Have you ever wondered what a mental breakdown is? Have you ever been able to take a step back and understand what's really going on inside and around you as you experience it?
I just experienced this last week and realized in my head what mental breakdown is, what everyone is talking about, and how we can help ourselves to get out of it and maybe not even get into it.
Last week, on Thursday, I added an image to the instagram, which was accompanied by the very topical and hot slogan at the moment: "Tell me you're ………….., without telling me you're………... " so in my situation it was tell me you're having a mental breakdown without telling me you're having a mental breakdown.
With this picture, I also promised to explain my situation to you a little later, because part of this mental breakdown was because I have heard a great deal about how strong, powerful, admirable, consistent, positive, joyful, etc. I am. But it's only because I don't add my difficult moments to social media. Why? Because these are the moments when I have to deal with myself, not complain to the world about my difficult life and fish for compassion. So why did I decide to do it then last week? (Btw I was honestly reassured of compassion for this story, because the feedback I received was insanely cute and plentiful, but I was personally cringed at how social media works.) Just recently, I've been particularly hearing the question along the lines of “how are you always so positive?” and I felt I had to show the twists and turns of my life so that everyone would realize that my life is not as much fun and festive as I might make it look. I am exactly the same person as everyone else and I live through my emotions in exactly the same way, but I work hard to live them through in a smarter way (which you can do too)!
The highlight of my ‘mental breakdown’ was last week on Wednesday. When I woke up in the morning, I felt that today was not a training day. Then I thought I was just tired and had to listen to my body, because that's
just the way it is. But when I couldn't do the task in
occupational therapy, and then I started crying
relentlessly (so crazy that the therapist asked me if he could still see me), I realized that no, it's more
complicated. After the occupational therapy, I cried
mercilessly all the way while driving to physiotherapy. And then I immediately thought of showing you real life with a video, but as you can see - I wasn't absolutely able to do it, so I had to gather myself and only now can I share it with you and add more practical text to my blog post.
The fact that my hand is not working yet is definitely not the only reason I burst into tears. One thing leads to another, another affects the third, and the third deepens the fourth. That is, one pendulum of negative energy affects the second and the third and the fourth, and so on, until we see only the negative in everything and can no longer control our emotions, the body demands more and more of the chemical of that negative emotion and eventually breaks down. Makes sense, right?
What led me to collapse?
First that I currently have a plateau. There is nothing more crushing than day-to-day effort, but the results are nowhere to be found. Especially for rehabilitation. Although I also remember the same with training, it always took me to bite my nails, even as a coach. I know that the plateau will come, even maybe I will get a little worse, but then there will be a huge success again, but it will cause anxiety, and if the negative pendulums are already roaring, you will not be able to see things in the positive side right away.
Secondly car. I bought a car. I was super happy to FINALLY get more freedom in my life. It turned out that I would have to put too much money in the near future to keep it driving. So I had to return the car. Freedom was gone again. In just a week. Emotional crash. Total. (I'm still healing my wounds, but you may give me any ideas on where I can get a car!)
Third, the school. As you already know, I started school. But I can't do certain things there. And even if I try really hard, it's crushing me, because I know how well I would do those things if my right hand worked. When I see the work of others I see I can’t compete with them, I feel like I don't belong. Like the fifth wheel under the cart. I know. You now say that at least I try and not give up. I know I try, but it won't help me change the way I feel like a novice in between professionals, because I know I'd be on par with them if I had a right working hand. So I'm in a situation where I'm already wondering if I'm going to drop out of school, because it takes a lot of time and attention away from rehabilitation and only causes unnecessary stress and it's not 100% something I'm interested in or weigh in on.
Fourth, the wallet. I like to fund myself by myself and manage it, but due to circumstances I can't do it at the moment, because the rehabilitation is important, and if I went to work somewhere where I would be happy, my rehabilitation would be dashed - both in terms of time and mental health as well as in time. In other words, my father from week to week, from month to month, finds ways to send me to rehabilitation, for which I am so damn grateful for, but at the same time it is so painful to hear how he leaves all his doings and wishes in the background, sells his things because his greatest wish is for me to be healed and for me to get my life back.
