If a Girl Falls in the City Does Anybody Hear?

Recently I had a major meltdown that caught me by surprise. Unlike the slow onset of malaise that I get in the winter when I feel depleted and defeated, this hit me like a wave. It seemed like an extra affront that I could sink into a dark place when it was warm and sunny. Sink I did though, and it was ugly. I was filled with angst and misery and a whole lot of tears. There are few things more disturbing than a middle aged woman crying on the subway. Clowns, spiders, sharks and guys who wear those tight t-shirts with glittery angel wings on them that are probably more disturbing, but a grown woman blubbering alone on a subway is probably up there on the list of unsavoury sights. Especially as I am not an attractive cryer and IĀ get a crumpled up plucked chicken face.

I would love to have a nervous breakdown like the one Bette Davis enjoyed in Now Voyager, one of my all time favourite weepers. Bette has a nervous breakdown and ends up at a sanatorium with grand grounds, daily tennis matches and sessions with the kindly and wise doctor played by Claude Rains. After her stint in the sanatorium she goes on a cruise and returns home triumphant, with plucked eyebrows, fashionable frocks and a beau. Best of all, she gets to smoke. She has renewed energy and turns her life around with trademark strong Bette Davis briskness. Alas, I don’t have a luxurious sanatorium to escape to, nor do I have a kindly doctor to straighten me out. I don’t have tickets for an exotic cruise where I will try out my new persona and wear the latest fashions. Much as I would love to, I can’t start smoking again.

Nervous breakdowns are never convenient. I have decided that now is not a good time and it will have to be put on hold. It is too exhausting and doesn’t seem to be leading to much. Instead I have decided to just get on with it. It isn’t as much of a go-getter mantra like Nike’s Just Do It but it feels right. I plan to deliver my new mantra with an eye roll and a shrug. Like a Bette Davis heroine who is tough as nails, who’s been around the block a few times but still has spunk, I plan on putting this latest breakdown on ice with an imaginary cigarette clenched between my teeth and a plucky “just get on with it” rolling off my resilient tongue.

8 Responses to “If a Girl Falls in the City Does Anybody Hear?”

  1. Eloise Says:

    This is exactly what happens to me.

    The rogue wave comes out of nowhere and pulls me under. No discernible reason required. Then the thoughts go haywire and the pendulum swings from anxiety to depression. I get frozen and can’t think or move. I have to do the same thing you’ve arrived at – keep putting one foot in front of the other. It’s mechanical, but it does move you forward. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to do this.

    Tears come at the most inconvenient times. In the store, getting a carton of milk. In the car, driving (this is a biggie – no one around to see). I’m sure I’ve looked like a fool walking through the mall when the tears start, but I tell myself that nobody notices because they’re wrapped up in themselves.

    I used to think I could predict the times of the year that I would be at my worst, but I’m not so sure.

    Good luck. Email me if you want.

  2. cheap girl Says:

    Thanks Eloise!

  3. drollgirl Says:

    now is just not a good time. omylord. could you imagine if we could just give in sometimes?!??! or if things were so bad that we HAD to give in and couldn’t control ourselves?!?!?!? we are so busy with so many stresses and so many worries. many of us need a break, even if it has to be scheduled! i hope you get your break soon!!!

    p.s. i recently read a book that was about a teenager that was feeling depressed and suicidal, and he ended up going to the hospital where he was admitted to the psych ward. this book was based on a true story. and i could not help but think almost all he was doing and feeling was pretty much how i felt as a teenager — i just didn’t really THINK to ask anyone for help. weird! he was only in the psych ward for 5 days, but in that time he had space/time to reflect and make some decisions that made him feel better and (presumably) helped him out.

  4. cheap girl Says:

    I think i want to read this book!

  5. Bella Says:

    Kristine, I have been postponing a mental breakdown since the birth of my child! It’s long overdue, if you ask me. And no, I don’t want to keep putting it off. As a matter of fact, I want to be done with it and have a make over and go on a cruise like Bette! What do you say? Can you arrange it? :)

  6. Astra Says:

    See what happens when you miss Cousins Weekend?! That weekend, we determined that there is one thing that holds our family together:
    I have a couple of nice strips of Smart Bacon here for you …. anytime.

  7. cheap girl Says:

    I’ll see what I can do!

  8. cheap girl Says:

    Bacon is the glue that holds many relationships together.