The breaking point

19 Oct

When I was in junior high, I read a book about a girl whose father had a mental breakdown.  I’d never heard of mental breakdowns before and found the topic rather intriguing.  My parents are extremely hardworking people, and I remember asking my dad, “What if you had a mental breakdown?”  I still remember his response clearly, delivered with a dismissive snort: “That’s not my style.”

I don’t think it would be too contentious to say that there are people who really are mentally tougher than others, some who are more prone to panic, some who are more stoic.  I also think that if you put anyone under enough stress for long enough, there will be a breaking point.  But I am thankful that I seem to be cut of pretty sturdy cloth.  Like my dad, I’d rather hope for the best, look for solutions, research, analyze, whatever it takes to get through things.  (Unlike my dad, I’m a lot more likely to actually express my emotions while I’m doing it — but then, I don’t have the burden of a Y chromosome.  Ha!)

Over the last couple of months my standard response to, “How are you?” has become, “I’m hanging in there.”  I can’t lie and say things are great, but at least it’s true that I’m doing what I can.  The standard response to, “You are so strong!” is, “You do what you have to do.”  What else can we do when we have no choice but to live the life we’re given?

Well, my friends, the truth is, I have reached a breaking point.  Maybe not the breaking point, but I can feel my strength ebbing.  The last couple of weeks have been pretty nightmarish (more about this in another post) and I am starting to crack.  I was on the brink of tears all day today.  I am bitter and angry and even resentful of well-meaning remarks, which is totally unfair.  A few days ago I thought wryly that maybe we’re going through this now so that when we finally get to start the keto diet — and we immediately see miraculous results, of course — it will seem easy to deal with by comparison.  But right now, I don’t know how we can possibly go through another month of this.

4 Responses to “The breaking point”

  1. Marian October 20, 2008 at 2:25 am #

    Wish there was something we could do to make things better…….a good fairy spell or something. We’re thinking about you all the time!
    If you need another response to all those questions, Pop’s standard response has always been “As well as can be expected under the circumstances.” I think that says it all!
    Lots of love and healing thoughts are sent your way.

  2. Malva October 20, 2008 at 3:56 am #


  3. Meandering Michael October 20, 2008 at 8:19 am #

    “As well as can be expected under the circumstances.”


  4. Janet October 20, 2008 at 8:25 am #

    Fawn, I’m not going to write any ‘well meaning’ comments here, because I have been there (very different circumstances, but I do understand your feeling of resentment towards well wishers). Just know that a lot of people are thinking of you and praying for you. If I can help in any way – house cleaning, cooking, dog walking, etc. I hope you’ll let me know.

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