Since the last post, I have run into several distractions that may have gotten in the way of preventing my meltdown. Saturday, I was out in the sun for several hours and, even though I applied sunscreen, ended up looking like a cherry. Those who’ve had sunburns know that they hurt. And, being a young woman, it goes without saying that my hormone levels are all over the place. Things like this, dealing with pain and unexplainable emotions, very often take my focus away from making sure I don’t trip up socially or pick up on warning signs for a meltdown. I did, however, prevent a meltdown on Sunday, even with all the distractions.
After church, my family gets home in time to eat a little something before we have to go to drama practice. Yesterday, I was in the kitchen preparing a burrito to eat and when I reached for the cheese, my mom told me to stop. I didn’t see why she was telling me to stop opening the bag of shredded cheese when we only had limited time to eat, so I kept opening the bag. She kept telling me “stop” over and over again, getting louder each time until she was yelling only two feet from my ear. Needless to say, this rattled me more than just a little bit. It was surprising for two reasons. #1- My mom pretty much never yells. #2- She knows very well how I react to yelling (usually tears, confusion, frustration, and more tears). Apparently, she wanted me to use the two tablespoons of the cheese that was left over in the older bag of cheese. I still don’t understand why it was such a big deal and why she found that yelling at me was necessary, but I used the cheese that she wanted me to use and sat down at the table, silently eating the burrito and trying not to cry. It was at that moment that I realized I was bordering on a meltdown and straightened myself out.
After that realization, I ignored my parents yelling up the stairs for my sisters to get something to eat, I ignored my sisters and dad attempting sarcastic humor, and I ignored the snide remarks of rude teenage girls at drama practice. I focused on the task at hand, whether that was finishing my burrito or figuring out what part I was playing in the new human video we were practicing. It was stressful to deal with raging emotions, the pain of a sunburn, and bordering on a meltdown all at the same time, but I did it.
I have priorities in my life that include being a part of my family and my active role in church, and I cannot allow almost meltdowns to hinder what I need to do. I was able to avoid a meltdown without actually separating myself and without self stimulation. I didn’t know that was a possibility, but I did it. You can too!