Breaking Down


Breaking down.

When things fall apart.

Losing my shit.

There were so many possible titles to this, it was hard to choose just one. Either way, it amounts to the same thing. Yesterday, I had a breakdown of sorts.

My intention is not to belittle or diminish in any way the experiences of those who suffer serious psychological or nervous breakdowns, or the gravity that such can have on people’s lives. I did not have such a breakdown.

But I did break down and I do feel broken.

Confession: I don’t like asking for help.

I’m a quiet person by nature. As a child, I was happy playing with my brothers and with my friends, but I was also happy to play on my own when no one was around – or even if they were. My friends have often described me as a good listener – more of a listener about their problems, their lives and what’s going on with them, rather than the one doing all the talking. I like being that person who is there for others and being someone others feel they can talk to about their stuff, but it also probably suits me because I’ve never been good at talking about myself or about what’s really going with me.

My Dad tells me I bottle stuff up.

I’m a lawyer. I deal with the problems in front of me, solve them and move on to the next one. I don’t believe in wasting time dwelling on things that cannot be changed – I like to be constructive and positively address situations. If you can’t do anything about something, then there’s no point spending time on it. Unfortunately, emotion & personal psychology don’t seem to work that way.

My Dad tells me I let things build up.

Self-pity pisses me off. It’s selfish, ungrateful and ultimately very destructive. But lately I feel like I’m drowning it and that pisses me off even more. I want to be better than that. I’m an optimist and being around so much negativity lately gets to me. Which is why I had a meltdown yesterday.

My Dad does not tell me to throw to shit around to make myself feel better.

I threw my bike pump, the foot pump AND my mini bike pump down the back garden yesterday.

A child. A spoiled, cranky, tired child would have had acted with more dignity and self-respect. I’ve been completely out of running action for 4 1/2 weeks with a suspected stress fracture in my foot so I’ve taken refuge on the bike in the meantime. I’ve since been in a constant state of consciousness about losing fitness, gaining weight, whether I should see a physiotherapist, whether I should see a chiropodist, whether I should have a bone scan or an MRI, whether I should be resting entirely or doing strength exercises, whether I should be doing anything? That’s one thing. Then there’s the whole life question – what happens when the whole career thing, the basket you placed all of your eggs in, doesn’t work out and you have to move back home to balance the books? When friends are suddenly all gone – moved to brighter, more exciting pastures? When you’re reaching a point in your life when you’re meant to have all your shit together and suddenly everything seems to be tearing apart at the seams?

I accidentally let all the air out of my front tyre.

And couldn’t re-inflate it.

My Dad is probably right. Wise man.

It was the straw and I broke.

I only wanted to go for a short spin on the bike, to get some fresh air, clear my head and stretch my legs. Front tyre was soft so I thought it would be a good idea to give it some juice. I accidentally knocked all the air out. I tried every which way to re-inflate the tyre but something was jamming the air flow and after 30 minutes of playing with bike pumps, tyres and tubes, I lost my shit, threw the bike pumps (though none of them are very good…), each in turn, all the way down the garden and I sat on the ground with my dog and had a good cry. Utterly embarrassing. Yet, sometimes a good cry with your very understanding dog is just what you need.

My problems are nothing compared to those of so many others around the world, which is why I hesitated to write this up on the blog. I am a very lucky person and I don’t know what it is to live a hard life. Getting outside your own head is something we all need to do and regularly. Being able to get outside your own head, however, is a difficult thing to do.

Later on, my Dad came home and I asked him to help me with the tyre, which, of, course, he was able to re-inflate.

Because sometimes, all you need is to ask for help.

Thanks for reading 🙂



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