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“It’s not the end of the world”. I can’t even count the number of times my father has said that to me.  And it’s a phrase I’ve heard all my life from other people that I love.

I have a very long history of catastrophizing.  My old therapist used to get frustrated with me when I said something was “horrible.”  For example, bad traffic was “annoying” but not “horrible”.  Hurricane Katrina was “horrible” and “devastating”, but not me having a bad day.  I get that.  My logical brain gets that.  Of course, any reasonable person can understand that line of thinking.  And when I’m not wailing like I cut my foot off, I’ll be able to see that clearly.

I like routines. Routines help my life make sense.  I do things the same way everyday because otherwise I won’t remember where my keys are and whether or not I’ve taken my meds.  I always put my Oyster (transportation) card in my wallet when I get off the bus.  But today, I put it in my pocket with my phone.  When my phone rang on my walk home, I pulled it out of my pocket and my card must have fallen out onto the street.  I didn’t realize this until I got all the way home.  The realization that I lost my card with £20 worth of bus pass on it made me lose it.  I started crying as if I’d lost a limb or something.  In fact, I’m still crying.  I feel this complete sense of loss.  This horrible feeling.  And yes, to me, it feels like everything is falling apart.  I almost blacked out because I was crying so hard.

And again, I know that I shouldn’t be this upset over £20.  That a bus pass can be replaced.  That it’s “not the end of the world”.  But I feel like such an irresponsible idiot for not following a routine I know works for me.  For not doing what I always do.  When I deviate, bad things happen.  I’m trying to calm down before my husband gets home but I just feel so awful about it.  And I can’t stop crying enough to suck it up and walk down the street to get another one.  I just want it to magically appear again.  And what’s even dumber is that if I had registered the card last week, then I could just transfer it to a new card. But I didn’t.  So, again strike it up to being a complete dumbass.

Ok, so losing my Oyster card is really annoying.  But that doesn’t describe this overwhelming grief I feel.  There’s no other word to describe this absolute pain in my heart. I feel it all through my chest and my throat is tight and my head is spinning.  Everytime I think I’m ok, the tears start all over again.  I know that I shouldn’t feel like this because it’s not the end of the world.  I know that normal people are not like this.  I know that I don’t have many people I can tell about this who aren’t sick of hearing about it already.  As if they can’t understand why I shouldn’t be the happiest girl in the world.

I want to be the happiest girl in the world.  I don’t like being this way. I don’t like being gripped by sadness that I can’t even explain.  I hate having to try to explain that I suck up the sadness of other people like a sponge and sometimes own it as my own.  I’m terrified that I’m as crazy as I think I am.

I still can’t stop crying. I can’t get out of my own way.  I hate the voice inside my head who is making fun of me right now and taunting me and telling me “it’s not the end of the world.”  I just want it to shut up.

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