When Blowing Up is Better than Burning Out
Yesterday morning, I read an article in the Houston Chronicle about a local business called Tantrums, which allows you to scream, shout and smash a flatscreen TV with a sledgehammer for a small fee. I laughed at the concept and thought it would be cool to let out any anger while throwing plates on the ground and not having to worry about any guilt, shame or repercussions. That could even be fun!
As I read on, the article mentioned that the majority of customers are women, more specifically stay-at-home moms. It went on to say that women don’t feel they’re allowed to throw a fit and break things. They’re not allowed to scream and shout. They’re not allowed to lose it. They have to keep it together. Everyone counts on that; society counts on that.
What’s up with that?!
All joking and thoughts of throwing plates aside, this article pulls back the cover on another serious aspect that women face today. It seems we don’t have very good mechanisms in place to express our emotions, to develop positive ones and to work emotions out in a healthy way without raising eyebrows or without feeling guilt and shame for feeling angry or pissed off.
The article also mentioned that the owner will check on customers in their tantrum room via video camera and some customers will just stand there staring at the baseball bat and table of glassware. They need help getting started. Some women need permission to get angry and break stuff. They need a reminder that it’s ok to feel and express ALL of their emotions.
This article just happens to coincide with some other troubling statistics about middle aged women that I’ve read lately. The first is, the mortality rate for middle-aged women in the US in the 21st century is declining at an alarming rate due to drug and alcohol abuse and suicide. The second alarming statistic is that middle-aged women, also referred to as the lost generation, are the most medicated, depressed, alcoholic, overweight, suicidal and sick demographic in the US.
How and why is this happening?
I am a woman, in my mid-40s living in the US. This is my cohort! What are we needing that we’re not getting?
In other words, what’s causing us to numb out, bum out or take ourselves out?
While I can’t speak for everyone in this demographic, but I do know that
• If I hadn’t have invested the time, energy and effort into reversing my own emotional descent into the darkness of PTSD
• If I hadn’t have worked on uncovering and undoing all of the negative and untrue thoughts I had about myself
• If I hadn’t have made my emotional and spiritual health and self-care the highest priority
Then YES – I’d still be
• Dealing with daily fight-or-flight feelings of stress, the dangerous cortisol-raising kind that will kill you
• Coping with insomnia, hooked on Ambien
• Drinking way too much
• Eating poorly
• Beating myself up about not meeting my arbitrary expectations of where I thought I was supposed to be in my life
• Feeling depressed
• Believing all of my negative self talk
• And living in a very bad headspace.
If I hadn’t have begun the interior journey to emotionally, physically and spiritually heal and to make that journey my highest priority, things would not have turned out well for me either.
So, YES, I get it but I DO NOT ACCEPT IT!
Ladies, we can prevent this from happening. Even if it’s overwhelming to even think about how to change life’s direction, it’s ok not to know the answers. Begin with surrender and forgiveness of oneself.
It’s ok to scream, shout, feel 100% alive, and express and own all of those emotions without guilt, shame or apologies!