I’ve always been hot headed. I’m very reactive and I get fired up easily. I’m working on it. Not very hard but it’s better than nothing. Right?

So now two months after losing Nana, a year of my husband being diagnosed with cancer, and countless, equally as important family trials, I’ve noticed I’m a little more level headed overall. Until I drop my purse getting out of the car. Or forget a key ingredient from the grocery store. Or heaven help me if I wake up and my house is a mess because I didn’t clean it.

It’s the little things now that send me screaming through the house throwing things and swatting at the dogs like Mom-zilla. It’s taken these two months for me to realize that it’s not the knocked over purse, or my forgetful ness, it’s actually grief. Grief manifesting itself in anger and frustration.

I can feel it inside bubbling under the surface waiting for something to send it exploding at unsuspecting targets. Like my child asking for the 5th snack before noon. It’s not her fault. But there are days when arguing over eating a healthy meal feels hard so I cave to snacks then I get mad that she’s hungry for more snacks. Then poor Pat walks in and for F’s sake can you help me feed our child 12,000 meals a day.

See it’s not about the snack. It’s grief coming out to sucker punch me when I’m least expecting it. It’s the sadness that I was dealing with internally all morning that chooses to lash out at my unsuspecting family because that’s easier than crying.

I’m sure they would rather me be sad instead. But at some point I have to start living again and I pride myself on being able to power through. It’s only just now occurring to me that sometimes you can’t just power through on your own.

Here’s what’s been helping me get a leash on my Mom-Zilla moments. Going for a walk with friends. Bible study. Praying. Reading.

Fresh air is exponentially helpful when I’m breaking down. Getting out with a friend and moving and talking always leaves me feeling more refreshed and grounded than before

My friend Heather introduced me to the Bible app that has all kinds of Bible studies that I’ve started doing both on my own and with friends. I am a Christian and truly believe in the power of prayer and that God will bring me through this.

I believe that going through this extremely hard time is God changing me. He’s working on me to come out of this more compassionate and understanding. I hope that I can be there for other people turn this horrifying year into one of growth and change. Talking to him and friends daily has brought a kind of peace to the mom-zilla moments that no other substance could provide.

I also don’t know what I’d do without books. Fiction mostly because I rely on that escape at the end of the day. An hour or two to turn out the lights and leave my world behind for a whole different one. One where anything is possible and for the most part I know everything is going to be okay.

I don’t have everything figured out. But I do all I can and give the rest to God.