from overwhelm to okay
“Danette cries easily even when making minor errors like reversing her ‘b’s and ‘p’s while printing.”
In my defense, I was only 5 years old when this was written. And kindergarten was hard!
My magically-kind teacher was as close to being Glinda the Good Witch as any human being could get. But she wasn’t magical enough to prevent the overwhelm. To keep the too-muchness of my new learning and social schedule at bay.
Glinda was spot on. Danette was definitely overwhelmed.
Somehow, I managed to conquer the internal chaos long enough to successfully learn. I read and comprehended Fun With Dick & Jane. Memorized my spelling words, counted to 100 and mastered finger-painting 101. And then went on to complete several more decades of formal education.
But not all of it was a smooth ride. In fact, several ages and stages of my life were a treacherously steep climb to maintain any sense of balance and harmony. Often the overwhelm won over and I felt out of control, trapped and stuck as a result.
In my first year as a High School Guidance Counsellor, I remember one particular Professional Development Day. The Head of the Counselling Centre at a local world-class university gave the audience of educators alarming statistics on the increasing numbers of university students with debilitating anxiety. I can confirm that this has been my experience in my decade of work with my adolescent students.
Now, midway through the lifespan of an average female earth walker, I’ve spent most of my waking hours exploring methods to cope with overwhelm. Some strategies have miraculously turned out to be quite skillful and useful while many have been filed under the heading “Are You Kidding?”
In this blog, I share stories, observations and beneficial strategies for those who are easily overcome by overwhelm on a regular basis.
Traveling from the land of Overcome to the plains of Okay is a journey that is entirely possible and extremely liberating. I do it all the time. Journey along with me and see what is waiting around the bend.