Holding it Together When You Want to Crack Under Pressure

I was cracking from deep inside. My internal battle was overwhelming me. I felt caged in the responsibility of being a financial provider for my family while failing at being a wife and mom. My workdays were long and lasted into the night. Always exhausted when I got home and too emotionally spent to have anything left for my girls or my husband. I would try my hardest, fake a smile, eat dinner and express my gratitude to my husband who had cooked it. I’d routinely kiss the girls goodnight and then fall asleep mid-conversation. My mornings started before anyone else in the house, and I would leave in the dark of mornings to do it all again.

This Is Not The Life I Imagined!

I wanted to quit. I no longer wanted my life. Where was my do-over? I couldn’t stop crying for hours. Something needed to change, and I knew it was me. No more just going through the motions of life. Gone was my passion for everything. My work was taking over my life and my identity and I had become resentful of it. It was costing me my family and myself. Simply put, I was tired of being tired.

Here is an excerpt from my journal for that day:

“How can one be so weak? Don’t you know I have to be responsible and make responsible choices? My heart, soul, body, and mind are longing for a break, for rest, peace, release, but instead, I can’t sleep, I can’t catch my breath, tears fill my eyes, and I cannot find
quiet. I feel like I’m in the battle zone of war with myself, my physical body taking all the blows. My spiritual body feeling all the pain. I am not enough. I cannot handle this. As the tears fill my eyes, the strangling lump of anxiety fills my throat and my heart aches. I want a different life than this. I want time and energy to love my children without being rushed. I want time to heal my marriage. I need time to heal me. I don’t know how much more I can take.”

The First Day of The Rest of My Life

Considering my state of mind and emotional fatigue, I decided it wasn’t safe for me to work that night. I called out sick, stating it was a family emergency. Yes, Momma in the middle of a breakdown IS an emergency! I could not will myself through one more “should”. I could not show up and fake it. I knew I would crack under pressure. My patients and their families deserved better. My family deserved better. I deserved better. But I was soon overwhelmed with guilt. Did I do the right thing? Despite my second doubts, I knew my ability to emotionally be present was gone. I would not be fully present for my patient’s, so I knew I had made the right call.

Following Guilt Comes Relief

Suddenly, I felt a tremendous sense of relief. Calling out of work was a breakthrough for me. However, I was pretty uncertain about what I needed to do next. How do I approach creating the life I truly wanted? A life that was authentically me, that unearthed my talents, passions, and strengths to bring my best self to the world and, most importantly, to myself and my family. Where does one start to do that? In fact, who is my best self? What does “she” even look like?

I understand it seems crazy not to “know” yourself. But that’s where I was!

I managed to use the most of that day a few things that day to set me on the right path. First, I journaled about my thoughts and feelings. Journaling helps me get all the crazy thoughts running around in my head out. Once I put them onto paper, they don’t seem to hold as much power. Journaling also helps me process my emotions. When I get caught up in the “Don’t crack, just do…” mentality, my journaling helps me to take the time to understand what’s going on. Finally, journaling lets me move on.

Second, I got up out of bed and went outside. It was a beautiful day! As I went to the grocery store, I drove with the windows down and made certain to absorb every small detail. I embraced the feeling of the wind through my hair, the sun on my face, the fragrance of the slight hint of fall in the air, and the beautiful colors of the clear blue sky. I felt peaceful. Little did I know, moments like these would bring enormous relief to me over the next few months.

Finally, I made a commitment to myself. I promised to slow down, not rush, breathe, and be present in every moment for the rest of the day. I would just “BE” – and it was glorious!

Are You Living the Life You Imagined?

Maybe you have been experiencing the same feeling of “cracking at the seams”? Are you also searching for a life that brings your best self to the table? Are you juggling so many things and responsibilities that you’ve forgotten what’s important? Yourself included? If so, I hope you’ll pursue a different journey with me. Embarking on a new path is not always easy, but I am convinced it’s not any harder than feeling dissatisfied with yourself and your life. My moment of enlightenment has been life-changing for me. Maybe it will be for you too! If you are considering embarking on a new direction, I would like to share the wisdom of Leonard Cohen,

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

Don’t Crack Under Pressure . . . rather connect with me, and let’s get you on a road to the life you imagined!