Having a breakdown is a crucial part of life. There are different types of breakdowns but the main focus here is when you’ve reached your limit. When you’ve given something your all and it still did’t work out the way you wanted to. All you are left with is exhaustion and frustration caused by the lack of ideas to reach what’s desired. The devastation that arises can be overwhelming. My experience has been that before the emotional blow up there is an internal preassure building, and has for some time. It’s like my body knows beforehand what’s to come meanwhile my mind is resisting to face reality just yet. Then we reach a point where it’s impossible to stay in denial anymore. A situation, a comment, a test result or something else, finally triggers the breakdown and this huge wave of suffocating negative emotions and self-doubt hits.
I personally belive the breakdown is an expression of something big taking place in our lives. It means there is a change about to happen (if we choose it). I know it feels more like hitting rock bottom. But the way I would describe it is more like a labyrith. We’ve chosen a path (consciously or uncosnscoously) that we think is going to lead us out of the labyrinth and to whatever it is we wish for. We are tagging along and then suddenly faced with a wall. This wall (triggering the breakdown) forces us to walk back and find another way out of the labyrinth. Not only do we need to find another path but we now have greater knowledge about which path dosen’t serve us. The original path is not leading us to our wanted destination so there is no point in doing the same thing over again. Although I do know many (including myself at times) who actually pick the same lane over and over (and over and over and over etc) before finally giving up.
Before we try to find another way though I think it’s so important to pause for a second. We need to get the saddness, disapointment, anger and whatever else out of our system first. Finding another way takes energy and feelings of defeat is not getting us anywhere. It’s better to stop, take a break so we can regroup and then start heading towards the exist. During this break processing of emotions is central. For me, I find crying helps, writing in my journal and venting to friends. And also dear I say it…feel sorry for myself. Not for too long though but I feel selfpitty in moderation is actually a form of selfcompassion. I mean it sucks to be at that place of negative emotions and not understanding the point of it all.
When I reflect on my experiences of breakdowns, now that I’m not in the midst of one, I see clearly what was actually taking place. What I can conclude is: it’s in those moments I’ve made life changing decisions. It’s like turning around completly comitting to never choosing the same road again. Obvisouly this doesn’t happen over night, it’s a process.
I can only speak from my own experience but roughly I would describe the different stages or the process of my breakdowns something like this: An event occurs which leads to a bunch of negative emotions to take over. This is the worst place to be, extremly painful (and at times very lonely) but every single emotion needs to come up to the surface and dealt with. This part can take time (which is perfectly fine) and be quite intense ( I tend to sleep more during this stage). It’s during this time I always discover so much about how I view myself and beliefs that I’ve had on an unconscious level. All of a sudden there is a deeper understanding, exposing things I weren’t aware of about myself. The awarness allows me to start observing whats going internally obejctively. I’m not “in” the emotions as much which creates room for the rational mind to get involved. Once the chaos of emotions have calmed down, it’s easier to analyze what’s going on. And from this standpoint it’s obvious what steps are necesary for change . The final step is to act accordingly.
The breakdown dosen’t last forever but is a necassary part of your path. Please do yourself a favour and don’t try to push through, continuing the same way you did before in an attempt to end the temporary misery. It dosen’t work, I belive that’s the whole point life is trying to make. For anyone out there facing any of this right now, I really feel for you and I know how hard it can be. But if you just hold on for a bit you’ll see clearer the message in facing whatever it is you are going through. I know for a fact if it wasn’t for a particular breakdown in my life, I wouldn’t be traveling the way I’m doing today. So can I now say I’m thankful for the breakdown? Definatly! Would I have the same answer while in the breakdown having no clue where it would lead me? Hell no! There’s a bigger picture that’s impossible to see from where you are standing. One day it will all make sense, I promise.