Breakdown Over Brunch

Sydney Bloggers Brunch, Social Anxiety, Dealing Through Art Journaling

On Friday I attended the most recent Kid’s Business Bloggers Brunch, which was held in Sydney for the first time. Leading up to the event I was ill and quite anxious. I spent all day Thursday trying to rest and feel better, which didn’t really work and I spent a lot of time tossing up whether I should even go or not, but given that I RSVP’d that I would go I didn’t want to pull out. I hate saying I will go to something and then not turning up, that makes me very nervous.

There were two reasons I initially decided I would go; firstly, I’ve traveled to two Bloggers Brunches in Melbourne – 12 hours there and back on both occasions and I was excited that there was something I could go to which wouldn’t take me a day to get there and, to be honest, those travels made me feel a little like I owed myself to go. Secondly, James had agreed to attend the events with me this year and I wanted his first experience to be much the same as mine, a mostly easy going meet up with some inspirational speakers, a few brands to speak to and, most importantly, a chance to meet other bloggers in a relaxed and friendly environment.


I’m the first to admit that I don’t like changes in plans, so when James decided he was staying home with Ellie and Jasper on the day that increased my anxiety ten fold. But, I am wanting to face my fears and overcome my anxiety.

In fact, I’d been art journaling about it at the start of the week;


“It comes and it’s debilitating bit I WILL NOT let in rule me.

I wanted that to be true.

Instagram Photos,

So, Friday morning Kahlei and I hopped in the car and off we went. I felt nervous but okay. Proud that I hadn’t curled up in a ball and refused to get up.

We chatted and sung and things were going swimmingly, I started looking forward to a morning out, to seeing bloggers I read and admire.

As traffic increased, my anxiety rose. I have driven in the city and lots of traffic all of, maybe, twice and it’s just not something I do well.

Then, while on the Great Western Highway (or, you know, somewhere around there), traffic started to get held up due to an accident. Before long, I was surrounded. Trucks on either side, cars in front and behind. The vice-like grip my anxiety had on my chest was soon competing for attention with the feeling of being practically crushed by the closeness of the vehicles around me. I like my space. A lot.

Due to us going a whole 7kms, up to a crazy 17kms at times, I decided to follow the GPS and get off at the next exit, even though I didn’t have to and wouldn’t have if I didn’t feel like I could not breathe due to all the closeness.

I should have just stayed put. I know that when I am suffering with anxiety my perception is off. I can often see things going too slowly or too fast. Knowing this made switching lanes VERY stressful. So, I know I have to be in the left lane and I am freaking out that I’m not, I can’t tell a good space from a bad space and finally I get a break. Only to get to a set of lights, have the guy in front of me pull over into the middle lane and discover a break down, with a man waving madly for me to merge into the middle lane.

Instead, I cried. And waited for a sufficient gap.

By the time we made it to the venue and parked, we were an hour late. I contemplated turning around and going home because being late, well, that just makes me all kinds of anxious (are you catching a theme here?). I decided that would be stupid and took my dreamer inside.

Journaling my feelings, Sydney Bloggers Brunch

I found where the children were playing and took Kahlei over only to be told that she couldn’t be there because I hadn’t registered her with the company; which makes total sense. I know about liability and so on, but it was just one more thing and I just broke down. The lovely carer said Kahlei could draw and so on as long as I didn’t leave, which was fine, I hadn’t intended on leaving her anyway. Yet, I still couldn’t stop crying. I sat in the corner, near the little kids table and had tears streaming down my face through three speakers Mandi Gunsberger, Therese Kerr, Lori Olsen and the end of Anna Gare’s talk. I think.

The lovely Gemma of My Big Nutshell asked if I was alright, only causing more tears and, possibly, making me look entirely rude. Sorry, Gemma!

I tried to calm before the brunch. I wanted to talk to so many people.

Sydney Bloggers Brunch,

Instead, I made a beeline for the companies, basically, I knew I wouldn’t get “how are you”s that would make me break down again. I thought, if I could compose myself while checking out some Lego or talking to the Brauer‘s people about how much I loved their Colic remedy with all three of my children, I would then be able to move on to what I was really there for. Connection with people who get me, who I feel I know.

