Why Having A Breakdown Can Be a Breakthrough
I’ve been formulating this post in my mind for months, but then something distracts me and I lose a piece of the story or my conviction in writing it. That’s how these meaty topics go: I really have to know and feel them, in the moment, to share them fully with you. The idea started with my own breakdown, or rather a lifetime of breakdowns. They’ve come in all shapes and sizes, from the snot-filled crying jag on the bathroom floor when I just couldn’t be depressed one more day, to the aha moment in the middle of a recurring argument with my partner/spirit animal when we realized that being a team was more important than being right.
Most of us know intuitively what’s wrong and what is coming, but instead of staring our fear or pain head-on, we circle around it. We pretend it’s not there. We even drink and blame and pick fights on unrelated topics just so we don’t have to face the truth of what’s making us miserable. Avoidance has become such a natural protection mechanism, we don’t even realize we’re doing it—until we finally implode. That’s when things get really interesting.
When you hold space for yourself or someone you care about to have a breakdown, you are rewarded with a breakthrough. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel, the dark before the dawn, and it can change your life for the better if you allow it. I’ve witnessed a number of breakdowns recently with people I deeply respect and adore, and though their stories are unique their breakthrough process was the same: The moment they honored their truth, whether in their relationships or with themselves, their energy shifted. They experienced profound relief in letting go of the fight to be someone they weren’t, in no longer pretending that everything was okay or “managing” the situation instead of allowing life to take its course. This is the breakthrough. Seeing yourself, sometimes for the first time, and not turning away. Living with self-compassion and conviction instead of fear and self-doubt. And knowing, really knowing, that you are going to be okay no matter what because your heart has finally come home to your body.