Ever go into a spiral?  It’s not fun, not fun at all!

I’m not talking about an amusement park ride or a perm or pasta or even watching your toilet flush.

I’m talking about a full blown emotional spiral down into the pits of despair.

What causes it?  In my case, there are a couple of different causes:

Hungry

Unbalanced hormones

Being overwhelmed

Being hungry is pretty self-explanatory.  I’m hungry, feed me now, dammit!  If you don’t, I’m not responsible for what may happen next (leaving you balled in a fetal position crying for your mamma is usually the outcome).  I fully feel remorseful and regret that I put you into that position once my belly is full, but in the moment – you’re better off just feeding me rather than asking if I’m okay.  I’m NOT okay, if I was okay, I wouldn’t be having this epic meltdown in front of you.  If I ignore my hunger pangs long enough, that’s when I go into a spiral that isn’t going to be corrected with just food – I may have to have a good cry with it as well.  Who doesn’t love a good pity-party?

Unbalanced hormones – I’m a woman, need I say more?  Minimum, once a month, my body betrays my level-headed, logical, even-keeled and patient demeanor and replaces everything with a crazy, psycho, bitch that I have no idea where she comes from.  Now that I also have thyroid issues added into the mix, if I forget my medication for a day, I’m liable to end up collapsed in a heap, crying my eyes out because a leaf feel off the tree in October.  Then I have the days where I’m crying at commercials, a comment on the radio or just because someone cut me off in traffic – none of it makes sense.  Welcome to mid-life – not!

Finding myself overwhelmed is the hard one to pin-point.  I usually can’t see that I’m overwhelmed until I’m way past the point of drowning.  I’m not just treading water and occasionally going under, I’m usually underwater, desperately holding my breath trying to find an escape, and can’t come up for air for extended periods of time and only finally realize it once I’m bawling uncontrollably, for seemingly no apparent reason and being unable to stop.

Like tonight.

The last time I felt like this, Hun and I had received custody of the kids about a year and a half before.  We went from a full-time house of 3 to a full-time house of 6 over night.  Add in the fact that the kids hated us, we were dealing with an angry ex who wanted us to go to hell, and my perfectionistic tendencies and we had a disaster in the making.  At one point I actually told Hun, “I can’t do this anymore.  Something has to give.  What would you like it to be?  I can’t be a full time wife, mom and worker – which one do you want me to give up being?”

Seriously – I said that to him.  And I was seriously serious.

To save my sanity, we agreed and I gave up working for a year to regroup.  It was probably the best decision I have ever made for my health – not the best decision for our finances, but that’s another story.

At this point, I’m a year and a half into my “new” job and I’m feeling the same drowning feelings coming over me again.  That something is going to have to give before I lose my grip on reality.  Seeing Hun worry about me has me worried as well.

I fully recognize that this time it’s the job that has me to this point, probably coupled with my out-of-balance hormones.  Sure, having 4 teenagers in the house doesn’t help, but they’re not the main cause of my feeling overwhelmed.  If anything, they’re probably getting the raw end of the deal with me dealing with my own issues that have nothing to do with them (other than when they’re irritating me!).

So….what’s the solution?

I have no idea.  I don’t have the luxury of the same choices as before.  I can’t quit work without seriously harming our finances at this point.  I refuse to give up on the kids and by extension Hun – I love all of them too much.  And, most importantly, I refuse to give up on myself.

Rationally, I know something is not right.  Emotionally, I don’t care.  I’m physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted.  And now I’m hungry.

Please pass the Kleenexes.

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