(If you are needing immediate help, please call 911. If you would like to talk (phone or online) to someone there is a list of resources at the bottom of this post.)
I needed a break. I really needed a break.
As in my husband came home to find me bawling over the stove while both children were screaming. It was another bad day in a row of seemingly endless bad days.
No sleep, a button-pushing 3-year-old, a dear friend had tragically died, and everything just seemed much bigger than it was.
I was heading toward rock bottom emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
I needed help, and I needed it, now.
Life is hard, nearly impossible. There are so many of us struggling just to make it through the day. We are not alone in this.
Maybe you’ve been just barely making it through each day thinking that this is your new normal. You’ve heard parenting is hard, and marriage is hard, so of course, you will have bad days.
And while all of that is true, there are some warnings signs to look out for that separate simply stressful life from I’m about to hit rock bottom life.
3 Warning Signs that You Need a Break — Immediately!
You simply don’t care anymore.
Things that usually matter to you, don’t anymore.
That may look like:
- You usually are a neat freak about the kitchen, but you really don’t care if it’s messy or not.
- Your child tries to push all of your buttons, but you are too zoned out to care.
- Even the wonderful things about life don’t phase you.
- Your baby’s coos and giggles don’t bring you joy.
- Your toddler learning his ABC’s is no big deal.
- Your promotion at work or the award you’ve earned doesn’t even matter.
This also can look like wishing for a different life and escape into an alternative reality… ie. books, fanfiction, talking to friends online, and essentially abandoning everything that needs your attention.
At first, apathy doesn’t seem so bad. We can even write it off as we’re finally able to let go of perfection and are taking care of ourselves; however, if left unchecked not only will we start to suffer but so will our families.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is overreacting.
Everything just seems like too much. Your children are too loud. The car pool line too slow.
Your child accidently spills their juice, and you freak out, yell, and send them to their room.
A benign comment from your husband turns into a 5-day argument because you refuse to back down.
When we reach the overreaction stage, we (and everyone else) know it. All ability to think rationally is thrown out the window. We don’t have the space for it.
If you’re finding yourself constantly overreacting, it’s time for a break, friend.
3. You want to hurt yourself or others.
If we don’t ask for help, apathy can turn into neglect and overreaction into abuse.
I know, sweet friends, you would never hurt your spouse or children. You love them dearly and fully. I know, me too!
So it’s essential for our health and our family’s to let go of our pride and ask for help when we find ourselves slipping towards rock bottom. We can’t take care of others if we aren’t taking care of ourselves.
Just to be clear, I’m not insinuating that an occasional overreaction and a day where you just don’t care are equivalent to abuse. We are human. On our own, we do not have an endless supply of peace, patience, kindness, goodness, etc. . .
Raising little humans into self-sufficient productive members of society is no small task. We can’t do it alone.
Melding your life with another’s in marriage is hard. So. Hard.
Life in general is hard.
We need help. We need Holy Help—to fill up so we can pour out, again. We need people in our lives, who are willing to call us out when we’ve reached our max.
And, friends, we need to be that person for others. Our culture wants us to believe that what happens in someone else’s house is not our problem.
I disagree. As the hand and feet of Christ, reaching out to another is love. Sometimes it looks like lending a hand or an ear to let someone know you care.
And sometimes help looks like calling a number.
It always looks like prayer.
Asking for help for yourself or another is the bravest you can do.
Resources for Help
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Child Abuse National Hotline: 1-800-252-2873
24 Hour Prayer Line: 1-800-365-3732
If you are needing crisis help, this hotline list has resources from everything from drug abuse to pregnancy to numbers to call for prayer.
Go love well. And if you need a break (no matter how long), please ask for help.
You are loved.