Breakdown Over Brunch
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.
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.
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.
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