A prayer for my meltdown, deferred

mental health prayer spirituality Feb 12, 2022

God, it’s like this:

My ears roar

With too much noise

My vision narrows, 

As everything compresses into one single freeze frame

An oppressive now

As my body screams for relief

Thunder rumbles, threatening the coming storm.


I am melting down inside

And frozen outside

As my child screams and kicks and flails and rages and throws

all my well organized books

to the floor.

My gurus scream at me, 

“Remain calm! 

He isn’t giving you a hard time, 

he’s having a hard time.

Be there for him!”

And I’m trying.

But it’s all too much

says my sympathetic nervous system

that chain of connections electrifying my body

alerting me of incoming threat

urging me to fight, flee, faint, or fawn to appease and 

save myself.

“Urgent!” it screams at me,

“Disaster unfolding,

harm is imminent.

Pain is on the way.

Save yourself!”

And I’m trying.

God, do you see?

When my ears roar and

my vision narrows and

energy flows through all my muscles,

preparing me to fight to the death.

I breathe with all my strength

stemming the inflowing tide, 

a nearly futile effort

as the instinct to survive 

overpowers me.

You created this flow, oh God,

and now it drowns me

as love and survival fill me past overflowing.

What happens to a meltdown differed?

Where does the energy go?

Do you have a redemption plan for this, my God?

When will this flesh sing a new song?

“You’re only doing as well

as your least happy child,”

says my psychiatrist 

beckoning to my soul, bound in the fetal position,

with her empathy and understanding

and life-changing medications

that give me the strength to go on.

My least happy child is deeply unhappy

with me

right now.

“It’s all your fault” he screams in my face

my fault that the Roblox game glitched at the wrong moment

my fault that the snow is too cold on his hands

my fault that the pasta cooked a minute too long

as though I hold the world in my hands

as though I were the living God

not you,

my God.



My meltdown deferred rises up in my sleep.

I am caught in a sea of snakes, unable to escape,

they drag me down.

I sweat through my clothes. 

My fitness watch says

I didn’t sleep well.

A primal scream

Feet stomp the floor.

My meltdown comes out in its season.

Teeth clench.

Hands shake.

An embodied prayer of desperation.

Can a meltdown feel like praying?

Like holy release

and truth finally shared?

It’s too much for me,

my God.

Too much to hold in my tiny human hands.

this Whole World of mine

his world in my hands,

Enfold these feeble fingers



Flesh fastened tight to hold on

for dear life

Soften sinew, muscles, 

as safety slips silently

past my wary defenses and you sing me to sleep,

cradled, carefully collected

your presence barely detected

until I feel you hold me,

as I hold my Whole World

and you rock me


your least happy child

who desperately needs to lay down her sweet head

on your waiting shoulder.

At last.

To rest.


Why is everything so hard?


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