I don't care who you are or where you're from: some days are just going to be hard to the point that your brain shivers a little in your head and refuses to cope with any other incoming information. It's the mental version of overeating at Thanksgiving but because your mind is not able to put on your stretchy pants to accomodate the emotional and psychological equivalent of far too many mashed potatoes, you make room in other ways. Maybe you shut off. Maybe you start a fight with someone you're pretty sure will forgive you later when you're not so overwhelmed. Or maybe you just cry and go home where there are warm hugs and cuddles and tea.
I was there yesterday.
Because of course, despite the fact that I am the happiest in my life that I have ever been? I am balancing that out in my career with a difficult situation. I mean, why not? Of COURSE. Mostly I just go with the flow -- lalalalaaaaaa, I'm going to make this all woooooorrrkk -- but sometimes?
I need yoga pants and a blankie for my stressed out, anxious brain.
Sometimes we all do, actually. As much as I believe in hard work -- and I worship at the church of hard work, it's how I roll -- I also know that it's equally important to take the time to unwind and relax. My problem (perhaps the problem of many people I know) is that the relaxing bit doesn't come as naturally to me as the work myself into a sobbing mess part.
It's a problem.
It's a problem to the point that yesterday? I didn't think I could do it anymore. I wanted to walk away. I NEEDED to walk away. My manager (who is wonderful, I might add, and not the source of the difficulties I am encountering) encouraged me to take a break, stressing how much I've earned one.
I walked to my desk thinking, "I'll just go home early. It'll be great. I'll take a nap and regroup and be fresh tomorrow."
I sat down to set my out of office message. Stray tears escaped here and there. Not because of the stress and the crazy, necessarily, but because I'd begun to believe that I couldn't cope with them.
And I thought: you just have to try. Can you keep trying, Yellie? Can you try for five more minutes? If you can try for five more minutes, and then you still feel like you're done, you can go. But maybe -- maybe you could try.
I gave it five minutes. Five minutes spent breathing -- in. out. in. -- and thinking about how much I love my coworkers, how kind they are. I looked at the flowers that The Fella sent me earlier this week. I touched their petals. They were silky and cool.
Five minutes of trying.
I felt better.
So I gave it five more.
The crisis passed.
That, I think, is the beauty of difficult situations: they do pass. You just have to give them time. You have to give yourself the time. You have to understand that it's okay. You're okay. You will move through this.
You also need to understand that the other side could look like a variety of different things. Yesterday, it might have looked like going home. That would not have been a failure. Staying? Wasn't necessarily a success in and of itself. The important part -- the healing part -- was saying: try. Sit with how you feel. Think. And then give yourself permission to reassess how you feel and what you need.
No matter where you are.
It doesn't hurt to try.