life balance, it’s nothing compared to a genuine health issue. I believe it was around the end of 2011 when I had my first seizure. It was a cowardly bastard, sneaking up on me in my sleep, and caused quite a bit of damage.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever had one or witnessed someone having a grand mal seizure, but being on the receiving end sucks ass. I bit halfway through my tongue and my shoulders have never quite been the same again. There were tests that followed; but nothing conclusive was ever found as the cause. At the time, I didn’t even connect it to my severely unbalanced lifestyle, but I figured it out eventually.

Around 24 Seizures Later…

After that first one, I had a nocturnal seizure almost every month for more than two years. Not always on the same day, and I skipped a few months here and there, but they were pretty consistent. I ended up using a teeth grinding mouth guard every night to protect the tongue, and it got so I could barely lift my left arm up over my head.

The turning point came when I decided to get my sleep patterns back to normal. No more 18 or 20 hour days sitting in front of a computer writing. No more forcing myself to keep my eyes open just to finish one more blog post or page. Once I got all that back to normal, the seizures stopped and have been gone for almost 3 years.

My shoulders still don’t have full range of motion, but they are much better, and I just feel more “with it” overall. Does this sound a little too simplistic? I’m sure it does for some, but we also keep learning more and more about the importance of regular sleep. All I know is that when I brought things back into balance, these awful seizures stopped, and that’s good enough for me.

Was It Worth It?

The inevitable question that comes from this story is “Was it all worth it?” After all, that insane work schedule taught me an awful lot about the content writing industry. I am better at choosing and managing writers now, I have written and edited thousands and thousands of pieces, and our little company is growing by leaps and bounds, in part to this expertise.

However, if I have to give a definitive answer, it would have to be no, it was not worth it. I’ve been around long enough to see enough people and their dreams completely derailed by health issues. It really is true that without your health you have nothing. Not to mention, chewing on your own tongue, almost dislocating shoulders and losing control of your bladder like a baby all while you are asleep, shouldn’t be worth it for anyone.

Regardless of which industry you are in, finding balance is key, and you can still soar to great heights without jeopardizing your health. Don’t ever mistake creating balance with being lazy or slacking off, because working 24 hours a day is a fool’s proposition.

Today, we have a team of writers producing content for us, and if you’ve been looking for a reliable content provider to help find more balance, give us a call at 888-221-5041 to go over the possibilities.

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