"All Ways Are My Ways"

The Inner World of a Meltdown

Here’s the thing. A part of me doesn’t want me to post this, because she thinks it’s completely useless.
Another part of me thinks it can help someone, and “you never know”.
So I’m letting *you* decide. Feel free to let me know if it does help you.

 

The Story: How I Ended Up In “Meltdown”


Remember my guest post for Awesomepreneur
? I had to write a bio. And it was… challenging.

This is what happened…

First: I left it until the last minute. Of course I did.

I procrastinated like no other. That said, I was mindful about it: I knew I was postponing working on it because it would be such an emotional strain.

And it was.

Then I finally sat down to write it… And the “fun” begun.

 

At first, I wrote down the “basic” stuff… Then I went into “what I do”… Then into “what I would like to do”…

And of course, that was the road to “emotional meltdown from Hell”.

I began to doubt myself. And what I do. And whether I should be doing it at all.
I went looking for inspiration in a “Big Famous Person” bio… Which of course triggered my “OMG! They are famous and I’m not, why am I even bothering!!!”.

This internal “reminder” (also known as “stuff” made of fear and anxiety): “good things only happen to other people”.

Then tears. I went to sleep in tears.

Then I woke up and cried in the shower some more. “I hate the world. I hate everyone. I’m tired of trying to fit in and make something work and having nothing ever work.”
And I hate married people.” “And I hate successful people”.
And I’m never going to work ever again or do anything. I’m just going to lie down here.
And CLEARLY I’m never going to find love and I’m forever going to be a walking loser bag of crapness”.

Then eventually, I said “OK. Since I can’t do anything, I’m going to turn the computer and read that e-book thing. I won’t do any work, mind. Just read.

Then after that… Here I am. Writing. And working.

Here’s what I want you (and me) to remember:

A meltdown is a world of its own
"All Ways Are My Ways"
“All Ways Are My Ways”

 

You don’t realise you’re entering it. Everything seems like “life as usual”.
Logic goes: “Why yes, it is true that good things only happen to other people. And I can prove it!”.

Everything inside the meltdown appears to be true and it is true. It is true as it’s happening.

It will make perfect sense to think what you’re thinking.

And once you are inside the meltdown, there is no way you can “convince” yourself that the reason for it lies in this thing that just happened.

In my case, I couldn’t just say to myself “oh, right: I’m totally feeling like this because this bio thing stirred up all my stuff”.

That’s because…

A meltdown is a world of its own

And it has its own rules. Much like “Wonderland”.
Things don’t make sense inside it, from an outsider’s perspective.

So. How do we survive a Meltdown?

 

Here’s a list of what helps:

  • Much like visitors to “Wonderland”, the best thing you can do when inside a meltdown is to go “alright”.

You have to agree to the rules. You have to agree with the part of you who says “everything is horrible, I don’t want to do anything, and oh, by the way, I hate the world!”.

Inside the meltdown, this part of you is Queen. “All ways are Her ways”.

You gotta agree with the Queen. Don’t argue back with the Queen!!!

The sooner you’re on board with this, the sooner you’ll be able to return to “normal”.

In short: agree with yourself. I cannot emphasise this enough.
No, wait. I can:

AGREE WITH YOURSELF!!!
  • Talking to your imaginary monster. Or yourself.

If you can get your imaginary monster to say “I’m sorry”, that’s huge.
Just saying this: “I’m sorry you’re feeling upset. I’m really sorry.”

And if he can also ask you what you want, that helps as well. In my case, it went like this:

“Do you want food?”
NO!
“Do you want to sleep?”
NO! I CAN’T SLEEP, REMEMBER?! *grumbles*
“Do you want to listen to a talk?”
NO!

At the time it will seem like it’s not helping in the slightest, but being there for yourself, doing what you can to give comfort to yourself, is huge.

The key is to offer without judgement. Much like a parent to a child. (Or an imaginary monster to his human friend.)

 

  • Never ask “why are you feeling like this”. Or “how come”. Never.

True, what “triggered” my meltdown was writing my bio. Fair enough. There is a “reason”.

But when in the middle of meltdown? All I know is that “everything in my life is completely wrong”. That‘s the new world I’m living in at the moment. And all attempts to drag me out of this world by telling me “now, now… you see, you’re feeling like this because of the bio thing” will-not-work. Ever.

It’s counter productive to ask for a reason. So don’t ask.

 

Hope this helps. Remember:

Be kind to yourself.
Or rather… Be as kind to yourself as you can stand.

And if you can’t, forgive yourself for that.

 

Man, meltdowns are hard. They just are. But the better we get at accepting them and their rules, the better we get at giving kindness to ourselves, the sooner we will leave “Meltdown” and return to “normal”.

 

PS: Anyone out there thinks it’s high time the Queen of Hearts had her own tag? I mean, she’s appeared before… sort of  ;)