A Mental Breakdown Doesn’t Mean You’re Broken

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Almost crushed by the pressures of the world, you gasped for air as your inner demons stuffed your head with lies. Your mind spun on a dime as your thoughts splintered and split. They named it a mental breakdown. Now, people mutter under their breath that you snapped, or “went crazy.” The term “mental breakdown” has become your scarlet letter.

Exhausted, you are trying to regroup and make sense of the sirens still echoing in your head. After enduring a small war, you have little strength left.

Nurse yourself back to life with the things that heal you: sunsets, wildflowers, family, religion, the way your lover strokes your hair. Doctors and hospitals heal bodies but never souls.

In front of the mirror, count your eyelashes and freckles, know yourself again. Affirm the imperfect parts of you – gray hairs, sunburn, acne, cavities, and sweat. Study the veins at your wrists, remember the way your loyal heart pumps blood to your fingertips and back. At night, before you fall asleep, listen to the tempo of your heart beating.

Refuse to wear the name crazy. Tear off that scarlet letter. Instead, crown yourself a survivor of the dark psychic forces that almost claimed you.

In these moments, take the opportunity to reinvent your life. A mental breakdown is a chance to discard the toxins that almost poisoned you and find a new way of living. Back home, introduce your new self to the people who love you.

You are not eternally broken. Once scattered, now your mind is finding ways to integrate. Your emotional wounds are being absorbed into your skin. In healing, you will eventually find wholeness.

If the method of your breakdown stubbornly repeats in your head, drown the words in music. Soon, you will recover enough to tell others your story of survival. Allow yourself time to heal, then lift up your head as you emerge from the shadows. Look behind yourself and marvel at how you walked through burning coals to land in the grass on the other side.Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Lynne Shayko is a master’s student in clinical mental health counseling at Kent State University.

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