We hear a great deal about the prepper mindset, the will to survive. Well I have discovered during the last couple of weeks that having a prepper mindset may not be enough to get me through a major crisis.
A couple of weeks ago, something happened to me that totally and utterly wiped me out. I was and am fine physically…I think, but the stress I was under paralysed me, and I mean totally paralysed me.
I totally and utterly failed to cope.
Now I pride myself on being a practical, hands on type of person. I am calm in a crisis, though as this has proved I am calm in somebody else’s crisis I am maybe not so good when dealing with one of my own.
For two weeks I have barely slept, cried buckets of tears, asked myself questions, asked other people questions. I have let down my employer, and other people including my child.
I have suffered a bit of a meltdown. That was the official medical term.
Nothing more than a series of relatively small events that eventually led to one that broke me…the straw that broke the camels back.
I never saw it coming, never saw the stress building and then one morning…BOOM.
It’s not that I failed to deal with issues as they occurred, I have been my usual efficient self yet for two weeks I have found myself barely able to function, semi-comatose, walking mile after mile because I can’t bear to be in the house that we have restored from the foundations up.
If this had of occurred in a crisis situation I, and those closest to me would most likely have not survived such has been my ineffectiveness.
Finding yourself in such a situation makes you think very hard about your life and I have discovered a few very valuable things about myself that may or may not be useful to you.
- You have to have respite. Nobody can go on day after day, week after week ad infinitum soaking up other people’s problems, being everything to everyone, without it having an effect.
- There has to be time every single day where you disconnect and do something that matters to you for no other reason than you enjoy it. It doesn’t matter what as long as you have time to breathe and relax, even if just for an hour.
- Having a garage full of preps and a years worth of food only gives you so much peace of mind. It Isn’t a panacea for everything.
- Sometimes we look in the mirror and see a harried face looking back at us and just shrug and walk away. Don’t. Take a longer look, see the value in that face and put it’s owner first sometimes.
- Frugality is great, it frees up cash for other more important things BUT sometimes those “important” things can wait. It isn’t a crime to deal with your own needs first once in a while.
- Minor issues don’t always stay minor…get enough of them whizzing around in your head and they start to aggregate into a something bigger. Don’t get to the point where you are overwhelmed. If you think you have dealt with it but it’s still in your head – you haven’t dealt with it properly. Revisit the issue and deal with it fully.
- Make lists: Hard copy pen and paper lists. Make them huge, comprehensive and cross things off as you achieve them, it actually shows you that you are getting somewhere as you cross them off.
- Talk to someone: Yeah, I know, me neither, not my style and that most definitely worked against me. The problems seemed insurmountable and I started questioning my own judgement. Ranting, when it finally happened was like a weight being lifted off my shoulders.
I’m now easing myself back into living instead of just existing. It’s going to take a while because I am a very different person than I was just two weeks ago.
It’s a very hard fact learning so suddenly and without warning that you are not invincible. It’s painful, it shakes your world. Not reacting as you believed you would is an eye-opener.
The take away from this, a gift from me to you is not to assume you will cope because sometimes you won’t. I have no idea if something major had gone down if I would have postponed my crack-up or if I would have continued as I did. What it has done is make me aware, very aware of how fast these things can happen and the truly devastating effects they can have on an individual.
My confidence in myself and my abilities is shot to pieces and it’s going to take a while to get that back but I’m the only person that can do it. There is no quick fix.
Sit down, breathe and think. If there is something weighing on you deal with it however small and niggling and unimportant it may seem at the time.