Written January 2019 – Unedited
Crash & Burn
The problem when going at 100 miles per hour is not the ride.
It’s when you stop.
The higher the travelling speed, the greater the crash. We have all seen enough of those Arrive Alive campaigns to know this fact. That is why we have speed limits.
Both the car and the wall obliterated. A write off. Had the car been checked regularly and maintained, the breaks would have worked, you would have had a clearer view of what was ahead of you. The warning lights were there. The car could have helped protect you.
Although it may seem like it happens in an instant, as traditional Hollywood style movies would have us believe in the 80th minute of the movie, where the heroine’s world comes crashing down in one uninterrupted, explosive, dramatic finale scene, and then within 10minutes, everyone is good again, and they lived happily ever after, this is not real life. Even if it seems sudden or out of the blue, perhaps even to the people close to you, it takes a lot, and a long time for your mind and your body to break down to that point of burn out or emotional/mental breakdown.
Let’s talk about that for a moment because I am sure you, like I did, thought that term was meant for those outbursts of anger and frustration when your dog walked mud onto a new rug you just bought. Or when the neighbours see you walking up and down the garden yelling profanities as you pick up all the toys your kids left outside and promised they would pick up. Or when you are crying your heart out to that Ed Sheeran song because no, everything is not perfect. You might have thought it meant strait jackets, loony bins and an underlying illness such as bipolar or schizophrenia. Or it referred to billionaire entrepreneurs or overly successful and famous movie stars who take a year off to sail their yacht around the world and start up charities in Central Africa? (Note – this could well be the case, but it doesn’t always mean that everyone in between is not immune to it) There is also a misconception, and this is probably my own judgement on myself, that it refers to someone who is weak and can’t handle life. Like when you read or watch those period dramas where the fair lady folk died of a broken heart. Seriously? Because they lost their income, or their home, or their loved one or were caught in a scandal or brought shame to the family. I would have been dead a long time ago if I lived in that era.
What of us “normal” people? Trying to adult our way though life? The moms, the stay-at-home moms, the working moms, the singles, the fur-baby moms, the women who by choice or circumstance don’t have children or a husband or a partner? Those of us who are otherwise relatively healthy and are not managing public listed companies but are just trying to be the best they can at their job, their career, their start up business, as an employee or a wife, a mom, or a partner, a daughter, a friend. Are we immune to burn out/ emotional breakdowns? We have a good life? A roof over our heads, income, family, a car, a domestic helper perhaps? We have no right to have a breakdown do we? It’s not like we are dying or are homeless or lost millions in a stock market crash?
You know what happens then?
We put EVEN MORE pressure on ourselves as we feel we are not allowed to fall apart.
We gear down, put foot and that car speeds off, fleeing in fear of being judged on how well we are handling life.
Oh dear me… what is wrong with you? Why don’t you have your shit together? You have had 38 years to sort it out, you really should know better by now. Tsk tsk tsk.