Just in case you were wondering, meltdowns are not just reserved for inconsolable toddlers who don’t get their way. Total freak-outs and feeling a slip of control can happen to the adults who are called to parent said children. But maybe there’s more, what if you are a woman who isn’t raising a small demanding human but you have birthed a business, a vision or an idea and delivered it to the finish line? You too may have felt the walls of life closing in on you or detected an immense need to scream at the top of your lungs while hiding in your closet or driving in your car Imagine this, all the while thinking to yourself “I wish somebody would…” because you know you may proceed to knuck if they appear to buck. If all this resonates, then you know what it means to have a meltdown.
Now, there are levels to the meltdown. If you have ever felt emotionally overloaded, become extremely aggravated, or even snapped and lost your composure, then my sister you may have experienced a meltdown. You may have freaked out about the toilet seat being left up by your husband or forgotten to put that meeting on the calendar and missed it. Heck, you may have had a mental collapse because someone ate the dark chocolate covered pretzels you left hidden in the pantry; and that’s okay. I’m not judging you There are also those who are batting in the major leagues of life and have been thrown some catastrophic curve balls they can’t seem to get under or over: Maybe your husband/partner just walked out on you, maybe you’ve recently lost your job and the bills are piling up or maybe you are grieving the loss of a loved one. Well, girlfriend, pour the wine because that deserves a meltdown, plus gratuity.
But through all the mishap that life has propelled your way, you are still here; despite what trials have come your way, you are still standing. Being a woman, wife, mother, sister and friend has shown me the powers I innately possess. Powers that I yield even when my superhero cape is tucked away at the bottom of the laundry basket. Even when circumstances appear to get the best of me and the weight of the world has melted me down, I don’t stay there. I take a minute to decompress and regroup, then get back in the saddle because whatever I am experiencing is temporary.
Since becoming a mother, I have had my fair share of mommy meltdowns. Moments where I have felt overwhelmed by the pressures of trying to be great at everything; the compulsive overthinking of what it means to be an amazing wife, doting mom and kickass business woman. This overthinking made me feel unsuccessful. I felt that if I were to slow down in one area, it meant I was performing inadequately in every area. Until one day I began to extend myself two things that were necessary to avoid losing control emotionally. Those key components were grace and mercy.
I came to realize that grace and mercy were not just a supernatural or spiritual reference but were necessary allowances I owed myself. Extending grace meant that I had to give myself a break, that even though I may have experienced a meltdown or fallen short of the goals I had set, I had to accept the mental setback as what it was and forgive myself. Only then could I move on. The same hand of kindness we extend to others should in turn extend grace to ourselves. To have compassion for yourself will lead you to exercise mercy; to have mercy will allow us a less harsh conviction of ourselves because of the forgiveness we have bestowed. Grace means I have compassion for myself and mercy means I won’t keep punishing myself for my shortcomings.
So, cheers to women who are making things happen; holding down households; raising children, starting businesses and running them efficiently. Here’s to the superwomen with superpowers, the women who keep calm and chill, the women who cry and scream out loud. To the good-doers and the world-changers; the ones who have had meltdowns and fallen down but refuse to fall apart, and to the unbreakable women who show themselves grace while under fire and the leniency of mercy that we can only give ourselves: I salute you, because I am you.