Yesterday, I had a meltdown at work. A total, 100%, crying in public, meltdown. It came completely out of nowhere, as the best meltdowns often do. I arrived at work as normal and was greeted with the news that an emergency staff meeting had been called. Nobody knew why.
The meeting was to inform us that our boss was leaving. This announcement was completely unexpected and, apparently for me, it was the final straw in a long queue of straws that have been building up for some time.
Before I knew what was happening, I was sobbing my eyes out in the middle of the cafeteria. I’m pretty sure people thought I was crazy. I would possibly have to agree with them. What most of them don’t know is that is has been a very long year. And it’s only March.
The only way I can explain it is like this: Someone hands you a large box to carry. It has all the things you need to get by day-to-day. And it’s pretty heavy. But you’re strong, so you can manage. You carry that box around every day and you very rarely complain.
Then somebody else comes along and hands you another box. This one is heavier. It makes you wobble for a moment. But then you regain your balance and you carry that box. And most people would never even notice that you’re struggling.
Then comes the next box. It’s heavy again. And now your arms are starting to visibly shake. And you continue to struggle along, carrying your burdens and not really knowing how you’re still standing.
And then it happens. From out of nowhere, someone drops another box on top of all the others. This one is tiny in comparison. It could be a box of tissues. But it’s one box too many. And you can’t keep your grip anymore. You drop all of the boxes, like a slow-mo scene from a film. And everyone stares at you in surprise. They never saw it coming.
That’s me. I’ve dropped my boxes. And now I can’t seem to pick them up again. I feel fragile, like I’m constantly fighting back a panic attack or a torrent of tears. I feel…..wrong.
I don’t like feeling wrong. I don’t like feeling weak. I don’t fall apart, I don’t cry in public. I hold it together. I hold everyone else together. And the fact that I can’t at the moment just makes me angry. At myself. I really need to pull it together. I really need to feel like me again.
So I will. I get this weekend to fall apart and by Monday morning I will be me again. For a little while at least.