It happens. At least, it happens to me: Complete and utter loss of control of emotions, physicality and rationale. It happened last week.
I signed my divorce papers. The signing was uneventful. Me, my lawyer and a notary: Done. The build-up leading to the signing was worse. I was expecting to be nervous, contrary and have regrets. But no, I signed, got teary eyed and left.
Then I checked my email. I received an email from my bank saying my overdraft went into effect because my personal account had been overdrawn. I stopped at the bank to clear it up. They pulled up my account and there it was, a $0.00 balance. Holy S—. Then I got nervous, contrary and even belligerent. I cried, protested, added up the expenses and learned it was true: $0.00. Wow.
Ok, so it’s been a tough month. Divorce lawyer fees, a family trip to see my cousin with leukemia and Bruce Springsteen tickets (non-negotiable purchase). But Holy S—.
When I left the bank, I really lost it. The crying became sobbing, which became hyperventilating. And when I finally made it home safely, I really allowed myself to wallow. (Yes, of course I acknowledge the delayed and misappropriated emotional response here, clearly the overdrawn account was the conduit to release the emotions from my divorce, yes I see it, but stay with me here.)
I got in the shower, and bawled. I pounded the shower walls, crumpled on the floor and wept. There were moments of clarity when I told myself to pull it together, but I just couldn’t do it, so I stayed right where I was and kept crying for a long time.
Oh, it was a good meltdown. Pitiful, violent and dramatic, all the ingredients needed to create the perfect storm for an epic woe-is-me moment. It was not pretty, but it was necessary. And you know what, I felt better. Research has shown crying releases harmful stress chemicals in the body. Theory confirmed in my shower.
For more than a year now all I’ve heard is, “Be strong,” “stay tough,” “work hard”. But sometimes, I’m weak, tired and I break. And that’s OK. I’ve been working so hard at forgiving everyone else that it was time to cut myself some slack.
Maybe it’s the drama queen in me, but I think emotions are meant to be felt fully and heartily, because when they’re given an outlet they have their moment and then they pass. Then a new emotion takes its place. Do I want to feel the moment my marriage legally ended forever? Do I want to feel poor forever? Hell no. But I’m glad I felt those moments for a while, because they made me realize the next moment was the one when I get to start rebuilding.
After my Oscar worthy meltdown, I cleaned myself, the shower and felt it was finally time to pull myself together.
Then I went to look for receipts. The bootstraps I’d like to pull myself up by will have to go back to the store, because clearly I can’t afford them, so last years’ boots will have to do.