The tooth that broke the camel’s back

Recently I dropped my bundle, hit the wall, came to a standstill, had a hissy fit, fell apart, had a meltdown…..

Call it what you will, but I was basically wrung out.

And what was it that caused this minor meltdown?

A broken tooth – yes I broke a tooth just days after returning home to Australia from being in England for nearly a month with my daughter and very premature granddaughter.

Photo by Pixabay on

On Friday morning I wrote a post about feeling discombobulated and by Friday night I was much more than just discombobulated, I was absolutely gutted, which set the tone for the weekend ahead!

Why now, after all I’ve just experienced and been through?

I asked myself this question a million times over the weekend, why now? Just give me a break will you??!!

It’s not the end of the world, some would say (and some did say). Your daughter and partner are coping, your granddaughter is improving, you are safely home, it’s just a broken tooth, buck up…

But it was enough for me to feel like taking to my bed and hiding away. Especially as I couldn’t get to a dentist until Monday at the earliest and I’m not a huge fan of dentists at the best of times. I have a long history with dentists and teeth in a very small mouth.

I wouldn’t look at my broken tooth, I couldn’t eat very well, I was scared of what would need to be done, I thought the worst case scenario, and I basically went into a little meltdown for a few days feeling very sorry for myself and being quite miserable to all around me. Not my usual perky self at all!

Isn’t it funny the little things that are enough to set you off, just like the saying ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back?’

The idiom “the straw that broke the camel’s back”, alluding to the proverb “it is the last straw that breaks the camel’s back”, describes the seemingly minor or routine action that causes an unpredictably large and sudden reaction, because of the cumulative effect of small actions.


Words of Wisdom from a friend

Photo by Prateek Katyal on

My blogging friend Denyse, who has seen her fair share of dental issues, with head and neck cancer, made a comment that meant a lot to me. She obviously gets it! Thank you again Denyse 🙂

You are allowed to have moods and feelings. Gosh mine have been a bit down in the past two days – after the highs of a couple of weeks. Life. So sorry about the broken tooth but sometimes ONE thing (which you can be a bit upset about) can open the avalanche of all the emotions of what you are going through. The grandchildren’s news: one turning one, one born very very early, and one expected. These are HUGE life events. Be kind to yourself.

I learned long ago, and have possible already mentioned it, but feelings take a lot longer to catch up to events. And you have experienced an avalanche of events.

Denyse Whelan

What next?

I sat and read a great book over the weekend and completely lost myself in Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens; I socialised when I had to but it was noted that I wasn’t my usual smiley, chatty self – at all!! I was tired, I slept a lot, and when you think about it I was still probably suffering the effects of jet lag, so sleeping was a normal response.

First thing Monday morning I rang and got an appointment for later that morning. Considering I had to drive over 100kms, it was great timing. What’s funny is that the drive of 110kms took me about the same length of time it took me to drive the 22 miles in Bristol last month when I was visiting my daughter and granddaughter. But it was way less stressful and no road rage as happened to me in Bristol traffic. I listened to a humorous podcast all the way which took my mind off things. I decided that I had to be brave and let the professionals take care of me, so I pushed through my fear.

After the work was done I felt numb but better. I hadn’t enjoyed the experience but I had taken control of myself, I hadn’t given in to the fear and I was now back on the right track. I’m also aware that I’m fortunate to have good dental access, money to afford it and friends and family who support me in their own way.

And I recognised that the feeling of being miserable would pass eventually, I just had to ride the wave and try not to berate myself in the process. Self acceptance and self care are much underrated at times.

Bravo to me!

Moving on

I feel a bit foolish looking back over the past few days, as my behaviour was way out of character for me. But I think it was the result of the cumulative events of late and my reaction was probably quite normal.

Feelings do indeed take a lot longer to catch up to events! And sometimes it’s the unlikely straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Have you ever had this type of response to seemingly minor events, I think it’s far more common than we realise, despite being told not to be so melodramatic about everything!!

I’ll be back to my bouncing best any day now! But I know that it’s OK not to be OK and to deal with it as best I can.

I’ve got this!

Deb xx

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51 Replies to “The tooth that broke the camel’s back”

  1. Oh it’s completely understandable Deb. I tend to (generally) be (or appear) pretty calm but it’s usually the tiniest thing that causes me to come undone. I’m tenacious through the big stuff and something small will happen and I’ll feel overwhelmed.

    Plus I can totally relate to that feeling of ‘knowing something will pass’ but being stuck there anyway. I had a cold / flu for a couple of weeks. I knew it wasn’t a big deal and would disappear but it felt as if I was in a hole I couldn’t crawl out of.

    Hope you’re now seeing light at the end of that tunnel. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can understand how one seemingly smallish new problem, added to the weight of several heavier earlier and continuing worries can just be one step too far. It sounds like you got that problem with your tooth fixed and are on your way to bouncing back. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve had such a lot to deal with lately Debbie, so much emotion & you’ve had to keep it together, staying strong for others. Along with long haul travelling too. You’re allowed to have a meltdown every now and again. Be kind to yourself. Big hugs 🤗 🌸🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I don’t think it was just about the tooth. Years ago a couple of days before my daughter’s wedding, when we were at the pointy end of a year’s worth of planning and detail, the dog scratched my arm as she was trying to escape the dog washer, and I lost it. Completely devastated about the tiny scratch!! I don’t think that was about the scratch either. You are allowed to feel off occasionally and let the bottled up emotions out. Hope everything is on the up and up and bubba is doing well. You have got this. PS I have a doozy of a tooth story which ended badly, worse than anyone could have imagined. I might share it one day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think I want to hear your doozy of a tooth story thanks Chris!! I’ve had enough for the moment 🙂 . I’m glad to hear you also had an example of this happening to you, I do feel better now and I know I’m not alone or going mad!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, happens to us all and good yo hear you’re feeling better. I think I saw your smile on Twitter! I did do one blog post a couple of years back (a light hearted ‘an unexpected trip to hospital’). And then it got worse ….

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I think your reaction is completely relatable. When life piles on more than we can bear we often have to just get through it before we can really experience it and let it all out. I’m glad to hear you were able to get your tooth fixed though.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You can’t fault yourself for being human. And the fact that you’re able to write about it makes you an even better human being in my book. Straws, camels, traffic, teeth– it’s all life. And now, like you said, lessons learned, moving on.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You’re right about the cumulative effects of all the events that you’ve experienced recently. Be kind to yourself. I’m glad you got the dental care you need in your home town/ country. #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gosh Deb you have been through a tough time and yes that tooth would have been the one to break the camels back. broken teeth or tooth ache is would have to be the worst pain ever. premie baby, jet lag….a tooth…yep it would have been the tooth that would have got to me…huge hugs Deb…#MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi, Debbie – I’ve been thinking about you all weekend and trying to send warm, healing vibes your way! You’ve had every right to melt-down, scream and shout, take time out for you, and rest. It makes complete sense. You’ve had a great deal on your place. Now that your granddaughter and daughter are improving daily, and you are safely back home, it makes sense that your mind and body would scream out for rest. Be kind to yourself and know that you have a solid circle of family, friends and blogging buddies all over the world thinking of you! #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, you are so sweet!! I’ve been getting the vibes from you and everyone and am feeling better now. I’ve enjoyed the spring sunshine in my garden room and haven’t tried to do too much all week. It’s been nice! Thanks again.xx


  10. It’s perfectly normal and okay to meltdown, and perhaps its even good for the soul – just to let things all come out. I think as women we probably don’t allow ourselves the luxury of collapse because we need to keep on and doing. I can understand how your trip to the UK was emotionally and physically tiring too, not least for family reasons – and I Totally relate about the driving. On an aside …. I was in England looking after my Mum a few months ago, and hubby said with the amount of cars and people in the UK he’s surprised the whole island isn’t sinking! #Pinned

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same way as your husband Jo, so many people moving all the time and so slowly!! It was so hard but I’m glad I managed to do it all. I know you understand the whole emotional part of it and now that I’m home I can try to relax in the spring sunshine before we head over there again. Thanks for your understanding x


  11. I think you’ve been running on adrenaline for the last month or two Deb and that makes even small hiccups seem much bigger than they are. You’re allowed to have a little pity party – and tooth things are definitely a bummer. My husband broke one of his in half over the weekend and can’t get an appointment for a week – so he’s rather unimpressed (but he falls asleep in the dental chair – WHAT!?? so he’s not particularly bothered). I have a sensitive molar that I need to get seen, but I’m putting it off because I’m a wimp. Glad you’re on the mend and hopefully things will continue to improve in the weeks ahead as you get your mojo back xx
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that’s exactly what it was Leanne a pity party and I just fell apart! Adrenaline only lasts so long I’ve noticed. Onto the big question – How can your husband fall asleep in the dentist chair?? I am proud of myself for coming through it all and knowing it would eventually pass. I’ve enjoyed many afternoons in my sunroom in the garden, where I am now, reading, commenting on blogs and even dozing every now and again!! Thanks for sharing 🙂


  12. I’m in awe of you Deb! As someone who is terrified of dentists and can’t even talk to one in a social setting, I get your angst. Denice gave you really great advice. Good to have you back and on top of your game again #MLSTL Sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s a lot of fear Jennifer! Yes I’m so thankful for having lovely people like Denyse and all my blogging buddies to help and understand make sense of these issues. Life goes on and I’m happy to say I’m feeling good now! Enjoy the weekend. x


  13. We all get signs that we need to slow down and take care of ourselves. Sometimes when we don’t listen to the subtle signs…we get bigger ones. Glad you’re feeling better and so happy your granddaughter is doing better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennifer, life is getting back on track now and Dottie is growing stronger each day. I feel for my daughter and her partner as they have much more stress to contend with than they’ve ever known about before. So far they are going well and have lots of great friends around them.


  14. I think your reaction is completely understandable. When dealing with the challenges of wee Dottie you needed to be completely strong for all, especially your daughter. The emotional gas tank slowly drains as you power on. Then when the issue is yours alone the gas tank is dry and left you feeling miserable. Is it any wonder after these past weeks? Give yourself a hug and understanding as you would do for anyone else. I’m sending one from afar. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Those are wise words from Denyse. I agree that our feelings often take a bit to catch up. I also think, for me at least, sometimes I feel I must be strong about the big things–it’s too scary to face those feelings–but then the emotions get redirected into something less significant. Regardless of the reason, you are allowed to feel all the feelings. I’m glad to hear you say you aren’t beating yourself up over it. Take extra good care of yourself. Hugs!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Deb,
    Denyse’s words are very wise indeed. Feelings do take a while to catch up to events and seem to pile on at time.
    Definitely be kind to yourself…and you have got through a lot lately. And, honestly, I’m with you about the dentist – broken tooth may well have put me over the edge without all the other things on your plate lately.
    And, BTW, I also just finished Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I think I read it in one sitting.
    I could relate to the setting as inlets and marshes of the Carolina are places we have experience with and could make detailed mental pictures of the sights and sounds.
    #MLSTL…have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nancy, how timely that you also just finished the book! It was really good and I left a review on Goodreads as I was so impressed. An added bonus for you with your knowledge of the areas. Yes I’m taking it easy and trying to be kind to myself. I feel like I’m treading water at the moment but I’m feeling much better, thanks 🙂


  17. Oh my goodness yes, I hear you. This was me the other day. I’d worked every day for a few weeks straight, been away from home, and had my sister arrive the day after I got back. Then once everything calmed down I snapped. Over nothing. Absolutely nothing. I think you keep on keeping on and only when it’s done can you blow. x

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh Deb, I have hissy fits and mini meltdowns at the smallest of things on a regular basis!! But don’t underestimate how much you’ve had going on, a lot of which you’ve just powered on through (worries over your daughter & the little one, stressful travel, upheaval of daily routine). It’s not surprising that the build up hits afterwards and comes out when you least expect it. If I chipped or broke my tooth today I think I’d be ready to have an epic toddler tantrum, so I think you’ve actually coped incredibly well. You’ve said it perfectly here – “I just had to ride the wave and try not to berate myself in the process. Self acceptance and self care are much underrated at times.” That is so true. Be kinder to yourself, ditch the guilt, take care of yourself. Sending hugs your way  ♥
    Caz xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really appreciate your comment Caz and it’s so good to know others, like you, have hissy fits on a regular basis! I really enjoyed your recent post which had so many great tips and such sensible advice to us all about ditching the guilt, stop comparing and to make our own rules. Take care and thanks for caring 🙂 xx


  19. My goodness, you have had such a tough couple of months. You are absolutely entitled to have a meltdown! Sometimes it is that last straw that brings on the tears for me. I can be tough through ups and downs, for days on end and then the tiniest (not that a broken tooth is tiny at all) thing will set me off. Cue the tears.
    You were probably waaaaaay overdue a little hissy fit. I am certain you didn’t wallow in self-pity and are back on track. Big hugs to you, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leslie, I’ve actually just been back to the dentist today for the permanent crown to be put on and I was much better behaved and nowhere near as nervous! Sometimes we just need to let off a little steam don’t we??


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