A cup full up
To the top,
Not a drop too much.
And then you go and drop
A fucking pebble
In my little beaker.
And puddles form.
You laughed that it
Was only one small stone,
But what was perfect
Now is just a mess.
I went to a CBT counsellor a couple of years ago. I was in a really bad place and my nerves were fraught. I went to one of my sessions, having had a really bad day. I was smiling but it was a real effort to keep up the pretence that everything was OK that day.
When I arrived at the building where my session was I had to ring the bell to get in. That day the bell was broken and I stood on the doorstep for ten minutes wondering what to do.
By the time the counsellor realised that I was downstairs and had come down to let me in I had gone into meltdown. She found me on the doorstep, sobbing and struggling to articulate what was wrong.
When she brought me up to her office and calmed me down she explained what happens in these situations with this cup analogy and I found it really helpful.
She told me that our emotions are like a cup of water. As we get more stressed the cup gets more and more full and yet we can still hold it together. Eventually it gets so full that it only takes one small thing, like a pebble, to overflow and go everywhere. On that day it was the doorbell that was my pebble causing my cup to overflow.
I had a similar thing happen today. I got an email to say that my new job couldn’t accept one of my references and I had to find another. It’s no big deal but it knocked me and I spent the whole day avoiding people and just generally going into my old patterns of behaviour.
I’ve given myself a good talking to, but it has shown me that it’s still so easy to have a small thing push me into a dark place. If you have had a pebble dropped into your cup, then I feel for you. Don’t feel ashamed and like you are overreacting. Only you know what you have been through and nobody else is allowed to judge you for crying over the fact that you’ve run out of milk.
Go easy on yourself and let yourself cry or shout or scream or go quiet. Whatever you need to do to feel better is allowed.