As my friend Alicie would say: “Walk with me…” Picture this, it was Tuesday (11/19/13) and I’m at work and my coworker comes over to me and was giving me a joke. I’m having a good laugh. Then, while working, I’m on my work chat talking about some things that’s going on with me to Nikole. I abruptly type: I’m tired. Brb…. In my head all I kept hearing was “you need a break, you need a break, you need a break.” My heart was heavy but I refused to cry. It’s my lunch break and I had a quiz later for school and I had to cram, I mean study. I gathered my school books and disappeared to another floor where I could have my lunch break and go over my notes, but my brain just would not let me attack my school work. I had to release this overwhelming emotion. I needed me a good cry. But, I have to hold it together because I’m at work. I turned my notebook to the back and started writing and it was a wrap!
My heart that felt like lead began feeling like an overflowing dam. I started to cry. There were people around and I didn’t want to embarrass myself too much so with the quickness I snatched up my stuff and bounced. All I was thinking was I needed to get out of here, I need to get out of here! I went back to my floor, dropped my bag on my desk and flew into my supervisor’s office and trying my hardest not to breakdown in her office, all I could mutter was: “May I please leave.” She looks at me and boy I must’ve been a sight because her eyes were wide and I don’t recall her getting the words out but the loud beating of my heart that I was hearing in my ears may have blocked that out but I did see her nod. I did an about face, walked to my desk, grabbed my coat, my bags and fruits (listen that’s $3.75!) and I was OUT! Went to the elevators and I really must’ve been a sight because another coworker saw me and she too sort of knows what’s going on and took a look at the fact that I had my bags and just nodded. My exit was postponed because the darn elevators were taking forever! Or at least to me they were and there were other people waiting for the elevator and I just did not want them to see me looking like a hot mess. I took my phone out my pocket and the first call I made was to Alicie and this was how it went:
Me: Hey sweety *sob* can you *sob sob* meet me home? *sob*
Alicie: *concerned but ready to take action tone* Okay hunny, what train run by you again? (no questions asked. Loved that!)
Me: The *sob* J, M, F.
Alicie: Okay hunny, I’m putting on my clothes and I’m coming now!
Me: Thank *sob* you.
Ain’t that a great friend! I know if Nattydread and BJD were nearby they would’ve done the same and I know if Nikole could’ve left work she would’ve too. FINALLY the elevator came and it was the second longest elevator ride! I got to the train station and my second call (the station had reception) went to my therapist. Then I sent a text to Nikole letting her know I left work and her only response was okay. She knew what that meant. Shy has left the building… mentally!
It doesn’t end there. I know I don’t have Puffs or Kleenex home and I knew I needed a real good cry. I knew I was about to fall apart. I just knew it! This now means I needed a box or two of Puffs. I don’t know about you but I need soft tissues for my nose and Puffs with lotion or Kleenex does the trick. I really prefer Puffs. I can’t tell you about my train ride, all I remember was that the last two tissues that were in my pocket soaked up plenty tears and boogers. I do remember arriving at Duane Reade. I walked in, and did not care how many people were in line or that the cashier was dealing with someone. I asked as loudly and authoritatively as I could mutter: “Where can I find Puffs?” She looked away from the customer annoyed, took one look at me and said, “Aisle 18 downstairs.” Off I went.
This is where I really knew the books were falling off the shelves. I’m in aisle 18 and I just could not for the life of me figure out WHY there were so many bloody Puffs and Kleenex boxes. Why oh why oh WHY?!!!!! I’m staring at the four filled rows of options and someone else may have just grabbed one and go but I knew my account was overdrawn (darn merchant charged me twice! Cheups you know I called up my bank to work on reversing that money) and I had limited cash and I just could not think. All I knew was that I needed Puffs but I was frozen. *Sigh* Loves, the dam broke. A floodgate of emotions poured through. Every single stressful (except school) thing that has been going on in my life came crashing down on me. There I was in aisle 18 sobbing uncontrollably. Frustrated over Puffs! Do you remember that scene from Father of the Bride when the Father lost his ever loving mind in the supermarket? The link is right here if you never saw it. Right that was me. Except the fact that the few people, including a worker that came down the aisle quickly disappeared. I called Nikole but it went to voicemail and so I called Alicie.
