A Moment of Crazy

I want to encourage you today because yesterday I hit a wall and maybe you did too.

Here’s the craziness:

Two weeks ago, my landlord told me to get a lawyer and get out. He was reacting to a very large bill from Orkin that he didn’t want to pay. A proposal I should say, which both the landlord and I now understand was possibly a scam. But his “get out” reactionary moment terrified me because I live in Asheville, North Carolina, where housing is way more than income. At least my income. I suddenly understood what facing possible homelessness feels like.

Last week, a big work “thing” happened. You know the person that we all avoid at work. That person who corners you and drives you mad until you tell them everything you know and then uses that information against you? Yeah, that person happened and caused some serious repercussions.

To finish, this year all my PTO was used for a boring illness in January and a beautiful wedding (my son’s) in September, which tallies up to no vacation or even a quick weekend away. I work 60-70 hours a week and well, remember all work and no play Jack? I hit a wall.

This was my wall:

I finished up with a client and got back into my truck to leave. I was on Kimberly Avenue, a street in Asheville I know as well as I know the street in front of my house, but I couldn’t think of where I was. My brain refused to cooperate and I kept looking at the street trying to make my brain bring up the information. I wondered later why I didn’t just check my GPS, but I don’t think it would have mattered. I felt the same way I did when my landlord told me to get out. Lost. And absolutely no clue where I was. For a full ten minutes. (A friend who travels for a living told me that he often wakes up in hotels and has to call the front desk and ask what city he’s in.)

Okay, so yeah, a meltdown occurred. I googled it. It’s called burnout and it’s real.

I texted all the wrong people. You know. The friends who tell you to pull it together. Yeah. Those types. Hey, I need those types of people in my life, because sometimes I need to pull it together. (I remember a midwife telling me to pull it together when I was in labor with my first son. So needed that.) But I had spent ten minutes trying to pull it together and I couldn’t. I started driving, hoping something familiar would trigger my brain into functioning again. The Fresh Market, a place I shop a lot, was that trigger. I am a forever customer now because of the familiarity their sign on the front of their store provided me.

I didn’t need the power-through, locker-room pep talk yesterday. I needed a listening ear. I needed to vomit out (forgive the metaphor) all the crap of the last two weeks–the crabby boss, the knee-jerk reacting landlord, the weirdo-manipulator at work, the long work weeks with no end in sight, the power-through mentality that only gets you so far. I needed a friend who would do nothing more than hear my life right then.

Fortunately, I have two of those friends and one was happy to meet for coffee. We didn’t solve a thing. I’m still burned out. The crazy person is still crazy and they’ll be at work tomorrow. My landlord may one day soon say get out and mean right this second. It’s his house, he can. But the weight of my little world was less and when I got back into my car, I knew exactly where I was.