Emotional Breakthrough (Thanks to the Breakdowns)

OK, so I know I’m on a bit of a hiatus and am working on updating the blog a bit — look and feel, content, razzle dazzle baby. All that is happening behind the scenes and I will share more info soon. But crazy shit is going on and I feel compelled to write. Lucky you!

So the past few weeks I’ve been an emotional disaster (even more than usual that is). Tears — big, hot, rolling, endless amounts of tears — are constantly streaming down my face. Most of the time I’m not sure why. It’s not like I’m thinking about or experiencing something particularly sad. But I’m always about to start sobbing, usually in inappropriate or embarrassing situations. Outside of the crying, I’ve been dealing with the mortification and humiliation that accompanies public breakdowns. I know people think I’m a freak. They’re probably right. So overall, good times.

I’ve experienced a bit of clarity over the past few days, which I figured I would share. Hear me out, this is going to be a bit rambling because I’m still wrapping my head around it. I’ll make this more eloquent later.

The background: So dealing with the aftermath of my vertigo episode that hit me the end of May has been absolutely brutal — especially the first month or two when the vertigo (vs. episodic dizziness) was still hanging out (see here, here and here for background). As I wasn’t able to do anything physically, and concentrating on things like reading or watching TV triggered a bout of dizziness, I really just had time to sit and think. Horrifically depressing, especially as time goes on. I was alone with my thoughts — major emphasis on “alone” — and that isn’t always fun. I think that’s where some of this started — some of those deep, repressed feelings and memories began to emerge.

I’ve also been doing a lot more yoga lately. Yoga is known to trigger all sorts of emotional reactions, as our body memory is interesting. Emotions and feelings are stored (repressed?) deep within us. As we practice, it’s typical to release those emotions. While I haven’t (remarkably) had a crying bout (yet) in yoga class, I’m definitely doing things to physically release these emotions to accompany any mental releases. Again, none of this is planned or on purpose, just shit coming together and stars aligning to result in a breakthrough about the breakdowns.

So what I’ve realized through all of this may not be a revelation to any of you, but it certainly is to me: I’ve been operating in full-on panic survival mode since my brother killed himself nearly four years ago. I’m acting like prey being hunted in the wild, only the perpetrators are emotions like fear, grief, sadness, etc. So it’s been every woman for herself; me and me alone. No one can hurt me if I don’t let them. So I built my fortress and have kicked people out, then kept people out, and fought against feeling or experiencing anything. For four fucking years (and counting). That’s a lot of adrenaline.

But that shell is breaking and it ain’t  pretty.

Over the past four years my instinct and actions have been (right or wrong) that I can rely on no one but myself, and I’ve (subconsciously) worked to shut people out because I refuse to allow myself to rely on or trust or care for anyone. Because people and their actions can be hurtful, and I am not accepting any more hurt into this body of mine (or so the subconscious thinking went, I imagine). Survival of the emotionally fittest. It’s a bit of self-preservation perhaps, fear definitely. I haven’t even fully realized what I’ve been doing until now.

But I am emerging from this desperate survival mode. I don’t know why, or why now. I’m exhausted for sure. I’ve definitely been feeling more alone than usual. I am fully depleted. And now it’s like a tidal wade of shit I haven’t really allowed myself to feel before, crashing over me. I’m finally feeling the pain of so many things I forced myself not to deal with. I know people have given up on me, as they have had every reason to do. And who wants to be around me now that I’m crying all the time? ALL. THE. TIME. No one. Just not worth it.

Four years is a long time to be operating in a panic, focused on survival. I can’t do it anymore. My fortress has cracked enough so that I realize and admit that I am in pain. It fucking sucks. And with that revelation comes the emotional release.

It’s funny when I think of people I haven’t known that long, who never really knew me or saw me dealing with my corporate job and the insanity that came with that, or me dealing with my brother’s suicide, or me going through my separation. All that crazy intense dramatic painful shit that I just stoically walked through. Unlike now, when I forget to point my toe doing some flying trapeze trick that sends me over the edge to a puddle of tears for sucking so badly and being such a miserable failure.

I don’t know where I am and I don’t know what’s next. Maybe this is a breakthrough, maybe it’s something you all have known about me for at least four years. Don’t worry, I’m not depressed or in crisis or anything like that. But holy shit, I am sad. I for the first time am really able to look at my life, how much has changed, how much pain I’ve experienced. And it is completely my fault; after all, the only actions and reactions I can control are my own.

Anyway, just thought I share. This is where my journey has taken me.

Life After Normal

2 Replies to “Emotional Breakthrough (Thanks to the Breakdowns)”

  1. I just found your blog and your words really impacted me. Thank you for that. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and inner emotions. Believe it or not, it makes others feel a little less alone.

  2. Thank you for sharing this story. You have no idea how much this has helped me. It rings so true to what I have been going through that I feel like I could have written a very similar article myself. I’ve always felt like no one ever understood me but now I see maybe it was I who didn’t understand myself.

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