10/11/2014 12:05 GMT | Updated 10/01/2015 05:59 GMT

How's Your Life See-Saw?

Do you ever think about your work/life balance?

Have you ever stopped to consider whether you have them in the right proportion?

Does life ever make you stop to think about it?

I've just been pulled up short by these exact questions... again. Not by my PTSD or the Fug (depression) this time but where my work/life balance was falling out of kilter my altered physical condition reminded me that to forget this balance is no longer going to work.

Up until two weeks ago I was flying. Work had been going great, I was attending back to back meetings, conventions, speaking engagements, travelling and enjoying each and every minute. I had coped well with the 15th anniversary of the train crash and there was no sign of the Fug rearing its ugly head.


Problem was I had committed myself to so much that the stress levels were increasing without me realising or even noticing. I was so busy 'doing' I gave myself no time to step back and consider the effect.

I had tried to keep the balance by decreasing my social life. 'This will give me enough time to rest between work commitments' I thought. I had forgotten that some social fun is essential to maintaining that valuable work/life balance.

Part of my condition is that I have a depleted immune system that has never really recovered since the train crash. Maybe it was all the drugs I've had to take over the years, maybe the shock or the burning I sustained, I don't know, but depleted it is. I do everything I can think of to boost it and I try to be careful about hygiene especially in public places.

Of course, when you have to mix professionally with so many crowds and different people if anyone has a cold, flu, or any transmittable illness and I am in close contact with them I am probably going to catch it. That's what happened and I caught the dreaded Norovirus.

Once struck by it my poor old immune system did its best however the virus took virulent hold and rather than lasting the normal four to five days it took 10 to pass. Even now, as I write this, I am still a little weak and wobbly but keep telling myself 'this too will pass' and am picking up the threads to get going again.

Those days under the duvet (and a lot of time in the smallest room!) were a stark reminder that I have to be more careful - we all should. I've got my appointment booked with my GP to get my flu jab and am re-looking at my diary until the end of the year to readjust.

Think of a life like a see-saw. Work and commitments on one end, fun and rest on the other. Balanced, life is in harmony but if either end gets overdone it will dip too far down and some sort of trouble is bound to ensue.


Pam's bookFrom Behind the Mask tells the inspiring true story of Pam's experience before, during and since the Paddington train crash. Get your author signed hardback copy or download the eBook now from Pam's website:

Images sourced from