It Sounds As Bad As It Feels

Joe Veen weeklymoleskine.com

What does it sound like when a spirit breaks?

Is it similar to a snap, a rip, or is it like an explosion?  Maybe it is better described as the imploding of self.

It’s indescribable, actually, but it is instantaneous.  One minute we’re fine, the next minute we’re not.

I push myself hard in all areas of my life.  There are only two speeds – fast and faster.  I choose to pile my life’s plate until it spills over.  It works for me.   It is physically, mentally, and spiritually impossible for me to slow down.

And that’s why I run.  It helps to consume that extra energy that tends to shoot out like missiles in all directions.  Ironically, running is the only way I can get myself to tone the energy down somewhat before it builds back up again.

To top it all off, I tend to soak up the energy around me – positive and negative – and when I am already on the verge of erupting, this can lead to some serious danger levels.  You know, kind of like that contraption that the Ghostbusters used to catch the ghosts?

One day, after a particularly challenging day of listening to my sons fight, their words bouncing off the walls of my small office, I felt the shift.  Something was horribly wrong.  Only once before did this happen, but it was so long ago, I didn’t recognize the signs.

I knew enough to cut the day short, but instead of heading to the sanctuary of my home and seeking refuge there, I instead headed to the lake where I met with a friend of mine.  I knew my walls were cracking and this was probably not a good idea, but I went anyway.

We talked quite a bit about life, relationships, people, our past, and before I knew it, I told my friend things that I didn’t dare reveal to myself.  Things that scared me, things that hurt.  I unloaded it all, grateful that my friend didn’t turn away.  After that there was nothing left for me to purge.

I went home feeling empty and beat up, so I crawled into bed and curled up under the covers for two hours.  My son checked on my every 15 minutes, truly worried for me.  Never had he seen me like this.  Hell, even when I had pneumonia a few years back, I don’t even think the family knew I was sick.  But this…this was more intense, more debilitating.  I had broken.  I had split open my tightly sealed lock box that had been fused shut with the heat from my pace.

My mind and body had told me all that I needed to know.  I need to slow down and let go of some of the pressure.

Will I heed that advice?  Probably not.  I’ll take it into consideration, though.  These things take time.  But at least I know that, though I’m not fragile, I can break.

With all we have going on as writers, bloggers, mothers, fathers, day job workers, etc., how do we know when to draw the line?  Do you take time to decompress before or after the meltdown?  I’d love to hear from you!  I think we all could use a little advice!

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About Diana Murdock

California-grown, writer of contemporary and YA paranormal with enough energy to write, raise two boys, run, and dream.

Posted on October 14, 2011, in Blogging, Health, Human, Relationships, Twitter, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Diana, I love you! This post split something open in me. Last night at my computer I could feel my family longing for me, and I was longing for them with the same intensity. But I stayed on the sofa refusing to stop and indulge in their love and company.

    Where do we draw the line. When do we stop to feed our spirits with what it aches for?

    I’ll be praying for us:)

  2. I can relate to your struggles to listen to your body when it’s screaming at you to slow down while you just keep pushing onward maybe even taking on more. I battle with it as well.
    To try and let go, I remind myself that the expectations placed on me are of my own making. Life and how we live it is a choice. If I died tomorrow, what would matter most to me in this moment.
    Also, sometimes, I just take a break. Shut off the “to do” list and go have some FUN!
    Our spirit and soul needs us to have fun and relax. To get out. To laugh. To be joyful. To feel free. Without that, we have less and less to give to those around us.
    Think about what you love to do, what fills you up with joy, what makes you laugh, what uplifts you and go do more of that – and let the other stuff wait – it can ALWAYS wait!
    You are the most important part of the puzzle – put yourself first!
    Sending you big hugs and tons of luv and support!

  3. I don’t have time for a meltdown. You choose running, I choose the gym. We have to have our own built-in, “world of our own.” I spend an hour or more, almost, everyday in the gym. It’s where I can reflect or consider the directions I’ve been or are going. I have never experienced an actual “spirit break” and I don’t foresee one in my future. Knowing you since childhood and watching you grow up, I believe you experienced an empty tank, in need of refueling, but not a break, you’re far too strong a woman for that.

    I love your writing girl. I find myself here more and more just to peer into your mind, if only a paragraph at a time!

  4. Diana, part of what I so appreciate from your talented writing is your ability to tap into the honesty of your soul. I believe Walter has made a good observation. You need “refueling” . Natalie also offered important words – life is about choice. Choose to refuel. Choose to be strong again. Choose help if you need it … for you and your sons. It’s amazing how liberating that can be for everyone. I believe in you.

  5. As broken hearts begin to bleed
    and ocean filled eyes stop searching,
    I wait for the rain to come.

    Words of pain whip
    inside my head
    searching for escape
    to sound.

    Let the rain come.

    Let the rain come
    and drown out the hope of daisies that never came into bloom.
    Let the showers wash away the dirt stained lines
    between the cobblestones.

    Let the rain come.

    Take in the smell of rain-
    a promise of a new beginning.

    Let

    the rain

    come.

    Silence hushed by raindrops beating

    soothing

    healing

    cleansing.

    Pain fades
    and spirit rises over the horizon once again
    with it, hope comes like the dawn.

    I love you cousin…Toria

  6. Well…the upside is, you know how you got to this point.

    The downside is, you have to figure out a method for release because reaching the “snap” point is akin to playing Russian roulette with your health.

