Letting It All Out

By Shay

Nausea. Sinus headaches. Stress. Depression. Anxiety. Illness. It was all hitting me at once as I stood in my messy kitchen, dishes strewn about and unorganized. I had software to build, leftover work since I came home a bit early to tutor my son in math.

The bag of tea that I had taken out of the cupboard had been inadvertently placed on a hot burner, which melted through the bag. I stood there cleaning up the mess and wanting to cry. It felt like my world was imploding, and there was no reason to keep going.

I finished cleaning up the tea, did the dishes and got myself a glass of water. My wife walked in as I sipped it on the couch, wondering if I would ever be able to restart my mindfulness practice. I started talking. I told her it was nothing against her, and then ticked off everything that had me depressed and anxious. She listened intently, her eyes getting wider as I spoke.

It felt really good to talk about it. I needed to communicate to her what I was going through and why. I needed her to know that I needed help. I needed her to know how important it was to me that things around the house be kept organized and not strewn about. I needed her to hear about all the pressures of work and why I was under stress from that. I needed her to just listen and comfort me.

Sometimes, it's just letting it all out when everything hits me at once that helps me make sense of things. Being connected to my wife in this way helped me see that I could get through this. I would be able to bring order to chaos. Things would get done, if I just took the next best step forward. I would be OK, and was not on the verge of a depressive nervous breakdown after all.

Breathe in. Count to four. Breathe out. Count to four. Repeat.

*Note: This content is reflective of our advocates’ lived experiences. It is intended for informational purposes only. These pieces do not provide medical advice, nor are they substitutes for professional medical diagnosis or treatment.

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Shay lives in Colorado with her family. An avid learner and science nerd, Shay loves to read about topics of interest and share them with her wife, who listens patiently. In her spare time, Shay likes…