The Art of the Breakdown

If you’re lucky it’ll strike when you are at home, in a quiet space alone. If you’re doubly lucky, there will be a nice glass of wine on the table next to you when it happens.

However, if you are in anyway similar to me, it will strike out of the blue and wherever it damn well wants to.  It will start with a weird desolate sensation in your heart and spread to your stomach, which will trigger the need for emo music, a tragic sing-along and will end in your brain feeling fuzzy as your heart seems to throw up and tears squeeze themselves out of your eye-sockets.

It will feel like a compulsion and your body will straight up call mutiny in its impulsive need to betray you. There are no commands that work to halt the roar of the emotions that will come to the surface and unleash themselves in an insane bid to embarrass you or to plunge you deeper into the despair.

The despair is the safe part.

Once there, you can gain some sort of control over the floodgates and can work to close them just a little. Once there you can feel the ice threatening to glaze over your heart and in many ways you welcome the numbness, the cold and the misery.

The breakdown is different for everyone and for some, it’s a quiet, pain wracked silent crying jag that ends with you forcing yourself into the shower and passing out from the floaty feeling of alcohol pulsing through your veins.

In other cases, it’s a loud awful thing. It’s animalistic in its force, strength and power and there is nothing you can consciously do, but hold on for the ride of insanity and physical releases of aggression.

Both scenarios point to just how much you’ve been avoiding the feelings, or the situation and how much your body and mind are over you and your avoidance tactics.

When confronted with distasteful or unwanted feelings, situations and people, our minds can shut down and to save ourselves from pain- like we’re naturally coded to do-, we seal off those emotions.

The problem is, the more we resist them, the more they persist. Gain in momentum, frequency and power. Gain in brute force and will lay siege to your body until you let them out.

Emotions are energy, they are powerful and they fuel our actions, behaviors and desires. Even those of us who are not in tune with our emotions on a conscious level, or feel devoid of them are still acting and reacting to the stimuli. Felt or not, what we do is predicated on how we feel.

The breakdown is when you’ve been holding too much in, when you’ve not been dealing with the emotions and it ironically is also when you have decided to stop running, hiding and fighting them. The breakdown comes when you’ve decided to confront and resolve them as well.

It’s just there for a different time period and the frequency is different.

I like to think of crying and certain breakdowns- of course there is a scaling system- as the body and mind’s way of purging. Think of it as an emotion detox if you will. And the more you fight against it, the longer it will take to be completed.

So sometimes, you do just have to let it all out, and there are hundreds of productive, constructive and efficient ways to release without going into full fledged breakdown city, mind you, once you’re there, there is also many ways to go through it.

The best advice I can give you, is to go through it. Feel the feelings, don’t force yourself to make sense of it, just let it wash out of you.

Help it along with music or whatever you need to and let it all out.

 Let the epiphanies you’re going to get out of the experience flow to you.

This is not the time to rush or try to control anything; this is the time to release.

If yours is more on the scale of aggression, I suggest listening to whatever gets your hyped and involve yourself in some form of mixed cardio and weights workout.

For me it’s weight training, other times it’s dancing, it’s all about the emotion that’s triggering the breakdown.

To summarize: breakdowns are not always bad. Release and resolve the emotions so that afterwards you feel better, clearer, less blocked and joyous.

Detox and then meditate, on what just happened. Always do so responsibly and do not hurt yourself or others. Learn from the experience and continue to grow.

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