Kahlei wooed the brand’s representatives, did a dance or two and ate a cupcake and I tried to get back to some kind of normalcy. It didn’t happen. Before the announcement of the winners of the Happiness Inspires Happiness initiative I had to leave. I knew it looked a whole lot like I was there purely for the goodies, but I couldn’t stay. I was so close to a full-on break down and I didn’t want anyone to witness that.

I was sick to my stomach. Unable to keep my brunch down and oh so disappointed in myself.

I will, obviously, be able to look through the bags I received and share some thoughts on the contents, however, the only memory I have of the event is feeling like I was in a cage, trapped and wanting to get out. The fear. The disappointment. I can’t share with you how inspiring the speakers were. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to meet so-and-so. I can’t even tell you how beautiful the venue was. All I can tell you is that I fell apart and my place would have been better going to anyone other than myself.

So, if you were there and you saw a stoney face woman in a blue dress with a dreamy girl with a butterfly on her face and you thought I was rude or purely there for my personal gain I want to say I wasn’t. I was just having a bad day.

I wish these things didn’t cause such adverse reactions in me.

I would love to read what everyone else got out of the day, though. If you have posted about the brunch, please feel free to share your link in the comments so I can live vicariously through you!

Linking up with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for IBot



  1. Dearest Becky
    I’m sorry that you were having such a bad day, mine was Saturday. We did speak I remember saying coming up and saying hello I think I offered to get you a drink. You did say your trip had been horrendous then someone else joined us. I remember saying we will talk more soon, then I couldn’t find you and now I know why.
    At these events as we are all mums you know you can be brutally honest and we will understand, I would have played with your little man I played with many kids there on Friday.
    Thanks for being so honest and sharing how you were feeling. Big huge Nx

    • Hi Nathalie – Yes, you did come to me, I am sorry to have forgotten to include that in here – I so appreciated that, though I struggle with kindness when I am in this kind of situation. Thank you for your words and your concern and I am sorry to have disappeared without so much as a thanks x

  2. I wish I’d gone, just so that I could have hugged you. I get anxiety too and it’s pretty awful when you’re in the middle of it.


    • That would have been lovely, though, I assume it would have caused me to cry more πŸ˜‰
      Thank you x

  3. Becky we spoke when you first arrived and I think I offered to get you a drink, then someone joined the conversation and I said lets speak after the speakers, now I know why I couldn’t find you. I’m sorry your day was a shocker, remember we are all mums and would have given you a big hug and played with your little man so you could have a bit of time to just breathe.Thanks for your honesty and for sharing this.

  4. Biggest hugs becky – i could relate the whole way through your post – every reaction or overreaction is one i have felt. I still remember freaking out while driving with 2 kids in the back and my visiting sister in the front as I could not figure out where i was going in the city here (we were new). I was a mess and I don’t think my sister (a non anxious person) could understand how i could get so up\set driving. I also hate being late. I am glad you found a way to make it work a little bit at least and got to hear the speakers.

    • You know, while I hate that others have to go throw this too, it does take some pressure off knowing that while I FELT like the only person who had ever suffered such a crazy reaction, I am not. I’m not alone.
      Thank you for your comment x

  5. Oh Becky you poor thing. My heart was breaking for you reading this post. Thanks for being so honest and sharing.

    But you know what – you did an amazing thing actually going after James changed your plans, and then going in after being late! Well done!

    • Thank you, Bec, for your comment and for your encouraging words. I go from being proud that I did it to being angry at myself for doing it.

  6. Oh Becky in so sorry πŸ™ Wish I’d been there to give you a hug. xox

    • Thank you Kate! A hug would have been nice, though, as I said to Veronica; it probably would have caused more tears. I don’t know why but kindness really sets me off!

  7. Oh Becky it sounds like it just wasn’t your day. It does seem as though you have a lot of friends in the blogosphere that you really connect to and now know how you feel so the next time it will be easier. Big hugs to you. xo

    • Thank you Misha. Being supported like this is the reason I so love the Blogosphere – these people are so amazing; you included! I look forward to trying again and doing better next time.

  8. Becky…I understand what you must of felt like. I get really anxious too…especially when things seem to build up; like it seems happened to you. I can’t think properly when that happens and I keep wondering what is happening to my brain!! Everyone has bad days though and you seem to have put it into perspective.