Me: *frantic* Why in the world are there so many Puffs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?
Alicie: Huh? What?
Me: Puffs! Why are there so many? I’m in Duane Reade and I need Puffs but there are too many! There are just too many! There are just too many *sobs* and I can’t choose. I can’t bloody choose! I’ve been standing here for 15 minutes and I can’t choose Alice. I JUST CAN’T CHOOSE!
Alicie: *very calm* Okay hunny. Do you see the mahogany box?
Alicie: Do they have the red box?
Alice: Do they have the white box?
Alicie: Do they have the green box?
Alicie: Okay hunny, buy that.
Me: But there are so many green boxes. Oh look they have 3 boxes on sale for $3.99. Is that a good deal? Wait is it two ply? Oh! It has 48 sheets in each box. What’s 48 times 3?
Alicie: 48 multiply by 3? Oh hunny you are just asking for too much right now.
I burst out laughing! I took the phone away from my ears and went to the calculator. Look I may be losing my mind but not all of it. I need to make sure I’m getting my monies worth.
Me: Okay it’s 144 tissues. And this other box says 96 sheets for $4.99. Oh hell no! I’m getting this one. You aint robbing me today Duane Reade.
Alicie: Okay hunny. Get that one. I’m almost there.
Then I got a call from BJD and I started telling her that I was having a dilemma with Puffs. This is when you know your friends know you or recognizes that you are having a breakdown. All she said was okay, did you figure it out? Then my therapist beeped in. I’m still in aisle 18 this time with the boxes of Puffs. I started going over what’s going on and I’m back to sobbing uncontrollably and he’s like okay you need to come in and certain options he gave me I rejected and he was like: ‘look, either do what I say or I’ll be visiting you in the hospital and I don’t want to do that.’ Oh schznit! Did he just say hospital? Well that woke me up some. I got a mental picture of me in a hospital bed with IVs stuck in me and doctors trying to give me god knows what type of medication(s). I was like okay I’ll be there tomorrow.
Folks, I preach it all the time. My mental health ...your mental health is essential. I’ve said that on here before and I religiously preach it to my friends and family. Get rid of that which does not serve you. Our mind is a powerful thing and if we don’t take care of it we will be kookoo for cocoa puffs and not in a good way.
Something happened back in 2007 and I just finally had to agree with BJD that it was time for a therapist. I’ve been with my therapist since then ( for the past couple of years I've been seeing him bi-weekly. Sometimes 1x a month. Back then it was weekly) and I absolutely love him. He has helped me tremendously and I was never ashamed to say I have a therapist and I’ve certainly mentioned him on here. What’s there to be ashamed of? I’m all for anything that will empower me or to make me a better person and therapy has certainly changed me and whenever someone looks at me weird I put on my perplexed expression and in a shocked tone ask: ‘you don’t have a therapist?! Oooo chile you need to get on that!” Don’t we all have problems? We all handle stress differently. Some folks twerks when they have no booty or thighs or rhythm for that matter to do so, some do drugs, some shave off their hair, some kill, some cut themselves, overeat, some don’t eat, some take it out on everyone else. Me? When my brain is overworked and just plain ole stressed the heck out, I just need to curl up and allow my mind to go on vacation and patiently recoup. Now as to what brought me to this point I won’t discuss but everything just systematically started happening and I kept hearing: you need a break you need a break and I kept saying I know I know I’m going to be off from work in two weeks. Well keep ignoring your body and what happens? Right, exactly! It shuts down on you and my brain was like: “looky here hunny chile, I was telling you from last week I need a break. What you think those three hours of sleep daily for the past week was doing to me? What do you expect would happen? What did you expect soaking all this stuff up and not compartmentalizing? What did you expect not taking ENOUGH time out to recoup? Twice a month don’t cut it and you know it. I like you so just be happy that I didn’t knock you off your feet at less of a worst time than I did.” To that I say amen and praise Him!
