This morning at camp dropoff, I was chatting with a friend and looked down to see that the hem of my shirt was coming undone. I said, “I’m unraveling.” We both laughed and said, “Literally and figuratively!” It’s true. Today, and many other days lately, I feel like I’m unraveling. Sometimes it’s only one thread, and other times it’s almost every thread that holds me together.
The pressure of being everything to everyone occasionally gets to be too much for me, as I’m sure it does for many women. Of course, I put much of this pressure on myself, but a large part of it also comes naturally from the roles I have – full-time paralegal, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, etc.
I saw this meme recently and got a good laugh. It describes me perfectly.
My head is constantly swimming with all of my to-dos and events, things to remember, buy, bake, fix, iron, wash. Some days, the daily grind weighs too heavily on me. And as if that’s not enough to deal with, life often throws us some pretty crappy curveballs.
My dad was recently diagnosed with three different forms of cancer, two of which are recurrences of cancers he beat (or so we thought) in 2006. The past few months have been emotionally and physically taxing on our entire family. His treatment will continue over the next few months, and his battle most likely much longer, so I’m trying to cope. “Be strong,” everyone says. But sometimes that just seems like one more role – the strong daughter. I’m waiting for someone to tell me to completely lose my shit, to scream into a pillow, to eat every sweet I can get my hands on, to drive too fast on the highway (safely, of course). But the societal response to difficult situations is often to tell the people enduring them to be strong and encourage them to try to keep it all together.
But that’s obviously impossible. So instead, when I’m unraveling, I will attend my bootcamp classes and try to sweat out the stress while hopefully burning enough calories to balance out the junk I’m stress eating. I’ll take bubble baths while I enjoy a Bud Light (keepin’ it classy). I’ll take yoga classes and allow myself to cry during practice because that’s one of the few times I’m completely alone and quiet with my thoughts. I’ll scream into a pillow and I’ll drive a little faster than I should.
And then I’ll collect my unraveling threads and snip them off so I can move on. I’ll put a smile on my face and go back to being strong.