Step one: take your entire life and just throw it into a blender.
Step two: pretend like everything is totally fine while moving closer and closer to the edge.
Step three: …
Actually, I don’t know – how do you have a nervous breakdown?
Is there a guide? Am I supposed to do certain things to accomplish this task? Is it a task, or is that the problem right there, that I just tried to figure out how to schedule my nervous breakdown?
That first step up there is how mine started though. Life + Blender = 🤯
Up until 2021, I think things had been going pretty well. Sure the whole global pandemic added a new element of ick to the world, but for the most part that was manageable – there were specific things I could do to protect myself (masks, vaccinations, extreme introverted isolation). Then 2021 rolled up with an industrial-strength blender.
When the only things you need to worry about taking care of are yourself, your job and a couple of house plants; life is pretty straightforward. Then suddenly the responsible adult, who has been sheltering you from all the family drama, passes away leaving you as the responsible adult and there is massive upheaval.
Work stresses that had been growing quietly suddenly become insurmountable, but you push on, white-knuckling through, trying to put all the family drama in little boxes and organize them so you can focus back on your own life. It is difficult though.
I can be judgemental, not because I want to be, but because sometimes I don’t understand why people can’t be pragmatic and do things…well…how I think they should be done. It isn’t that I think my way is best, it is more that no one can provide an alternative and if you can’t offer that, then what is wrong with my plan? It is frustrating dealing with people who are immovable. Unwilling to make changes, despite the fact that huge changes have already occurred and they need to adapt.
I take on too much because I have trust and control issues. I don’t know how people can just abandon family and go off and do their own things. That being said, I am getting very close to just selling everything I own, buying a camper and running away.
Back to the blender, 2021 came to a close, and I did run away for a little while, visited some friends and tried to turn off. It went okay, but in the back of my mind, I was still making lists of things I needed to do.
Then 2022 rolled up and took my blender beaten life and decided to see how much more damage it could do.
The least responsible person in my life died, leaving disaster in his wake. I wanted to go running to the farthest point I could find, knowing it was not going to go well. I didn’t. It didn’t.
I tried to focus on working and organizing the other people in my life as best I could with them being fairly adamant about nothing changing. I did not manage to do so.
For a long time, there has been a growing…rage? frustration? dread? in my life. It is hard to explain, other than to say that before I was content. Things weren’t perfect, show me someone whose life is and I will show you someone who is likely lying or in denial, but I was content.
During this tax season, my boss asked me how I was doing – if I was feeling too overwhelmed by work? We’d already reduced our client base by half and work was less stressful but at the same time, I had so many personal stressors that everything was bleeding together. I think a phone call came in and we didn’t have a chance to discuss it further, which was good because I didn’t know what I would say. There was a chance I would have just said, it’s fine and gone back to my office. Would it have been the truth? No, but what else can you say?
In the past, the way I could get through stress at work was by knowing that I had my personal life organized.
The last year and a half have taken that organization, which took years to achieve and destroyed it. I feel like I am constantly failing, that at any minute the entire thing, my life, is going to explode.
Is it too much? Probably. Have I been expecting too much of myself? Absolutely. Am I sitting here typing this on the verge of tears? Yup.
My body is in pain, and my mind is screaming. I want to disappear and not have to deal with this. I want to abandon everyone and if they fail, that is fine.
Except I can’t. And it isn’t.
There is no one to take my workload on.
There is no one who will step up and deal with the family members who are struggling.
There is no one to take care of me.
I hope I can find the balance but it is seeming impossible.
So I’m asking, how do you have a nervous breakdown?
How does the responsible person lose their mind?
How do I ensure that I don’t find myself surrounded by a rubble heap made up of my mind and my life?
Even typing this I don’t know if I want to publish it? Does everyone need to know that I’m not okay? Does that help? No. Will I publish anyway? If you are reading this, then yes, but not because I want you to help me. I don’t think anyone can help me (unless someone has a couple of million dollars they want to throw my way so I can run away).
You can probably commiserate with me though because we all have problems. Big – small – real – invented; sometimes the best way to deal with them is to just scream into the void and then go back to work.
That’s how I have a nervous breakdown. This time anyway.