Alicie did come over and (and even spent the night. God Bless her soul) as she was taking off her hat I noticed that she had a shower cap under the hat. I looked at her with a questioning look on my face. She was like, “Girl, you know I love you so much that I was doing my hair when you called and I heard your voice and said ‘Shy needs me’ and I just stopped what I was doing and got dressed and threw this shower cap and hat on. I ran out the house.” I burst out laughing! We talked, I cried some more and she rocked me until I had my tears and sobbing under control.
The next day I sent Nattydread a text about what happened and she was astonished! Her response was: WHAT! But I was texting you good from yesterday afternoon...How are you feeling?...And an important question...did you ever decide on what puffs to buy? LOL!! I LOVE my girls! I was cracking up after reading that.
Look, Shy is not made for stress and neither are you. Some handle it better than others but this chica just cannot have too much going on without regrouping. I’ve been just on the go and my 50 minutes of massages twice a month was just not cutting it. When that happens I try to deal with one thing at a time but when I don’t have the time to deal with stuff and add to that inadequate sleep that equates to me freaking out about Puffs in aisle 18.
Do me a favor, don’t let it come to the point where things get violent. If you have a friend that you can talk to, then talk to that friend but I encourage you to look behind your health insurance card and call that number that says ‘behavioral health’ and get yourself a therapist. Sometimes it ends up being the simplest thing that breaks the dam.
I remember back at my first college out of high school, I was part of HEOP (Higher Education Opportunity Program) and we were mandatory assigned a counselor to speak to about the stresses of school or anything that were on our minds. This was a weekly occurrence. It was a weekly nuisance but now looking back it was a brilliant thing. One day I remembered my counselor asking about my roommate situation and I told her it was getting annoying but I can handle it. I told her how it’s the simplest things that just annoy me sometimes. As I was speaking she took a cup, plastic spoon and a bottled water out. Each time I spoke about what annoyed me she would pour some water into the spoon and into the cup. Before I knew it the water runneth over. Smh! That was a really good lesson.
I mean if you saw me or spoke to me, no way you would’ve known that a ton of things are going on. Only those really close to me would know. Each day the amount of energy spent to put on a brave face for 8hrs then 3hrs of school and then only 3hrs of sleep and not taking enough time to recoup? Ya, right good luck with that Shaniquea.
So, my doctor said to take a week off and return to work next Tuesday. During that time we will converse by phone and in person. It turns out I have that week of Thanksgiving off so I’ll have two weeks off to rest. I need to rest up and literary get my mind right. I have my massages lined up up until January for my usual twice a month but I think I may change that to maybe three times a month. My classmate has the right idea. Once a week he gets a massage, acupuncture and Reiki all in one day. His job covers the massage and acupuncture. How cool is that?! I have been meditating but I haven’t really gone within in a while. My Journal pages are bare, I haven’t read a novel outside of Spiritual books in a while. Not incorporating these ‘little/simplest’ things more often (and I need a bloody VACATION! I need OUTSIDE of NY!!!) just equate to me having a Father of the Bride meltdown.
Please, please folks. If you are feeling overwhelmed, do something healthy about it.
I would like to leave you with this excerpt from Iyanla Vanzant’s book, “Yesterday I Cried”
Yesterday, I Cried-
I came home, went straight to my room, sat on the edge of my bed, kicked off my shoes, unhooked my bra, and I had myself a good cry.
I’m telling you, I cried until my nose was running all over the silk blouse I got on sale. I cried until my ears were hot. I cried until my head was hurting so bad that I could hardly see the pile of soiled tissues lying on the floor at my feet.
