What do you call a meltdown?
To me, it is when I lose my cool. Ranting, cursing and what my mother called “showing your ass,” regardless of whether there are witnesses or not.
My most recent meltdown had some small flare ups here and there after the big explosion. When I think I am over it and have let go, it seems to rear up again when I talk about it, so I am still not over it, yet.
This semester was going along quite nicely, not at all overwhelming. Then one of the three half semester courses played me. Three measly little credits that felt more like I was earning six, or nine, maybe even twelve, set me on ballistic status.
I had forgotten that even in college you come across extremists, or in a more reasonable state, what might more accurately be called difficult people. (I know, because I can be one, we all can.) It was a situation of high stress, so, I sought to relieve myself of that frustration. I quit, or I at least thought about it and contemplated it, and spoke to my instructors about it.
All but that one instructor was sympathetic. They were also interested in their students and checked my grades before letting me off the hook so easily. Bless them. Truly, I mean BLESS THEM! They are what teachers of ANY LEVEL should be. Interested in teaching, imparting their knowledge and helping others to enrich their lives. They all came back with understanding, words of encouragement, and since we were so close to the end of the semester and my grades were all good, helpful in figuring out how to relieve the stress and get me through the last of their course. In pretty much every case there were three or less assignments left to be submitted and graded. In everyone of those classes, I had already completed the turn in assignments ahead of time (I foresaw this breaking point a week out of spring break so I worked ahead when I could.) I was able to turn in assignments, and finish out the final exams left in each of them, while struggling to complete the mountain load of work, lectures, and poor communication skills heaped upon the students (not just me) by one instructor. (I am trying to be objective, that perhaps this person was having a bad time personally, or there were some issues unbeknownst to me that caused the dynamic they created in the course, but it is a struggle.)
Let me say, straight up, I had cleared my calendar, made the best possible choices for the courses I signed up for, as well as making sure I was well equipped to complete them. However, there is only so much time in the day for everyone. I couldn’t beg, borrow, or steal anymore than was given to each of us daily.
And that is what I learned at college this semester, or was reminded of. You cannot make everyone happy. You can’t be, do, or give everyone everything they so desire. It doesn’t work like that.
All you can do, is all you can do; whether that is enough or not for anyone else. I have for some time, forgotten that. Berating myself for not being more than I am. For not doing more than I can. For not measuring up or down to someone else’s decision about me. I broke through that brick wall.
So that meltdown was cathartic. Sometimes, as bad as they are, meltdowns are necessary.