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The Grey Matters

On Having a Grown Up Meltdown

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Long ago, in another lifetime, I used to have meltdowns. My life was ending, I pictured being an old chicken lady, I felt that I’d wasted my prime on the wrong things and that I was just too late to begin again. Meltdowns usually included freaking out in my car (have YOU ever bruised your hand on your steering wheel or ruined your voice yelling at God? Ahem) or sobbing in my mom’s arms.

I kept saying: I just want my life to begin. 

I prayed, HARD.

Everything was ending: but I had NO clue that my life was, in fact, beginning.

To coin a phrase from the book I’m currently reading, Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton:

“You’ve been offered the Gift of Crisis.”

I have a wonderful friend who just experienced her own personal miracle with God’s plan for her life (she published a book about being perpetually single, into her 30s, and all the horror she experienced dating….. only to find her soul mate and wind up married to a handsome fire fighter who wins awards for pulling the most people- ever- out of a fire…. ya know, stuff like that….) and we went through our CRISIS at roughly the same time. I tell this story often, but she is the one who I had this conversation with:

Me (after one of those drives in my car described above): Cindy, I think I’m having an identity crisis.

Cindy: Well… What’s so bad about that? Isn’t life just one big identity crisis?

Me: silence …….. Oh no. I think it is.

She assured me in that conversation that it’s absolutely okay to stay in bed all day and cry, and that even therapists suggest watching TV. I may or may not have watched every single episode of Family Guy shortly after that.

ALL OF THIS IS TO SAY:

I’m pretty sure that my life has begun. I tried to realize before that my life is my life, no matter what phase, but it did feel empty and full of holes and lacking any sort of security.

I’m pretty sure that’s what I meant by a life: Full and secure.

I’m getting married in less than a month. Now, I’ve done my fair share of yelling with God over this one. (I say “with” because He’s being so obvious with me sometimes that He may as well be yelling right back in my face) It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the most worth it. Read those words: The Most Worth It. “It” being a fulfilling life exploding with love, mystery, joy, faith, hope, fear, trust, tears, anger, patience, and laughter.

holding hands

Lost but holding hands ;)

 

Oh, and all those prayers I prayed? They’ve been answered. Ten fold. They just showed up in ways I didn’t expect.

“God, please help me be the right person for a good man. A man who is tall, handsome, kind, patient, can handle a Wilder woman, is capable of love,and who knows, maybe he’s up there in the Midwest.” (wink wink, nudge nudge, God….)

God showed up, probably chuckling a little bit, as He introduced me to my future husband not two weeks after moving here. He was chuckling because He knew it was going to be one interesting ride. And I was going to have to have a lot of faith and hope and trust in order for things to work out.

“God, as I am this new, budding feminist, please help me to help all women. But especially young girls. I don’t think I’m meant to be a teacher, I am not at all talented in being a youth leader, but just pleeeease, help me to help young girls!”

God showed up, presenting me with two young girls who are to be my step-daughters. I remember the day this answered prayer hit me. I cried because it was so overwhelming. I get to impact two young ladies right at home, every single day, with my actions and how I choose to communicate with them. I can’t go out in public, do some good works, and come home to be a completely different person. God’s laughing again, because He gave me exactly what I asked for: in the form of family, and in a way that makes me obligated to be a better kind of woman.

daughters

tree huggers

Don’t worry, I want to help this little dude, too. Here I am, turning him into a big ol tree hugger.

“God, I’m not really sure you exist. I’m not really sure if it’s the universe I should be paying attention to…. or my horoscope and the fact that I’m a Leo…. or if it’s that random dude who came up with The Secret and its all about the present moment and I should find comfort in the fact that it’s all up to me and my own reality in my own head….. or…….” 

The thing is, I never stopped praying. And this book, Carry On, Warrior, made me laugh and sigh with relief when she said this:

“As Anne Lamott suggests, only three prayers are necessary. Mine are ‘Please!’ ‘Thank you!’ and ‘WTF???’ That’s all the spirituality you’ll need for a while.”

The sigh of relief was because hey, for about three years, those were my prayers, too. I couldn’t get past that amount. I was either screaming desperately for help, please. Finding a tiny miracle, thank you. Or finding every bit of reality to be totally screwed up and not at all in my plan or realm of comfort, wtf.

When I moved, my twin sister gave me advice that surprised me. She said, “Whatever you do, find yourself a church. Those people will save you.”

I looked and looked, and then low and behold, God sent them right to me. I found an amazing church body. A body that scooped me up, held me close, prayed with me, considered me to be of value, and challenged me to admit to the truth and change my ways.

God, the One who doesn’t have to yell, but might as well be waking us all up with pots and pans and that annoying guy at church camp who sings realllly loud outside your cabin. That’s who He is. I told Him I wasn’t sure… and He showed up.

The funny thing about blogs is this: it winds up writing you. I wasn’t even planning on writing about God and prayers and how sometimes my potty mouth gets in the way of my communication. All I was going to write about was ADULT MELTDOWNS!

‘Cause I now live with three kids, and you know, they have meltdowns. Their brains aren’t fully developed and their upstairs brains explode and there’s no consoling them and then you need to practically force them into a cold shower in order for everyone to settle down.

We’re adults. And let me tell you, I’m now over the age of 25, so this brain up here is FULLY DEVELOPED. So… what gives?

Because although my life is beginning and God’s answering my prayers and I have healthy food to eat and a roof over my head and a partner in crime and lots of joy… sometimes life is still overwhelming and sometimes I still need to just cry. Revert back to toddler mode, let my upstairs brain explode right up to the heavens, and cry for {almost} no reason.

Last night I cried. I practically cried myself to sleep. That wonderful man God sent my way held me and didn’t laugh when I made crazy statements like, “I’ve wasted my whole twenties! I haven’t accomplished ANYTHING I planned to!” pause between sobs and drool…. “And I hate my hair right now!!”

He coaxed one smile out of me, reminding me that there’s no way I wasted my whole twenties, because I’m still in my twenties. Then he told me I was beautiful, even if I felt I was in an awkward stage of growing my hair out. He assured me I was wanted, needed, and even worth something.

IMG_6415

I helped this gal make a Harry Potter robe. Maybe I am useful?  ;)

His text to me this morning: “It’s gonna be a great day. Drink some Kombucha, play a little banjo, read a chapter, and write a blog. Then eat some tacos when you get off work tonight.” (this man knows me well)

No matter how much of a life I have and no matter how old I am, I’m pretty sure I’ll keep having meltdowns and I’m 100% sure I’ll always have to pray to a God who, thank God, forgives the “WTF!” style prayers. Sometimes I’m a tad more eloquent, but that is entirely dependent on whether or not I’m having a meltdown.

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Love, Lou (who has been prone to crying since the day she was born)

 

 

 

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Author: Melinda Haas

I write, I read, I love to laugh. God, my husband, and my step children make up my world. I am working on publishing many novels, three of which are completed manuscripts.

5 thoughts on “On Having a Grown Up Meltdown

  1. Congratulations, Melinda! So very happy for you! Please greet your parents and sisters for me!

  2. I love this. And I just finished Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle. So glad God listens and even talks back in the exact ways we need. Congrats on the new love. God is good (as always).

  3. Pingback: weekend | reads | Reeve Currie

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