I want you to understand, I had myself a really good cry yesterday.
Yesterday, I cried, for all the days that I was too busy, or too tired, or too mad to cry.
I cried for all the days, and all the ways, and all the times I had dishonored, disrespected, and disconnected my Self from myself, only to have it reflected back to me in the ways others did to me the same things I had already done to myself.
I cried for all the things I had given, only to have them stolen; for all the things I had asked for that had yet to show up; for all the things I had accomplished, only to give them away, to people in circumstances, which left me feeling empty, and battered and plain old used.
I cried because there really does come a time when the only thing left for you to do is cry.
Yesterday, I cried. I cried because little boys get left by their daddies; and little girls get forgotten by their mommies; and daddies don’t know what to do, so they leave; and mommies get left, so they get mad.
I cried because I had a little boy, and because I was a little girl, and because I was a mommy who didn’t know what to do, and because I wanted my daddy to be there for me so badly until I ached.
Yesterday, I cried. I cried because I hurt. I cried because I was hurt. I cried because hurt has no place to go except deeper into the pain that caused it in the first place, and when it gets there, the hurt wakes you up.
I cried because it was too late. I cried because it was time.
I cried because my soul knew that I didn’t know that my soul knew everything I needed to know.
I cried a soulful cry yesterday, and it felt so good.
It felt so very, very bad.
In the midst of my crying, I felt my freedom coming, Because Yesterday, I cried with an agenda.
That’s exactly how I felt and on Tuesday I had me a real GOOD cry.
Love you all! Stay Blessed!
3 Comments (From previous web server)
Carlene "Shortlegs" Romain
11/22/2013 03:43:03 am
I feel like this all the time ...I know for a fact that I need to have a good cry ...I have so much on my plate that it actually hurts me physically and mentally ...I know I need a break ...its just a matter of when will I get it ...who knows ....I love love this post because it touched me ....reached me ...and it just made me understand that I really do need a break from the world ...thank you Shy ...love you to bits ....stay blessed luv :o)
11/22/2013 04:40:31 am
Oh hun, pleaseeeeeeeeee take that break. A meltdown is no joke and once it anything affects you mentally it shows up some how mentally. Please take care of yourself. I'm glad it touched you. I hope everyone takes a page out of my book and take a break. Love you too :-)
11/22/2016 08:10:51 am
This was a good read. Very informative reminds me of a very special time where I thought all was list for me, super stressed out and had nobody to turn to. I was conflicted, blinded by the lust for the sweet life and looking down on everyone. I thought I was happy but then I got a brief idea of reality. Since 2010 I was in a deep depression and didn't know it. I was surrounded by A lot of people but nobody understood me. I felt blame for leaving my older brother to his devices, I didn't focus on school the way I should, I was more focused on partying, enjoying my time doing what's necessary only to free my mind from the reality that my life was in shambles. It wasn't until 2013 I didn't get an idea of where my depression came from. I was beating myself from the inside. When my father died 2 months ago it was only then that it hit me. I was beating myself down every day and being stubborn to know that my mental stasis wasn't there. I cried, I threw things and divide let me grieve the way I wanted to. I didn't know what to do. I was happy to have someone who I met recently be at my home and hold me the way I needed to. I was always taught be strong, you dont have to cry because you gotta be strong for everyone else. But nobody was strong for me. It was that one day that hug was necessary for me to come to terms with reality. I appreciate that hug like no other and to that person I appreciate them more than life. For one point in my life I felt healed and didn't have to give to others for one day in my life I wanted to receive something some validation that everything was gonna be ok. I appreciate that person for this. Now it's a start towards my new life. Just a word to the wise, you never know what's going on in someone else's life. Sometimes a hug or just a meet up is necessary. Mentally we can break down without knowing that our mentality is taking a hit. Find someone or something to strengthen your mind. And come back stronger.
Mind body and soul