Ok, so I had a mental and emotional breakdown, at uni, in a room full of people, in my musical theatre lecture. Not exactly my average tuesday; but pretty much the tip of a completely exhaustingly shit day!
I started off the day pretty well, up early, bathed, tanned, dressed to perfection, curls brushed through and ready to go, as per. It was one of those days that started out making you feel like it was going to be good – I couldn’t have been more wrong!
I set off to uni, late and ended up needing a taxi – ‘fair enough’ I thought. Then I spilt a bit of tea down my arm – ‘Hot, but I’ll live’ I thought. I should’ve noticed here it wasn’t my day! I go in to the lecture room, get out my work folder and books (which I remember for the first time ever!!!) and we get to work on ‘acting through song’ – ‘Awesome’ I thought – Not awesome. At all. This is when the breakdown happened:
So, we’re going through the lyrics of a song, like you would a monologue, saying what emotional journey they take you on. Turns out mine was a bit more intense. I was suddenly reminded of my mother. I was triggered by the ideas of the emotional journey of the song. Then as soon as he said “It’s like you wake up, thinking all that dream is still true, it’s just another day. Then you turn to find that person is truly gone from your life” – My tutor is one of the best director’s I know, but man, his description of the journey instantly had me in tears.
I have many triggers when it comes to my Mam and how I feel about her death – but no one at uni knows this. No one a uni has seen me cry, especially not my tutor and the one thing I tell everyone there about how I feel is that of the stereotypical woman when it comes to the dreaded “are you ok?” question; I’m Fine!
I laugh it off usually, I’m always ‘fine’ – I keep this tough outer exterior and keep all melodrama away from work, uni and places where I like to portray I’m cool calm an sophisticated. Tuesday, I was all but that! I tried to all back all tears; but it wasn’t working. I swiftly asked as calm as I could if be excused. To which I was told I should wait five minutes until the break. That’s what tipped me completely! That’s when the trigger was pulled:
I thought to myself, how could someone deny me leave when I’m upset? (though he hadn’t actually seen that the first time!) Obviously, this made me more upset and it became a full on sob – imagine Timon and Pumba at the end of Can you feel the love tonight? It was pretty much a retake except a solo act featuring me! I then stood turned to my tutor and actually didn’t storm out! I calmy – well more like between each sob -asked if I could nip to the loo. At this point his face dropped – shock of the century for him.
I wasn’t just sobbing, I was a mess! My face was a mess, all my make-up seeped down my face, mascara and foundation on my dress, from where I’d held my head then my dress. I was a state. I was a way none of them had seen me in the sober light of day. And I was furiously humiliated!
My bestie managed to escape after me and give me the bestie-cuddles in the loos – but I was so embarrassed and angry. Embarrassed because I must’ve looked a complete lunatic just getting up, crying and leaving and furious because I’d let them all see a side of me I’ve hidden from them all.
I broke down and my tough exterior was broken through and that’s what I was livid about. I’ve not moved on, but I’d somehow eventually hid myself under the delusion and lie I was fine. But that proved I’m not. I just couldn’t believe that I’d allowed these people to see me like this. But I noticed something:
Yes, they pitied me, felt sorry for me, but once again I didn’t hide and the world didn’t end, a hole didn’t open up to swallow me whole. I allowed people to see me at my most vulnerable, to see that I wasn’t the superhuman I’d like to pretend I was by carrying on and running like a headless chicken for everyone.
My tough exterior was softened and I showed true vulnerability. (Something rare to me and the direct public) I found my trigger and it did hurt like a hole in the head – or heart to be cliché. But being vulnerable isn’t always a bad thing. I realised I can’t keep up this indestructible front; sometimes we all break and sometimes we do it in places we don’t to, but that’s why we have to know your triggers, to know we are breakable – I am breakable.