    • I hate that others know what this is like, that you can relate to my words. It sucks. Thank you for your comment x

  9. Sounds like a hard and horrible day. But, as others have said, you did NOT let it rule you. You went, even though James did not, you went inside after battling that terrible traffic and being an hour late, you heard all the speakers, even having your little girl in tow… And, so glad you were able to journal it all too… great ‘therapy’

    • The way I felt makes it hard to remember that I faced my fears and did something I didn’t think I could, so thank you for taking the time to comment and remind me.

  10. So sorry to read that Becky – I had crippling anxiety over ten years ago so I know how rotten it can be. Be kind to yourself xx

    • I love that you say ‘had’ it gives me hope that there is a way out! Thank you!

  11. Oh Becky xx fairy wishes and butterfly kisses. Maybe there was something in the air that day as I had a breakdown that morning too xx

    • I have read that a lot of people have been struggling and also read the theory about the moon cycles being a big part of it? I don’t know. I hope you’re okay, after your breakdown. Please, feel free to contact me if you’d like to chat!

  12. Oh Becky, good on you you for going, I think I probably would have stated home curled up in a ball,
    Anxiety is awful. I’ve only had it a little and that was bad enough.
    Hopefully things will go better for you next time. Xxx

    • Thanks Jess. Until I was actually in the car, driving away, I wasn’t sure I was going. I have high hopes for next time!

  13. Oh, Becky, I wish I had know how you were feeling. I would have given you an extra squishy hug. Anxiety sucks x

    • Thanks Tina! I knew, at the time, that no one would think any less of me if I shared my feelings and I so wished I could get past that wall and open myself up. All I wanted was to share and get to know you all better, but it was just that little bit too much of a push, after everything else! I did so appreciate the contact we did have x

  14. Becky, I feel bad that I didn’t even say hello…properly…I am so very sorry too. Gemma and I had travelled together, and throughout the journey, we were Ok as we were together, but the roads into the city, and where we had to meet were AWFUL.
    In fact, kudos to you for NOT turning around. I think I would have.
    Trouble with that day it seems, for you, nothing ‘aligned’ properly. James didn’t come after he said he would. It’s a half a day’s drive down that Gt Western Hwy.
    I look at it this way….you were not judged by me, or I’d say anyone…and you came. You did it. It doesn’t matter that you left early. Nothing like that matters…….please let yourself forgive you…and you can move on…you are doing a fine job of being in the moment, I know as I read your blog every day.. Love Denyse

    • Oh! Denyse, seriously, don’t feel bad! As I tried to calm I did kind of avoid talking to people, just because I knew that a single caring word or hug would set me off again.
      Thank you for this caring, thoughtful comment.
      You’re so right, nothing quite aligned for me and that set off a domino effect.
      Thank you, thank you x

  15. Hello, so sorry that you had a bad day. I LOATHED that feeling of being disconnected from everything and everyone around me, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, getting everything badly wrong… don’t know if you felt those things but your post made me remember some grim times.

    Which have GONE now… anxiety and depression are treatable, but patience and expert help is so very much needed. Hope you are in good hands with docs , therapists etc

    That traffic sounds awful… enough to rattle anyone.

    • YES! This is exactly how I felt. Exactly. In a room full of people and completely alone.
      Thank you for reminding me that these moments don’t last forever and eventually they GO. I look towards this time and I appreciate those that have gone before me and suffered through to the other side.

  16. Hi Becky – Your honesty about anxiety and how you feel is something so many mums understand. Hopefully next time makes up for it.

  17. Hi Becky,

    It’s funny what we think others see looking at us but I can honestly say that after reading your blog that is not what I perceived from meeting you. I saw a honestly saw a lady who was doing her best to do her ‘job’ whilst her beautiful daughter clung tightly to her leg whilst blissfully enjoying her lego cake.

    I am so glad to have met you and can honestly say you anxiety wasn’t apparent. Try not to sweat the small stuff. It’s wonderful what you can learn about yourself when your outside your comfort zone!! Well done.

    xo The yellow dress Brauer girl

  18. Next time will be so much better πŸ™‚

  19. (hugs) I thought I saw Kahlei , then I looked for you but missed you. I hate Sydney traffic too , Anxiety can be so debilitating and very scary. Hope you feel better now Xo


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