Does this nervous breakdown make me look crazy?

The trip to Wyoming… where do I… hm… it’s just…okay. We are alive. I’ll start there. No one died. Did I want to die? Do I have to answer that question? Can we change the subject?

Here’s the thing about my kids and the way I’ve raised them: we like routines. My kids eat at the same time every day, go to bed at the same time every night. When you rip that routine out from underneath them they aren’t sure how to cope. And when I don’t sleep I can’t cope. This makes traveling with my kids extremely difficult.

I tried to be as laid back as possible when it came to their schedule, but Marlo reached such an extreme level of exhaustion that on Friday afternoon she pulled a full on Linda Blair. I’ve never seen anything like it, and since I had not slept for three straight nights (my kids and I all slept in the same room, meaning no one did any sleeping) I did not handle myself very well either. I walked right up to the window of a nervous breakdown and saw exactly what it looked like inside. It’s a shithole. And it’s scary as hell.

A ten hour drive in 100 degree heat through a wasteland of scenery. Mix that with sleep deprivation and two grumpy kids and, yeah. Not an award winning week for me.

My life is coming apart at the seams. That’s the only way I know how to put it. A few weeks ago the neighbor’s car rolled down their driveway and hit the retaining wall in my front yard, demolishing several yards of brickwork, concrete and landscaping, and knocking over the mailbox and lamppost. When I stood there surveying the damage I couldn’t stop thinking that I was actually looking at my life. Debris everywhere. A giant hornet’s nest had been hiding inside the hollow center of the lamppost and suddenly I was ducking and running away from a swarm of angry, stinging wasps. Shards of broken glass wedged themselves into the soles of my shoes.

A friend told me a few months ago that I should be prepared to go crazy, that it would happen no matter what, it happens to everyone going through this kind of upheaval. And it’s strange to feel it taking me over in a totally emotional way. It’s not a chemical issue because the chemicals are all figured out. It’s pure emotion and exhaustion. I’m standing here transfixed as it washes over me and fills my lungs.

Hour by hour, that’s how I’m taking it. Staring at my feet because the distance to the other side seems so infinite.

God, do I need some sleep.