07 November, 2016

Appreciating "ouch" moments

Those ghastly "ouch!" moments and meltdowns that we all know so well can, sometimes years later, still occasionally sneak up on us, shaking our confidence and damaging our hopes for continued healing and recovery.

The good news of course is that these meltdowns and painful moments decrease in frequency as we heal, through our own efforts, or through time, or usually a combination of both. So that can make it even more disappointing and upsetting when we get hit unexpectedly. We aren’t expecting it, we are no longer constantly bracing ourselves against the pain, and so we suddenly have to deal with shock and a feeling of failure on top of the usual hurt and loss that hit us in an "ouch" moment.

But even when these come, there is a bright side. I think that the very fact an ouch moment or even a full meltdown can be so unexpected means that by and large we’re doing really well, and have made a lot of progress.

In the midst of an upsetting interlude, though, it is easy to feel that we’ve made no progress at all. But when the storm abates, and the clouds disperse and you can see more clearly again, I hope that you take time to recognise how far you’ve come, and remember to give yourselves a pat on the back. I do.


  1. Like many, I struggle with this idea of being healed as no longer having the set-backs. That instead I'm completely able to move on. Thank you for reminding me that it's rarely that simple. And that it's really a matter of looking at the whole picture

  2. Oh, yes...the ouch moments. And I love the idea that having a suckerpunch moment doesn't mean you haven't progressed, or you're in a downward spiral, or you aren't committed to your decision. The setbacks are inevitable, it's the bouncing back (eventually) that counts. Great reminder!

  3. This is a great reminder.

  4. Yes I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday whilst talking to a mum friend that I really like; I feel a bit embarrassed to be honest. I just suddenly felt overwhelmed and outnumbered by the mum-mafia at the place I work, and even by mum/dad bloggers online (we were talking about that: she has a parenting blog and there are 1,000,000s in that community) - they just seemed to be crowding me out suddenly. I barked about it and about how there was no hope: not having kids would always be the inferior option because no one ever genuinely regretted their kids, but you could easily regret not having them, so every man and his dog has them 'just in case'. 'Twas a bit confused: I got a bit ranty. My 'meltdowns' usually involve being unpleasant and obnoxious rather than getting upset (although I will do that in private). I feel a bit down at the moment: I think it's the onset of winter...