Thursday, 29 July 2010

Today I had a meltdown

I'm not going to suggest it's easy to deal with major stresses.

Because it isn't.

But, with some major stresses, you at least know what you're up against. It doesn't make it easy or, necessarily, easier, but there's a sense of tangibility, and you know damn well why you're stressed.

And, perhaps, it helps other people to understand more easily what you're dealing with (or trying to), too, and to empathise. If you're bruised and battered from fighting a bear that's entered your porch, others can look at you and immediately say, "no wonder you're bruised and battered."

Whereas comparatively minor, more insidious but (perhaps) no less insistent stresses are, by their nature, more diffuse, less definable, and less easy to position yourself against. They can build up, catch you off your guard, you think you're ok - when really you're not - and, after all, I dealt with the big stuff just fine, didn't I?

In that respect, it's harder to explain to other people, and I'm slower to make sense of such things myself. People are less likely to be understanding if you can't adequately define what you feel you're up against, particularly if it's many little segments of this and that. If you're not bruised and battered, because you've spent the day merely attempting to rid your house of flies, wasps and an infestation of ants, it can be harder for those around you to take you quite so seriously from the word go.

Today, when I was really starting to feel more than hopeless, I was able to offload. Not before time.


Zhoen said...

Oh, yeah. Hard to define, a bugger to scrape off. Very difficult to turn around when you can't tell which way is up.

Soak and scrape and heave to.

Sophia said...

I'm sitting here in a locale coffee shop reading your words, tears welling up, because I most CERTAINLY get what you are saying. You know some of my past story and all the hell I've been through. I faced and overcame so much....BIG things (as you are saying here), and yet, the "little" stresses are building up and I found myself in the same place last weeek/weekend -- feeling completely overwhelmed and as if I didn't have the strength to face all the little things on my plate. Ugh! It's crazy...crazy to think you and I could face and overcome BIG things and crumble (or almost) under the smaller things.

Wish you lived closer, we could probably relate to so many things!!

Nevertheless, I do hope you are feeling better. Hang in there.

Carol said...

It's the little things that grind you down!! They can all add up to one huge thing which feels insurmountable because it's not a case of 'If I do this one thing it will all go back to normal'. You'll get step at a time...and make sure you have something else going on so that you have some need it to balance things out!

C x

Fire Byrd said...

It's rows over where the toothpaste should be squeezed that break up marriages, not the big stuff. So that's exactly the same with stress. We cope well with catostrophy we have no choice but the small stuff , oh boy bring on the valium!

Jennifer said...

Oh yeah. I can recall many times when a meltdown came along like "whammo" out of nowhere. Great post.

trousers said...

That's pretty much it, Zhoen. Hopefully I'm now a little closer to soaking, scraping and heaving to, than to the previous stuff. Hopefully.

Sophia, that's a really touching comment, and I appreciate it lots! Thank you so much, I aim to hang in there, and I hope you are doing too: I'm sorry that you've also been in such a place recently.

Carol, you're right in all respects. Thankfully (and one reason for the delay in replying here) I've had a welcome change of scenery this weekend, which I hope sets me up for the week ahead.

FB, yes you're right in all respects too - but I wouldn't have doubted that you'd know what's what with such things anyway :)

Jennifer, yes it's precisely that - being caught unawares because it creeps up seemingly from nowhere. Very destabilising.

Thanks everybody, it's a big help to read these comments and to know that people can understand and empathise.