When You Feel Caught in the Cycle of Overwhelm and Shame.
Updated: Jan 19, 2021
I’ve experienced firsthand this phenomenon.
And I’ve heard from many, many others that they’ve had a similar experience.
I call it the “OAS” cycle.
It starts when the feeling of being overwhelmed arises.
You know the feeling... like you’re drowning in all that needs to be done. You feel like you can’t get a break or a moment to yourself. Everything feels too heavy and too much. It’s hard to breath and you want to run.
You are already in a heightened emotional state, and then something happens.
You mess something up. Someone says or does something you don’t appreciate. A memory from the passed pops up. Your kids aren’t listening.
Boom. Anger hits.
Anger tends to be the emotion we show when we are overwhelmed (crying is also common).
This is when things like yelling, slamming things, completely shutting down in silence, and other behaviors take place.
It’s just too much.
So much emotion that is simply too much to contain.
Then, the cherry on top is the shame that follows.
The “how did I get to that place AGAIN” thoughts. The “I’m a bad mom, wife, person, etc.” thoughts.
The belief that I am a failure.
And you know what thoughts of shame often lead to?
They lead to trying to get everything right. To “master” life. Which brings us right back to...
So the cycle continues.
It’s so daunting and steals so much joy.
I don’t know exactly how each person can get through this, but I do know that it will require each person to take a step back and look inside themselves.
What expectations do I have for myself?
Where can I ask for help?
How can I give myself time to breathe?
What is God showing me through this?
What lies am I believing about myself?
We are not a prisoner to this cycle.
Sure, we are human and will experience all these feelings from time to time.
But they don’t need to control us.
So look within, and start noticing some things.
Be kind to yourself, just like you would to someone else who felt as much pressure as you do.
You can’t carry the world on your shoulders, friend.
That’s what God is for.
So when you find yourself in this cycle, there is most likely something you need to surrender over to Him.
Let Him hold it.
He will help you out of this cycle if you do the work of recognizing your in it, and giving to Him what you cannot carry yourself.
~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog