Sorry for my absence and the lack of a mid-week energy post. Besides the fact that I was crazy busy with school I was also (currently) dealing with an emotional/mental breakdown.
I have gotten the question and thought about it before “If I’m having a breakdown/meltdown does that mean I relapsed, am depressed, not doing ok?”
I think this is an amazing topic to address.
First I’d like to explain what I feel like an emotional/ mental breakdown means.
1) To me it begins with having a lot of stress and commitments. When your plate of things to do gets heavier and heavier. The point of an emotional/ mental breakdown is when your plate starts to become too heavy and things begin to fall off or the whole plate crashes to the floor.
2) For me I was just crying (which is a huge point of celebration). For me crying at school was hard because I would be bullied and it’s one of the reason’s I started cutting. I would cut instead of cry. Thursday(1/22) and Friday(1/23) when I was breaking down I never had an urge to cut. I did think about not eating but that didn’t even last an hour. I feel like these key mindsets are what defines a relapse. If you are just at a point where you can’t function it may just mean you need a break.
3) For me a mental/ emotional breakdown is kind of like when you get tunnel vision. you can’t see beyond what you have to accomplished. you are trapped and swarmed with all the commitments and priorities you have. I literally couldn’t see past everything I was supposed to do on Friday (1/23). I couldn’t break out of my mindset. I was stuck with all the feelings of stress. I was completely burnt out.
4) I think another big piece to an emotional/mental breakdown is when you finally rest and can’t do anything. For me I tried to be productive on Saturday (1/24) but my body felt like I was trying to move weights and there wasn’t motivation to keep moving.
5) Also what happened to me was I didn’t want to see anybody. I didn’t want to text anybody , I just wanted to be completely alone which I did for almost 58 hours. There is a point where you just have nothing to give and you have to recognize that and not try to just push through it.
What in the world should we do when we get to this point?
1) For me I am figuring out how to lighten my schedule. I can’t change my school schedule but I changed my work schedule. This past weekend (1/24 &1/25) I am took some time off with friends so I could have more time at home.
2) A big thing I have been learning through this whole thing is being at home really changes things. My home is where I get recharged. It’s where I can un-wind and relax. Maybe your home isn’t like that. I challenge you to find a way to make it like that. Maybe hang up some art. Maybe have a certain relaxing playlist you have for home. Do things you enjoy at home. What I have found is when I am at home I do way better. I have found there are other places that feel like home and where I can get recharged. Like church, friends houses, with my parents. You just have to figure out where is gonna give you the most energy. Friday (1/23) I was with my friend and his house. It was way safer than being home alone at my place. Saturday(1/24) I was at my place and it’s what I needed. I think something we have to remember is that things can change on an hour to hour basis with mental health. For this hour you may need to be at home. In 3 hours you may need to be around friends. Whatever you need is what you need.
3) A big thing is to figure out wants and needs. Do you really need to go to a Friday night hang out after work when your mentally exhausted? No. You may want to, but a good night sleep might be better for you.
4) A big thing is to figure out the warning signs so next time you can see when your about to crash and loose it. I believe in preventative care. For me I am changing my work schedule, I am changing when I see people. I am changing how much I commit to in a daily week. I am not making long-term plans beyond school and work. I am taking everything moment by moment because I can’t remain stressed.
If you are finding that you are stuck take time for yourself and figure out how to get un stuck. It will be so worth it to take the time now and deal with it. If you keep going on a burnt out it could get really bad. I know for me it led to cutting and not eating. I challenge you to amp up your self-care and make yourself your number one priority.
Being at this state of mind, I believe, is the opposite of a relapse. I know for me when I was mentally ill I wasn’t aware of anything or anyone. I think that if you know you are burnt out and crashing then that means you are aware. You are able to feel your emotions again. You are able to see when things aren’t working. I feel like it’s a great sign of strength and overcoming.
It should be almost a celebration that you are now aware enough to see around you when you are not doing well.
This emotional/mental breakdown has been really different for me. All my other breakdowns have been related to mental illness. Last Fall when I broke up with my ex and my attacker reappeared, I had a breakdown but it was hardcore associated with mental illness. I stopped eating and I started figuring out a way to not be around anymore. This time it’s not like that. I don’t have any signs or symptoms of depression or cutting or anorexia. I am just burnt out and exhausted; plain and simple. I simply don’t want to engage in my relationships around me; plain and simple. I am starting to miss my friends and I will probably text them soon but I want to manage how much I give of myself. This is my first emotional/mental breakdown that isn’t associated with my old mental illness. Last night I was so scared to start today. I didn’t want to go back to reality. I didn’t want to go back to my responsibilities and commitments. I was so scared that when I started my Monday morning everything I gained during my weekend was going to go into the trash.
Here are some things I learned being home for 58 hours straight:
1) I commit myself to way to many things and people
2) I make myself too available to people. I feel like you have to be around for your friends but I realized there’s needs to be more of a balance. I can’t just answer my phone within seconds of getting a text. It’s okay if I respond in a few hours.
3) I realized how exhausting my phone is. I realized how hard it is to be constantly needed and wanted.
4) I realized that I am not okay and that’s okay. I have always had to be this healed, recovered person. I have had to be this amazing strong women and this weekend I just realized I am not okay. I finally started finding freedom in my emotions again. I have felt that I have needed to be a certain person for everyone in my life because I didn’t want to concern anybody. I felt that I had to be happy and I had to be a leader and I had to be in charge and plan things. I didn’t want to tell anyone I was sad because I didn’t want them to think I was going to relapse. I realized this weekend its okay to not be okay. It was one of the most freeing experiences. I just sat in my apartment crying.
5) I realized how thankful I am for everything and everyone in my life. I realized how great my friends actually are. I realized how awesome my life is. I just have to figure out how to live it better and more balanced.
6) Another big thing from this weekend is my relationship with God. I heard Him like never before. I saw things like never before. I got vision for the future, I got creative ideas of how to live my life. I figured out things I never would have. It was an amazing weekend being with God and relaxing.
Over all my weekend at home was perfect and amazing. I finally cleaned my apartment (first time in at least a month) and washed my car. I got a bunch of little projects done and did some art. I took a 2 hour bath and even did homework. I know I can’t have every weekend be like this past weekend, but I have to figure out a way to find a balance. I run at too high of a pace to not have a break.
I challenge you to get recharged. I challenge you to recoup. Amp up self-care. Prevent a burn out. Know that its okay to not be okay. You can do it! Send me any questions or commits!
I am so proud of what you are doing and what you are accomplishing.
I am sure I am not done talking about this topic. I am sure I will be posting more pieces this week! Stay tuned! This topic is new and it’s gonna be life changing for everyone!