11 Jan. 2016
I had expected to write something full of thrill and excitement and joy for this month’s theme, but then I never end up writing about what I think I’ll write about.
This morning I suffered a minor emotional breakdown.
Overwhelmed. To the max.
Cried, hugged on my husband, and slowly started to feel better. Life is freaking hard to deal with sometimes, no?
To be honest, I should have expected it. I had been so on my game the past few months. Full of energy and positivity, multitasking like a bandito, staying up late and waking up early and getting. it. done. But what I forgot is that at some point the great big Burnout will occur. It’s inevitable. In fact, it’s just simple math:
Overwork + Lack of Sleep + Overstimulation in the form of Crazy-Whirlwind-Housecleaning/Reorganizing + Financial Stress = Emotional Meltdown waiting to happen.
Add in a full dose of pregnancy hormones and whoooaaa buddy, look out. (Funny side note on those hormones… throughout this pregnancy (5 months thus far) I have not cried very much at all. I think I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t allowed myself time to feel my emotions? I suppose. During my first pregnancy I had way less commitments and work to do, and tended to cry much more often.)
Even though I can reason through these dramatic dips in my mental state by using logic, it still gets to me. I mean, that’s the whole point of emotions, isn’t it? To rob you of your logic and cause you to act like a fool for a brief period of time. It’s love, and happiness, and sadness, and anger, and envy, and desire. Emotions. They are crap and they are utterly, blissfully wonderful. And quite often you don’t know which emotions the day will bestow upon you, because they can be so damnably unruly and unpredictable.
I think these moments/days of emotional gloom are much like a seasonal cold. They don’t happen very often, but when they do they come on quickly and without much warning. Yet you know that they will pass eventually. They can range in severity from annoying allergies (feeling bummed), to the flu (really feeling down) to bedridden pneumonia (extreme confusion and sadness). I’m not going to talk about the Cancer of these episodes (full-on depression), because I don’t have much experience with it. But just having a taste of it is enough for me. And there are endless reasons for why these seasonal colds of the mind occur, but when I am in the midst of one I don’t really think about the why. I just want out of it. I’ll exercise while eating cookies and listening to my favorite music, anything to get my dopamine churning! But sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes all that works is crying, and then sitting quietly somewhere, and then waiting.
And then forcing myself, or allowing myself, to just take a b r e a k. Even though slowing down doesn’t feel like an option, sometimes it has to be. But more importantly, allowing myself time to feel those dark emotions totally and fully. To let myself “feel sorry for myself” (even though I’ve always disliked that phrase), and then, and only then, move on to reminding myself of how lucky I am in the grande scheme of the world. I know it sounds a bit corny. But it’s true. Because if I don’t allow myself the time to wallow in my own tears, then I’m just bottling those emotions back up to come out in an even more explosive way later on.
January is dedicated to “Pursuing your Dreams and Taking Chances“. Well, I’ve been doing that for the past year and a half, alongside my husband. We have each individually pursued our dreams of building our own businesses, while at the same time building our family business together. And it’s been a tremendously satisfying ride. It is gloriously thrilling, and it has made us feel strong and whole inside. But it is so, so, SO emotionally challenging at times. Because part of pursuing your dreams is giving up the safety nets that perhaps you’ve been surviving on for quite some time. Building your own business means 100% Taking Chances. There is no other way. And there have been many days when we have sat together at our kitchen table after a business meeting and wondered aloud, “How will we make it? What do we do? We must keep working on our dreams but we must have money to put food on our table. What do we do?”
And then we both worry. And wonder. And hope. Just for a little while.
And then, we get back to work.
Because action is the only way forward. Because movement is the only cure for the illness of sadness. Because we will not lie down and give up. Because even though in our darkest moments we fear that we might not make it, we believe we will make it. And we get up, and we get back to work.
As I am writing this my mood is changing. It is 3:24pm on Monday, and the sun is streaming down upon me from my window where I sit and type. I began this day in mental turmoil. The sun didn’t affect me earlier as it rose so brightly and filled our home with its brilliance. But now I can feel it again. Because I let myself cry, and mourn, and “feel sorry for myself”, and you know what? Now I’m ready to get back to work.
Here’s to every woman everywhere who is pursuing her dreams RIGHT NOW.
PS. Sorry if I sounded like a giant cheese ball in that last paragraph… but by golly I am feeling so motivated again! Emotions, emotions, you make me bananas.
PPS. Sometimes a perfectly hot cup of organic decaf cappuccino (b/c I’m pregnant, otherwise it’d be French Roast to the max) with an entire bag of Stroopwafels (also known in America as “The Original Dutch Honey Wafer”, conveniently found in the cookie aisle of your local grocery store) is exactly what you need. So do it. 😀
Image at top, self portrait overlaid on background of a found landscape photo (photographer unknown).