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Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “last straw”

The straw breaking the camel’s back

In a period dominated with too much fatigue on all levels, it doesn’t take much anymore to make you flip. There is so much aggregated exasperation mounting up inside that all it requires is one small thing for the entire situation to get out of hand and for your nerves to go rampant.

It’s like that Arabic proverb – the straw that broke the camel’s back – about how a camel is loaded beyond its capacity to move or stand. It is a reference to any process by which cataclysmic failure (a broken back) is achieved by a seemingly inconsequential addition, a single straw.

When you’ve gathered so much frustration, when you’ve tolerated too much beyond your capacity for patience, when you’ve exceeded your own limits too many times, it is the slightest of things that makes you erupt.

And remember, a volcano exploding has been accumulating its lava for long before it actually lets it all loose.

The good thing is that you do feel relieved after releasing all that pressure. But you also feel exhausted. Because this is neither normal nor healthy.

We know what we need to do to have better mental and physical health. Yet we so often allow circumstances to dominate over us.

That’s the real problem: we allow others to take control of how we react.

Breaking out

GarfieldStressPMarisa looked out the window. There was a small white poodle gracefully trotting out into the middle of the street and lying down, rolling around in the sun. It was amazing how it figured out that that very spot was where all the sunlight was concentrated. It cared not of the cars honking their horns after abruptly braking before it. In fact, it even stood up and stared, joyfully wagging its tail as if it was play time.

I wish I was that carefree, she thought.

In her office all you could hear was the click-click of the keyboards, while everyone was sitting mesmerized in front of a computer screen. As if robots had taken over her colleagues who were now sitting there with their energy drained out, waiting for their next break.

Marisa was having a weird day.

It was one of those days when you feel you’re about to explode. All it takes is the slightest push, the cherry on top of the five-pound cake. The last straw. And it didn’t take too long to appear.

It all started with the bling of an email. One that was announcing that there would be no weekend as the whole team was required in to work on a report to be submitted on Monday morning.

That’s all it took.

Marisa broke out. Her stress ball was instantly shred apart as her nails tore into its smooth wore-down edges.

She replied to that email with three words “I hereby resign”.

When she got into the car she started to cry. The anxiety, the stress, the sleepless nights, the endless worrying about the inadequacy of the people she was forced to work with. It all took its toll on her. And now it all erupted. The waterworks had begun. And it was not easy to shut them off.

She rushed into Dom’s arms and let out a drawn-out wimper. Shocked, he did not know how to respond, other than comfort her and hear her out.

Don’t you even have anything to say? she uttered once her tears ran dry.

Geez, there is no winning this one, he thought, as he prompted her to tell him exactly what happened.

Marisa knew it wasn’t easy taking a risk to change her life so abruptly. It’s part of those days every month or so when you just sit and re-think your life and your dreams.

PMS is a (wo)man’s nightmare.

But every now and then, some tears, some yelling, and some comfort always does you good.

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