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Implode or Explode: The Decision is Yours

“People often feel that if they never utter the words, they can make them go away.  Bury them deep enough, and it’s like they never existed.” 

Dead End Girl by L.T. Vargus and Tim McBain

Many of my readers know that I live in Atlanta, Georgia.  Last November our Georgia Dome was demolished.  To accomplish this, the engineers drilled 3000 holes and filled these holes with 4800 pounds of explosives.  For the most part, it imploded inward exactly as they planned.  Except – and isn’t there always an exception? – one piece of wall.  If you look at the pictures, you’ll see how delicate this operation was with the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium literally only feet away.

I’ve been thinking about this since November – for some reason it just kept coming to my mind.  It dawned on me that I – (or shall I say we?) – drill holes and fill them with dynamite too.  How much hurt, anger, worry, angst do you bury?  Each new buried wound – however small – is a new hole.  Eventually the last hole will be filled and the demolition begins.  Do you implode or explode or both?   Does your demolition reach across and damage others around you?

Let me try to answer those questions for you.  Sometimes you implode.  Sometimes you explode.  Usually it’s a combination. 

Explosion

And you always damage others.  Don’t believe me?  Think about the last time you lashed out at your significant other or your child and ask yourself these questions:

  • Did I allow a series of events to build and fill with dynamite?  (Note:  these events may or may not have had anything at all to do with the final break)
  • Can I trace the cause of my explosion to one simple event OR was it a series of things that finally pushed the button?
  • Did I react in a way that was productive to the relationship?
  • Did I react in a way that helped the other person grow?

Implosion

I read somewhere that depression is simply anger directed inwards – that’s the implosion.  Add these questions to the ones above:

  • Did I feel some guilt towards the way I reacted?
  • If you got what you wanted, did it feel good?
  • Did you spend any time at all regretting the way you handled it or the words you uttered?
  • Did you beat yourself up?  At any time did you think or say to yourself, “I should have ….”?

Instead of Demolition

I always want this blog to offer some advice or some technique that I use to combat excessive emotion and the subsequent fallout.  I’ve found that writing “morning pages” helps me.  “Morning pages” is simply taking a few minutes to let your brain express itself by stream-of-consciousness writing.  It’s very simple – put a piece of paper in front of you and start writing.  If you don’t have any idea what to write, start with this phrase:  “I don’t know what to write” OR “I hate doing this” and let it go from there.

What I discovered is that I spew a lot of worry, angst, regret on those pages.  I set off small detonations on paper and that’s much better than causing explosions with those I care about.  I’ve also discovered -- and this has been revelatory – that if I write about the same issue on more than three days, then it’s a big enough problem for me to “deal with it” rather than keep packing in dynamite.  When that happens, I spend some more time writing how I could best address the issue.  I may not finish this in one setting.  But just recognizing an issue that needs appropriate attention allows my mind to mull over it while I go about my day.

After Demolition

After the Georgia Dome demolition, one piece of wall remained standing.  We won’t stop ourselves from setting off explosions.  It’s human nature.  When we explode or implode, we have to hope that we leave pieces of our relationships standing.  What will happen with that one piece remaining?

  • You can use that piece to rebuild relationships – starting with an honest assessment of YOUR part of the problem. 
  • You can add that piece to the collection you already keep and let it fester. 
  • You can remove the piece altogether and move the heck on.

Ahh, the beauty and difficulty of life – you have to choose and you have to live with the consequences.

Resources

Here’s a great video on Morning Pages.  Thank you Julia Cameron.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpDcrAVqIco​​

The Artists Way Cover
Dead End Girl Cover

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    In April 2012 I had a mental breakdown. The real thing. I have about 36 hours that I don’t remember....

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