    Finding balance is a struggle when we (this is the royal WE of all overachievers) take-on and pile-up more tasks, responsibilities, self-determined goals and massive workloads with the desire to succeed. The truth is, although we KNOW our spirits are made of forged steel and ancient stone, our bodies and our psyches are not.

    Decompressing, releasing, giving ourselves permission to decline, delegate, and ignore are gifts you need to give yourself when there is no one else insisting you do so. Thank goodness for friends – the family we choose to supplement the family we get.

    Letting go of the things you no longer need is a great gift. Give it to yourself. You’re worth it.

  7. beautiful as always.

    I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been there many times. Too many times. I still go there, and it hurts more than a broken leg. That’s why writing is so important. Every time I feel down, or up, I write. I purge all the negativity and I use it to fuel my creativity. Best therapy ever.

    Good reliable friends are also key. Ppl who will be there for you in moments of doubt. Good listeners. Unselfish souls.

    Hang in there. Every day offers its load of beauty and its load of crap. 🙂

  8. What a soul searching place and I know how scary and uncertain that place is.

    When I reach the edge, I retreat (so I don’t fling myself over into the abyss). I nurture myself, turn inward. I won’t talk much, I’ll read, or curl up in my bed. This may sounds weird but I will sometimes go to an antique store. Something about looking at all those things from ages past, touching every day items that people used daily hundreds of years ago gives me some peace and perspective. (I said it was weird!)

    The other thing I do is intense physical workouts. I really throw some heavy weight around. I push the limit until I have to lay panting on the ground, waiting until I have the strength to stand back up. Then I usually want food and a nap. 😉

    Thanks for sharing such a personal piece of yourself. It helps to know that we all go through this and it’s totally ok to retreat to do some self-nurturing and refilling of the soul-well.

  9. I agree with William, you ran empty. Something I have often experienced, I am sorry to say. As “we” take on more and more responsibility it can sometimes get overwhelming and harder for our psyche to handle the usual temperaments or outburst of those around us. The pressure becomes tenfold. It sounds like you have a great decompression method on a regular basis. Running is excellent for the soul.

    Let your family and friends lift you up when you need it. You have a wonderful network. But gingercalem is also correct, it is perfectly okay to retreat and self-nurture when necessary.

    Bless you for this post and sharing. It’s a hard topic and you wrote it beautifully.

  10. This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.’

    It’s wonderful to share with others how you feel at times like this because you will find those who have been where you are and they can share their experiences as a means to help you find the solutions you need. Opening up is essential; stay true to yourself.

  11. Forrest, that was perfect.
    Diana, the fact that you opened up to your friend and she (or he) didn’t turn away from you says volumes about that friend. You needed that release. Now it will take some time for you to accept that it was a good thing.
    We all need to let go every now and again. It’s too much to keep all inside of ourselves. While my heart breaks that you were at that place, I’m thankful that you were able to let something out. Trust in yourself that all will be as it should.
    You are so blessed to have your sons and your friends. Take care of yourself first. Like Natalie said, make sure you are choosing to having fun and relax every now and then. It’s the elixir that will help the bitter seem not so bad.

  12. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos

    This post is beautiful and touching like all of your posts. Don’t laugh at this, but this is why I loved the Harry Potter books. Harry was always trying to go it alone. He wanted to lock up all his troubles and deal with them all by himself. The beauty of the books was that he couldn’t. He needed his friends. Just like you needed your friend that day. I think it’s great that you opened up to that person. We can’t get through the world alone and we shouldn’t try.

  13. Dearest Diana, you are learning and in learning the box that opened will not shut again– completely. You are strong and open and that will see you through any soul cracks. You will heal and the scars with reduce. I wish I had you gift to see and tell others.

    Some people feel exactly what you felt and never recover, except for small moments and they learn to use those small moments to sustain their soul. Life is really like a river. Some get caught in the eddies until an errant current gentles them back into the stream. I think you are that gentle current.

    To know your children noticed– that’s the love you will receive from them.

    Great post.

  14. Dear sista, I’m so sorry you feel overwhelmed and unhappy. There is a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders with your job, the boys, writing… I know it’s hard to listen to others in times like this, but sometimes hearing that another woman has gone through similar “mental overload” can make a difference. I’ve been there more times that I can possibly count. I had to take a closer look at what was going on in my life and act on it. I will email you with details and maybe what I’ve discovered will help you. Big hugs.

  15. Nancy J Nicholson

    Diana, I’ve felt this, too. Being able to find balance is truely life’s challenge. Whatever speed you usually travel, doesn’t mean you won’t find a breaking point. Finding something that can relieve the pressure is nice, but if we get to that breaking point, we’re not aware it even crept up on us. Coming through does make us stronger and no we won’t really break, but the journey back can be long and scary. I know I don’t want to be there again, so I’m more cautious than I once was.

  16. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

    Thank you for this post

  17. Very powerful post, Diana. You really have a way with talking about emotionally brutal moments.

  18. Hugs to you Diana! I know I don’t do the best at this, but I try and try again and try yet again. I listen to my body sometimes when it is too late and the stress and insomnia kick in a migraine. When I do get it right, I shut out obligations for a day (cancel stuff, say no) and focus on doing things one at a time. I guess finding balance may be a lifelong thing? Another post for great reflection!

  19. Oh, Diana, I feel for you. But I hope it wasn’t the sound of a spirit breaking at all.

    Here’s what I hope for you: Maybe it was the sound of old scars releasing. It hurts horribly when that happens. It feels ugly and bloody and debilitating, but it’s progress. It heals faster than the original injury. And it’s stronger and better afterwards.

    Wishing you healing. Sending good thoughts your way.

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