People-pleasers, mega multi-taskers and generally overworked perfectionists, listen up! Regardless of the fact that you are convinced you can handle it all, the world can be a cruel place and the universe feels the need to remind you every once in a while that you are not, in fact, a superhero. Try as we might to put on a perfectly poised happy face, there are those moments where our breaking point is just waiting in the wings. The most unfair part? As we sit on the verge of a completely epic meltdown, our generally positive, can-do attitude and obsessive compulsive tendencies leave us oblivious to the event at hand. So, as everyone else begins the countdown to detonation, we blissfully carry on in the pursuit of world domination. Familiar as I am with this type of life event, I am here to right the wrong and clue you in on the events leading up to the moment we all crack under the pressure. Ladies and gents, here are six signs you are about to have a meltdown. If you are currently overwhelmed and not sure you have the time to read this column in it’s entirety, I advise you put it on your to-do list to come back later and review.
Overuse of the phrase “I’m fine!”
For real, you are like the modern version of Ross Gellar when he finds out Rachel and Joey want to date each other. “I’m fine” has become your response to any question remotely centered around your feelings and usually means that you are too overwhelmed to express that you are scared, overworked, sleep deprived, angry, over committed and generally unsure which end is up. Note, when you begin to use the phrase in a high, shrieking tone like everybody’s favorite paleontologist or yelling this lie in the direction of the person concerned for your mental health, you are mere seconds away from spontaneously combusting.
These days, if it is happening in our lives, we express it via Twitter because obviously, the entire world needs to know how we are feeling at any given moment. Pre-meltdown, this form of social media is like a desperate, unintended cry for help. In real life you are wavering back and forth between your belief that you are queen of everything, poised to take on the world, and that looming sense of utter despair that makes you want to throw in the proverbial towel and drink a bottle of wine while watching When Harry Met Sally. The day usually starts and ends with an inspirational quote or limerick about grabbing life by the horns, but somewhere in the middle you lose it and let your followers know that you are heading to Starbucks for your fifth latte of the day, hoping to find a piece of your sanity along the way. Bottom line: if your Twitter feed reads like a confused teenager coming into their own, your meltdown awaits.
You can’t make a decision to save your life.
Normally action-oriented, your emotions are running so high you can’t decide if you should go to Ikea or clean your apartment first on a Saturday morning without calling for a second opinion. Family members and friends are consulted every five minutes because subconsciously, you know that one wrong move and it all comes crashing down. Obviously, you’re looking for someone to help shoulder the blame of the impending doom. Advice-givers, beware!
You’ve turned into a big bully.
Your loved ones are considering turning you over to that group that runs the anti-bullying campaign for the number of fights you have picked with them over completely insignificant details as of late. I know it may seem like a big deal that your mom took your brother out for ice cream instead of you but I promise, in a world that doesn’t involve you approaching a mental breakdown, you could care less. I would tell you to cut everyone a break, but I know you simply can’t.