Me, TooMay 15, 2023
I think we all get a little overwhelmed at times. It can either come right up on you like this whoosh of a feeling or it sneaks in all creepily-like when you really can't take on something else. Either way, it really does cripple a person.
I've seen it outwardly displayed in the lives of friends, colleagues and clients. And no matter who it is, I just have to say "me, too".
Every single one of us have felt it and had to deal with it. It's how we deal with it that matters. Because we all, deep down, know what has to be done. Just one little step.
That's all. In all honesty, it doesn't matter if it's the right one, the wrong one, or somewhere in between. It's a step. And if even you aren't on the right path, you'll be directed. You'll see it. Someone will be there to guide you.
But first, you have to be in the overwhelm stage for a bit. I mean, give in to it. For a short specified amount of time, just recognize it. Understand what brought you here. Feel those emotions that, at times, we think we don't have the time or energy to "waste" on them. It isn't a waste. It's a teaching. It's stopping and being brave enough to live in it. Because we can all just pretend it doesn't exist until it does.
When I used to get to that breaking point, I knew it was coming. I felt it. I heard myself saying things I normally wouldn't say. I sent things into a tailspin. And then?
Well, the "then" wasn't pretty. It was loud and it would come from a part of me I didn't know even existed. No, I knew where it existed, I just covered it up and piled as much garbage on top of it as I could...for as long as I could.
My store was my safe place for my eruptions. After everyone had left, I'd sit under the end of my large counter (we nicknamed it the "going to the basement" because you could sit there and hide). And I would cry...sob...ugly, heaving, can't breathe kind of tears. Words I rarely said would fly out of my mouth in such a way that it would embarrass most. As my burst grew I usually came out from the counter and off I'd go around the store, more screaming, more tears and some throwing. (Did you know metal things spark on a concrete floor if you throw them hard enough? Trust me on this one.) I imagine I was the picture of the Tazmanian Devil cartoon but a bazillion times worse.
That's what I'm hearing in my head right now. That I'm not the only one who did this and still does this.
You understand this. This hurt, anger, aggression, heartbreak, sadness and all the rest.
The overwhelming out of control feeling that scares the heck out of you for as long as you let it.
And then it's over. Just as fast as it came, my control would come back and I would start plotting. Not revenge or anything like that. No, I'd be plotting my next moves. Because I always knew what needed to be done. And I'd tell myself over and over, "Time's up. You're ok. You can do this. Carpe Diem...Seize the Day. Today's the first day of the rest of your life."
Sometimes it took me a lot longer to recover and get to where I would go into action mode. And some moments, it was easier. But each time I did come back, I was stronger and felt energy to just take that one tiny step to doing the next thing.
But the important thing is that I let myself get drawn into it. I let myself have all the air taken out of my lungs in order to scream. I let my tears flow and I felt all the emotions release down my face. I let my anger fly through the air and onto the floor to be able to sweep it away.
I'm hoping you're saying "me, too" in whatever way you set it all free to get the focus. Actually, I pray you did. Because the staying stuck in those dark places only creates darker ones.
Find your basement, let it all out, take the next step.
Don't hide from it - share your story. Help someone else say
*May is Mental Health Awareness Month