Erica on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown


I am sick.
And I am stressed out.
I get sick when I am stressed out.
I get stressed out when I am sick.

Not good combos.

I've been feeling really good lately, but this week, I've been coming undone.
Everything is frustrating me. Everyone is making me angry. Everything is overwhelming.

I have one project that I am working on, but it will be over and done with in a couple weeks. Then I will take a break from creative endeavors and focus on my mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Homegirl needs some down time. I need to spend my spare time with my husband, relaxing, or in dance class.

The biggest thing going on in the Reid family is that Mom is selling her house, and moving into my grandmother's old house. Though stressful, this is a good thing. The house she is in now is too big for just her, and she needs a change of scenery. I can't say that I am the biggest fan of her moving into the house she grew up in, but it is the easiest solution. This is going to be a tough move. While this isn't the house that I grew up in, it was the fantasy house Mom and Dad were going to retire in. Years ago, they had a big fabulous deck custom built on the back of it--I've spent countless hours on that deck, sleeping, laughing, talking, drinking, playing, eating, smiling. Lots of good memories are in that house. A lot of painful ones, too. Lots. I won't be able to go down for an extended trip to get all my personal belongings and things that I want of Dad's and Memaw's until this summer, but I am going down in February to do a preliminary pack and clean of the current house. There is a lot of work to be done. On top of that, there is a lot of work to do in Memaw's old house, too, which is the house we cleaned out in September of 08. That will be a hard transition--the house that I have a lifetime of memories of growing up in and associations with will now take on a new level of associations, being my mother's house and not my grandparents. That will require its own grieving process--any change is a series of loss and regrowth, and that is important to recognize, I think.

I think one of the best things I could have done for myself last year was not going to Vicksburg. So much of the last several years has been flying back and forth and taking care of someone or another, and seeing so much sickness, so many hospitals and so many tears. And so last year, I didn't go. Instead, I tried to focus on my life in Chicago, my relationship with my amazing husband, what I needed to make me happy, and the travels and adventures that we wanted to go on. It wasn't all easy--we had lots of long distance crises that we had to deal with--mom's mental wellness, specifically--, but I tried really hard to not let them drag me down. It is easy to get all "woe is me" here, because nothing is ever easy for the Reids these days, but it is more important to just keep looking ahead and moving forward. And I am glad that I had those fun ME and US moments last year to strengthen me up for the coming year.

Every now and again, though, you have to process the weight of things, and that is what is happening to me this week.

I can't stop sneezing. I can't breathe. I really want to go to jazz class tonight--these classes have been such an outlet for me and bringing me so much joy--but I don't think I have the strength or stamina to do so. Balls to that.

I want to make lasanga. I never have. Maybe I will do this tomorrow night.

I have to really watch my social engagements. My impulse is to accept every invitation and event, but in reality, I get so weighed down I often have to cancel or change my plans. I need to be more honest with myself upfront and really consider how much I can handle. We had 3 different events to attend this past weekend, and on the last day, I got sick. What this also means is that I am becoming more and more of an unreliable friend. I like to think that I am someone you can depend on, but more and more, I am finding that my follow-through is terrible. In theory I would love to make you dinner and spend time with your kid, but in reality, I just can't.

I'm just going to keep on rambling here.

You know what I really dislike? Talking on the phone. I never want to do it. I think it is years of being a phone operator followed by years of picking up the phone only to receive bad news that has made it a detestible activity for me. I know that it is the easiest and most direct way to communicate, but if you call me, I probably won't answer. I hate phone chit chat. Cell phones, too, make it worse. It might make me an old lady, but I miss the days of being disconnected.

Speaking of being an old lady, I think I will have to get in to the doctor soon. My left kidney is in an almost constant ache. Looks like it might be time for more testing! Fun fun!

In happy news, there is nothing as exciting as a 40 degree day in Chicago after an extended period of frozen-ass-coldness like we've had. Seriously, y'all, I want to wear a Tshirt outside it feels so good.

Last night I was talking to Fuzzy about this "life crisis" that me and so many of our friends are going through--the desire to change jobs, locations, situations, etc, but then I realized--it isn't a crisis at all. It is just life. That is what we are supposed to do--question it, change it up. And it is good to change things up and take a risk every now and again so that we don't get grumpy, stale and bitter. We spend our whole lives trying to be happy and to figure it out--and that's just it. That's what we're supposed to do. That comforted me a bit.

In other happy news, this is my new favorite video ever. I can't stop watching it and it makes me cry every time. I will embed it as soon as they make that an option (or maybe I am just missing it). Click here: OK Go's video for This Too Shall Pass. Good advice, too.

Soo, yeah.

Although 2010 is a doozy so far and will continue to be so, I am also going to make it a priority to just throw everything aside, even just for a little while, and run as far and as hard as I can.


One of the pasta companies - Barilla? - makes lasagna noodles that you don't have to cook first. It might be cheating, but I've found it saves my sanity vs trying to keep the cooked noodles from sticking to each other.

Hang in there!


I think learning to say no to events and being really honest with yourself about you can and cannot do is the mark of maturity. It is more important to be where you say (generally) than saying yes to everything. I do not plan things for Sundays. I just don't. Because even working for myself, Sundays are sacrament. So I know, even if it sounds fun, once Sunday rolls around I won't want to do whatever it is. So keep going with that! And you're a totally supportive and great friend, so let that go.


I hate the phone so much, when it rings, I'll be looking right at it, with nothing else to do, and I still will not answer it. Hate the phone.

I like you though. A bunch.


that was an amazing video. all their videos make me so happy. we got teary too.

That video is great. Those guys are masters of the one-take video.

And everyone should be reminded to let it go and that this too shall pass. I know I certainly did.