Last week I talked to you about the definition of overwhelm and what overwhelm feels like for me. If you haven’t had a chance to read it you can check it out here. Today I want to share a real-life example that recently happened to me. It stopped me in my tracks and thankfully started me down the path to make some much needed changes in my life for the better.
The morning began like any other one does for me, sort of. My first alarm went off, with one eye open I hit stop, and continued to lay there dosing back into dreamland. My second alarm went off and a repeat of alarm one happened. Finally, the last of the obnoxious trio went off and although I knew it wasn’t quite time to get up yet I still dreaded getting out of bed.
What should have been a carefree morning, since I had such a late start (I didn’t have to be at the courthouse for my last day at jury duty until 10 am) turned into a downward spiral of events that included yelling, tears, and burning rubber. When I look back on the events of that morning, I know what happened or didn’t happen to cause the uproar in my mind, body and spirit. I hadn’t completed my evening routine, so I wasn’t ready for the day and felt unprepared. I also hadn’t properly prepared for the week. We had spent most of the weekend cleaning, rearranging, and decluttering our basement in preparation for the upcoming Super Bowl.
Back to that morning. The thing that set everything into motion for me was when my husband left to make a quick run to WalMart, which is literally right up the street from our house (less than 5 minutes) and I went out to look for him but he was gone. He hadn’t mentioned that he was going to make the run and in my mind that was going to put us behind. Which wasn’t true but stress will turn mole hills into mountains and nothing into something.
Hubby arrived back at our house so I could take him to work (we only have one car) and to his surprise I was livid. I couldn’t understand why he would just go to Walmart without seeing if I was ready and he couldn’t understand why it mattered. Like he said that day I wasn’t ready to leave when he left and he wasn’t gone that long. I’m ashamed to admit it. I yelled the entire way to drop him off, constantly repeating that he wasn’t listening to me and that he wasn’t aware of everything I had to do that morning. Honestly it wasn’t about the trip to Walmart (symptom). I had been feeling overwhelmed for weeks (root of the problem) and instead of sitting down to talk to my husband like I should have I let it pile up and then exploded. I dropped him off, barely waited for the door to close, and literally burned rubber as I left his parking lot. Tears streaming down my face I cried the entire way home.
When I arrived I wiped my face with my t-shirt, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, put a smile on my face and walked in the house like nothing had ever happened. Marc (the last of our six kiddos) was still at home and I didn’t want to alarm him by seeing me crying. In the midst of getting myself ready I received a text from Tony (hubby). “Angie, I’m sorry. I love you!” Tears filled my eyes and I responded. “I’m sorry and I love you too! I’m just stressed.” The text messages between my husband and I went on for a few minutes and I felt a little better afterwards. I ultimately knew that I had to make a change and a big one. The way that I had behaved couldn’t continue if I wanted to have a successful marriage.
Come back next week to read the last part of this series where I talk about what resources I’ve been using that are helping decrease my feeling of overwhelm.