Instead of heading for a big mental breakdown, I decided to have a small breakdown every Tuesday evening. ― Graham Parke, author
Symptoms can be an astonishing way for our bodies to get our full attention and bypass our minds. Projectile vomiting announces food poisoning, severe abdominal pain can proclaim appendicitis. Other signs are less flashy. We tend to ignore symptoms, such as living in quiet desperation, being overwhelmed, or tolerating an intolerable relationship or work. When we consistently ignore these less intrusive symptoms, it can lead to a **Breakdown, according to Alain de Botton. We stuff, we ignore, we deny, we distract…. then one day, we explode, act out, do something destructive or totally out of character. It is a 10 out of 10 on the pain scale and it can create hurricane-force destruction. The Breakdown can be a way to move our symptoms to the front of the line and get our full and undivided attention.
It is a clunky way for our body to let us know that we must do something now. The Breakdown is a way for us to pursue wellness. A Breakdown is a painful yet effective means to address our illnesses. The result of becoming unhinged is to transform the status quo, to make the barely tolerable into the unacceptable. It’s a scream for us to look inward to our lives, it forces growth and change and to rebuild more authentic lives. Losing control over ourselves via a Breakdown is an inconvenient and brutal means to listen to what we don’t want to hear.
**Breakdown: a sudden collapse in someone’s mental health