You think a mental breakdown won’t happen to you, even if it’s happened many times before. You look at others around you, think, “I’ve had my shit together for years,” and that maybe you’re better than them?
You know deep down that you’re definitely not better than anyone and that sometimes, yeah, you’re going to cry in public. Sometimes, yeah, you’re going to throw something or scream into the void that is this odd, broken Universe, expecting it to scream right back at you, in your face… and then it doesn’t.
Mental breakdowns are kinda bomb in that they’re this amazing release of energy, of frustration, stress, anger, and sadness. You’re in the wrong place, or maybe you’re in the right place. You’re going through a transition and it’s at its most uncomfortable point. You think you can’t take it anymore, that you have to give up, that you’re not strong, until finally, you let out a howl, a cry for help. Maybe you haphazardly pack to leave, finally, running around the place like a chicken with its head cut off. Maybe you finally tell someone a secret you’ve been hiding from them, or you do nothing at all but expend your energy in toddler tantrum-like ways until you deplete yourself of oxygen.
During these breakdowns, it seems like all hell breaks loose, like the sky is fucking falling, like the world is against you, but every time I’ve witnessed one (or had one myself – we’ve all been there), the person instead comes to this realization that, oh yeah… actually everything is okay. Actually, I am strong. Actually, yes, I have to be here right now for whatever reason. Actually, I have to be patient. Everything will be okay.
I used to avoid mental breakdowns like the plague, especially public ones (and I’ll still avoid the public ones), but damn, sometimes it feels really good. You’re like a volcano that needs erupting. You’re a vault that needs opening. You need some fresh air.
It’s probably better to let yourself feel anger and feel stressed and allow frustrated feelings to come up to the surface so you can experience them little by little and not explode. It’s probably better to do that, but who really is strong enough to experience anger/stress/sadness in a healthy way? It’s really difficult.
It seems like mental breakdowns aren’t the worst thing in the world. I want to come to terms with them in a healthy way. They’re more like a release of energy than you losing your shit (although, yeah, it’s definitely a mental break of some sort). There is a difference between who/what you lose your shit in front of/at, though. If someone starts crying at a party because they spilled their drink on themselves, you must understand that they’re not crying because they spilled their drink or because they need to wash their shirt or because, nooo this shirt was $300!
Usually, it’s a culmination of a bunch of stress all at once erupting once and for all because there’s just no space left to hold it all inside. This person is crying at a party because she failed three exams in a row, her grandfather had a heart attack, her dog just died, her boyfriend cheated on her, she needs an oil change which she can’t afford because she doesn’t make enough money at her dead-end job, and now she needs to deal with this wine-stained shirt bullshit when she doesn’t have any patience left.
If you’ve ever broken down in front of someone and they treat you with respect while you’re crying on the bathroom floor mumbling everything that’s been bothering you for the past year, it’s one of the best things in the world. It’s one of the best things in the world to have someone else be patient for you, so that you can release that stress and move forward. It’s important for someone to listen to you and to understand, to talk you through your stuff and just be there.
That’s what we should do for each other:
1 – Try to understand when we may not.
2 – Try to listen when it’s difficult.
3 – Be patient with one another.
4 – Be judgement-free.
I am so thankful for the mental health warriors out there who choose love and understanding over everything else. Sometimes, it really means the world.
And…. I’ll leave you with this:
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