That moment when you feel like Bill the Cat…
Here is a "Life off the bike." blog.
How much mental space do we have to juggle life-type-things? Next question…after handling regular life-type-things-and-decisions, how much room is left to manage the surprise dog-pile-on-the-rabbit stuff? The stuff that an individual has had no part in creating but by virtue of association, is thrust into managing or dealing with? How do you know when you have reached your personal complete-meltdown-psyche-breaking-Bill-the-Cat-AAAACK! moment?
To paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart, I'll know it when I get there.
Well, I think for the first time in my life, I got there. And trust me, that is actually saying something. Given my familial history, I should have hit the Bill-the-Cat wall when I was around twelve-years old. In hindsight, I am grateful that I came to this place forty years later because I have more life experience, understanding and a little more wisdom. Maybe. But I will say, whoever said "God never gives you more than you can handle" is full of shit. On two counts. First, I don't believe there is a god, and second, sometimes you ARE given more than you can handle, at least in the moment. Or a series of moments. The Bill the Cat moments.
The last three to five months have been both deeply instructive and stressful for me, and for my little family. Months of learning about my ability to handle/come to terms with (in both positive and habitually self-destructive ways) stress, a deeply toxic relationship (see cluster B) and the construct of my "self". Losing control, losing connection with my inner resolve, reconstructing boundaries, re-learning life skills, remembering that I am not alone, re-establishing positive relationships…all this and more! Stopping just short of a set of free Ginsu knives.
The most important thing I re-learned is this. I cannot control the circumstances that surround me, nor can I control the actions of others. I ultimately choose to suffer at the hands of others or not. With that said, does Bill-the-Cat-mode still stand? Sure. At least for me. I have a finite amount of head space to devote to decision-making and outside stressors (I believe we all do). Once I reach my limit, my brain says, "AAACK! Stop! Brain hairball! Enough! I need to shut down!"
At that point, I can either be distracted and play Bubblewitch2 for an hour or, I can choose to do what Brad Warner says, "Sit down and shut up." for ten minutes. Sitting is likely the better option, but sometimes, playing Bubblewitch2 is what you need.