Our dishwasher shot craps a little while back. It was eight or nine years old, so a little on the low side of “expected,” but had already had a board replaced. The installer had to replace the main water valve, and noticed the kitchen sink valves were also close to failing. He also pointed out a little scorch on the front of the outlet. Ed note: I do electrical, but have sworn off all plumbing after various misadventures.

The Adventure Begins

After having the sink valves replaced, it was time to take care of the outlet. Mind you, it’s under the sink, back of the cabinet, behind the disposal, and I frankly just don’t fit well. It turned out to be a huge pain in my ass, not only for the awkward position (imagine holding a Superman pose for 30 minutes) but also because the outlet had, let’s say “issues”.

So at first glance, especially when the plug is in the wall, you think, “Yeah, that’s not right. We’ll pop that out, drop that new one right in there, good to go.” Right? Well… maybe not so fast.

I pulled the outlet and was treated to the actual issue. The hot wire to the dishwasher was melted and scorched, and as I pulled the receptacle out, the plastic gave way completely and the side screw, post, and part of the old outlet went with the wire.

Pro tip: that’s not good. It must have had the barest connection; almost certainly this is part of the board failing.

Good times. Add on the fire risk, and yeah, that was a disconcerting find. I went to work cutting down the wire, stripping the insulation, rewiring, then realizing I had pulled the wrong tab off the new outlet and got to do it again – all while holding the Superman. I didn’t enjoy the experience.

That Sucks! Wait, Is This The Part Where You Segue?

Why, yes, dear reader, this is the segue. I was looking at the old outlet after all was said and done. From the front, it looked pretty innocent. A slight scar, if you will. Look a little deeper, though, and it was barely functional. Holding on by the thinnest of threads, moments away from breaking down completely. Maybe you see where I’m going here?

It’s a well-worn analogy, but it fits here perfectly: the iceberg shows only the tip of the truth. The lightly marked face that is easily seen, masking the scorched reality below it.

We don’t know what’s going on inside another person’s head; what they are facing in life. The most successful people can struggle. Some people fight their battles very publicly (not always by their own choice). Others fight on in silence. They give and give until they are pouring from an empty cup.

Think about the face you show the world. You may be the silent iceberg, or not. No judgement – you do what is best for you. What is critical is that you find someone who can be your go to person, your safe harbor, your Favorite Human. Keeping it all hidden leads to collateral damage; find a safe release or it will burn you up.

Photo by Hubert Neufeld on Unsplash