Yesterday I lost control. It started at 3 o’clock in the morning. I woke up as if it was the middle of the day – zero grogginess, and an active mind. I also had a runny nose and slight headache that got less slight when I tried to lie back down. My mind was stuck in a feedback loop replaying an event from the day before.

I got up and went to the bathroom. I got a glass of water. I went back to bed and tried to sleep – nothing but misery. The best solution would have been to start writing with pen and paper and work through some of my feelings. Instead, I fought it and finally I took some pain relievers and some homeopathic nightime cold medicine.

My husband woke me as he was leaving for work and I groggily mumbled something and promptly fell back asleep. I woke with a start a half-hour later – still groggy but very aware that I needed to get going. I didn’t feel like myself. I felt weak and unable to cope, but I pushed through it and got Melody off to school.

Driving away from school I started crying, and then pulled myself back together. I had to run an errand at a store that wasn’t open yet, so I sat in my car and checked my work email. More crying. Then I did the unthinkable. I put all those emotions into words in an email to two coworkers. And as you silently scream, “Noooooooooo!” I hit send.

I pulled myself together a few more times back at home while helping the electrician fix our dryer. I thought it was a good idea to start working from home. I read my coworkers responses to my emails. And I responded to those with the emotional maturity of a 13 year-old.

When I finally got to the office, I realized the hole I was digging for myself. Now I had to look these people in the face without crying. I did my best to stare at my screen and not make eye contact when they walked by – also very mature. Then another coworker sent me an email trying to help. It was sweet and kind. This crazed hormonal teenager inside me decided she was also at fault and threw it back in the poor woman’s face as if that was totally justified. I even followed up in person later, to make sure she understood just how nuts I really was. The red-eyed look on her face told me she was hurt, and I had to walk away so I didn’t start crying – again.

I managed to get through the rest of the day avoiding people, taking deep breaths and telling myself over and over again, “hold it together…keep it together…” At the end of the day I made it through a meeting with senior leadership that I had been preparing for over the last three weeks. When that was over (and a big success), I left the office as fast as I could, hoping not to do any more damage.

I got home by way of the wine store, with four bottles. My husband and child were there, cheerful and welcoming. There was a steak coming off the grill. I made a salad with blue cheese and poured myself a big glass of the darkest red. Through dinner I confessed my sins and my husband shook his head with disbelief. And as the iron from the steak and the wine started to seep into my bloodstream and I began to feel grounded, he said this: “You were writing your dissertation, and at the same time, acting like you were in highschool.”

I don’t know how or why I lost my head, and I hope that it never happens again. The good news is that I went to work today and apologized in-person like the grown-up that I am.

This was my 14th post for #NaBloPoMo and was inspired by a prompt given to me by Laura. Here is what’s next:

Prompt #14 (Nov 16) When a book is adapted into a movie, the majority of the time, hard core fans will leave the theater in disgust, screaming, “I could have done it better,” or “They didn’t do the book justice.”

You have three routes for this prompt: 1) What’s one book that you’re dying to make into a movie? 2) What’s one book you wish would have never hit the silver screen (and why)? 3) What’s the best book-to-movie adaptation you’ve seen and why is it amazing?

10 thoughts on “On Losing One’s Head

  1. Ah, sorry to hear. Well, you could chock it up to the full moon crazies. 😉 It’s tonight and it’s said that two days before and after can wreak havoc on your emotions, intensifying everything you’re feeling…

  2. Ah, sorry you had to go through that. Well, you could chock it up to the full moon crazies. 😉 It’s tonight and it’s said that two days before and after can wreak havoc on your emotions, intensifying everything you’re feeling…

    1. Thanks Laurie. It could totally have been the moon. I really loved writing this piece and don’t want people to feel too bad when reading it. It was a journey that I made it through unscathed and I am stronger because of writing about it.

  3. Good morning Harmony….

    I just love your writing and sharing…it didn’t feel like ‘over-sharing’ to me…I read your blog for today Nov 18th about your Dad and had to come back to this piece to which you referred…..this particular blog gives your readers an insight of your deepest feelings as you release that that no longer serves you…we all have days like that, just not everyone shares their deep pain…wouldn’t it be grand if we could all take those kind of days to care and nurture and love ourselves as we release our pent up tension and not have to give out energy to others? (especially when we barely have enough for ourselves)…Anger arises when we are having to give energy outward that our body…mind… and spirit need for SELF…I have many examples in my head, but yours was perfect…..

    I love you my Dear Friend and Loved One…

    Bonnie Lou

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