The Unravelment

UnravelmentThe Unravelment

It hasn’t happened in a while and doesn’t happen often, but the other day, I came unraveled I’m a frayed.

I like to think I can steer my own ship, but I was taking on water, so put out an  SOS to a friend. Friends are wonderful for such things, but make sure you have a level-headed confidante, not one that is a little dinghy….so sorry, I couldn’t help it.

I guess I should define unravelment for you, since it’s apparently a new word; as a matter of fact, I just created it. Wouldn’t it be cool if Merriam- Webster put it in the book for 2017? Write to them!

Un-rav-el-ment (v.) – The act of coming unhinged by emotionally reacting to things that could be true or could happen. The awfulizing, ruminating, and visceral reaction of things fabricated in one’s mind without factual proof of existence.

Do you know this state of being? I’m going out on a limb here and guessing we’ve all done it and I’m not alone and bat-shit crazy.


The unravelment got me thinking –


Why sometimes when things are in complete chaos, do we clip along in fine form and why when things are in fine form do we come unraveled? (click to Tweet)

Here’s a look at our problem behaviour:

  • We tell ourselves stories that may or may not be true in an effort to make our world make sense to us.
  • In a delicate state we are insecure and believe other people are thinking the worst of us.
  • We harshly judge situations and people to protect ourselves from being hurt and exacerbate the situation.
  • We become anxious with ambiguity and feel we must have an answer, therefore, without complete or factual evidence, we force an answer (AKA fabricate).
  • We may fear our assumptions are “wrong,” but cannot even fathom how that could be possible.

Insecurity breeds unravelment. It’s fertile soil for the rot that is unravelment. It’s a fearful dog in the corner that is either going to lash out and bite or leave an unsightly puddle.

unravelmentAlways the problem solver, I’ve identified a couple strategies for dealing with working though this chaotic state and finding a resting place for your mind that allows rational thought to seep in. In that vein…

Here are some coping strategies:

  • Find a confidante with a loving, calming presence. Do not skimp on this one! If you are surrounded by toxic people, do not even take the chance. Clergy, a teacher, a therapist and God are all better choices than your unbalanced second step-cousin.
  • Realize your unravelment is totally about you. You may think it’s about a certain situation or another person, but your monkey mind is going ape-sh*t while the outside world is taking no notice of the noise inside you. Chances are good that the outside world is enjoying calm waters.
  • Do not express your rant, concerns or fears publicly and especially
    not on social media. You may get a lot of support or, instead, you may find some friends who have always had questionable judgment and their words may make you feel even worse. Whatever the case, now you’ve created a permanent record and perhaps done permanent damage to your otherwise spotless reputation.
  • Know this too shall pass. Life is a series of changing scenes. The objective is to stay calm in the eye of the storm. Someone wise once said a famous quote about this, but I can’t recall who or what it was – so basically that was just useless information.
  • unravelmentFocusing on gratitude and reframing the current situation can be quite helpful. Seek the silver linings. (My dear friend gave me that one).
  • Look for how you can proceed by performing the most noble, helpful and valuable role possible.

We all have our moments. Let’s tend those moments before they become days. (click to Tweet).

                             “In chaos, there is fertility.”    Anaïs Nin

Wishing your ship finds secure harbor in the storm,





Michelle Andres is a writer and artist who cultivates her own Well Writer, Artist, CoachLived Life by drinking in the beauty around her, following her passion, respecting others and doing her best to own her own dookie.
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11 Replies to “The Unravelment”

  1. You have my vote to put ‘unravelment’ in the dictionary! I used to be a pro at getting wound up about things that COULD happen – and most of the time those things never happened.

  2. Merriam-Webster better look out! If they don’t take my word, I just don’t know WHAT I will do! They probably think I’m inept. LOLOLOL! Glad I can laugh about it now. 🙂

  3. there are two things that come to mind (or maybe even more) when I heard this term that you have attempted to describe and talk about –

    one happens simply because there are so many things going on in the world at the same time and we may be attempting to focus on too many of them at once and that each of these occurrences each has its own timing that cannot be accounted for or adjusted to when you are considering something else at the same time –

    another cause might be not focusing on the here and now and attempting to accomplish more that just the next step – only looking to accomplish the next step is a perfect way to proceed while looking forwards towards too many of the steps that must or that you know will most probably came after the next step is always a mistake given that each step along any path can be seen and taken while any number of infinite things may turn up once that next step is taken and these must be dealt with at that moment when they show up after the next step has been taken depending on what exactly shows up –

    and finally – that this “unravelment” that you have created this new word for occurs – not when things are challenging and overwhelmed but when the things in your life are moving along smoothly further indicates that perhaps you or anyone becomes in a state of attentiveness for such long periods of time during the challenging times – that when we get to the smooth roads and everything working fine that we are not able to accept the state of complacency that we might fall into and not be prepared for the challenging times when they arrive again so we rev up to challenging time mode and look for challenges that are not really there at the present moment and then therefore kind of muck up the works so to speak with concerns about things that are actually perfectly fine –

    the only real difficulty for us is that we are human and often cannot handle the turning on and off of our different modes as easily as if we are a machine that let’s say needed to turn the windshield wipers of our car on or off or the heater to go from hot to air conditioning cool as well moved from one state of the country to another along our trip –

    1. All very salient points, Walter. I was coming off a very busy time getting prepared for an exhibit in June and thinking ahead (not staying in the moment). I think we, as human beings, might miss a lot of wonderful moments while we’re exploring possible moments that may or may not come. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  4. I can so relate to unravelment. I’m glad you’re past this state and able to laugh a bit about the challenges. Your suggestion to keep it to yourself (or find a close friend you can trust with sharing) is wise advice. Busy keeps the mind quieter, though, doesn’t it?

    1. Ha, Nanette. And here I am writing about it on a blog! I should’ve taken my own advice…but then it wouldn’t have been as fun. Thanks for you comment!

  5. Unravelment is a fabulous word and most definitely belongs in our dictionaries. You’ve offered some really helpful suggestions for dealing with the issue, but I’m especially grateful you mentioned how you think you became unraveled in the first place – that being too far ahead of yourself because you’re so busy with your project. It’s really easy to see how unanchored that can become very quickly. Wishing you more ease and grace as you navigate the busy (and ultimately wonderful I hope) times. And lots of help re-weaving all those frayed edges.

  6. Thank you, so much, Deborah. I have finished the bulk of my project and am enjoying a long weekend vacation. I think it’s just perfect. Feeling good and balanced and ready to take on the world again! 🙂

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