And of course, the body as well… yes, getting the body to work is my number 1 goal, and I don't want anything to stand in the way or hinder it, but certain things like the ones mentioned above inevitably cause negative emotions (many don't realize it which are negative emotions, so here are a few: anger, hostility, aggression, competition, frustration, fear, anxiety, jealousy, insecurity, guilt, shame, sadness, depression, hopelessness, weakness, etc., all caused by the stress hormone).
When I got to physiotherapy that Wednesday and mentioned to the therapist that I was fragile, explaining the situation, he could only see the positive. He said that if these activities did not frustrate me, it would show that I was in the comfort zone, and not a single change - no physical, mental, material, etc. - will take place in the comfort zone. To see change, we need to do things that are not familiar to us, that are not our normal. It put me in a more positive mood because I started to think that of course, I put myself in this situation every day, so I do move on, even if I can't see it right away!
After that, I met a friend who raised my mood a lot and then already at the airport in the evening a pleasant surprise in the form of several friends. The second half of the day was on a good note. The next morning I had a workout and came home with a very good mindset to start doing homework, but it pulled me into the hole again (as already mentioned). I cried again and was depressed but remembered everything I had read and learned about positivity. So I tried to change my thinking through tears, but it didn't work out. I went to the store for a sketchbook (the solution because I can't draw on a plain paper because my right hand can't hold the paper still), but I still had a negative mind, so I bought all this shit in the store too (this is the Thursday night's insta story with the famous text).
Let me mention right away that 95% of who we are is the subconscious mind. This means that only 5% of our brains work consciously for us. We may think positively all we want, but that 5% feels like swimming upstream against that 95% our mind. Thus the body and the mind work against each other. But that won’t get us far. So, as the positivity was only 5%, 95% remained negative.
However, when I got home, I wasn't in the mood to do schoolwork at all, so I allowed myself one night in the company of netflix and junk food and my dog. The next morning, I blamed my dog being too cute for not going to gym, but honestly I simply just didn't want to go there again. So I didn’t - I was in my own bubble again playing with Dreamy (this is also one of my meditation forms), then I went to cheer my dear relative to a singing competition. There I saw my old teachers, with whom I had a few words to talk to, and my heart began to swell again. Knowing that I could support my loved one made the mood even better. And when I got in front of the house again I noticed my childhood friend, who also put a dot on top of the i. When I got home, solutions started to emerge in my brain, and I did one of the school homeworks I had avoided for a long time. With some small modifications so I wouldn't fall into a vicious circle again, but I did my best. And then already a weekend in the company of relatives - and I was totally back.
So. Did you notice what I did? I took my time. I didn't force myself to do anything I didn’t want, I just did things that gave me satisfaction and peace of mind, and so I silenced my negative thoughts pretty quickly. What is my lesson? The next time I feel like boiling, I automatically take a moment and find my inner peace again.
So what is a mental breakdown? I looked back and analyzed myself and came to such a solution. In my eyes, it is our own old negative experiences and fears that raise our heads as soon as we experience something similar. Even the smell may remind us of something negative. We may not even realize that something we are currently experiencing is only 0.000000421% similar to what we have already experienced, but we subconsciously tear that past experience to 100% relevance and voila - nothing else is needed. Because the negative emotion is so strong, the pendulum that gets the momentum from it starts to collide with the other pendulums, which in turn start to do so with next ones. So we are finally on the verge of collapse, because we can no longer control anything ourselves.
People live in the past - we predict the future based on the past. Instead of using slow thinking and looking at the bigger picture of the situation - finding objective solutions, we use fast thinking, which wants to move on with life and is often not very reliable. So...
The more we observe our own thoughts, the faster we can
silence these pendulums of negative emotions.
Personally, I have been noticing my thoughts and reactions a lot lately. I haven't quite gotten to say STOP! before I react and then I react differently. However, I understand that I could have reacted differently right after. Sometimes I realise my wrong reaction already during the reaction. So I'm moving in the right direction. Hoping to have the best version of myself soon.
Oh and by the way! How to stop these negative pendulums? I don't want to say it again, but meditation. We must lead our bodies and thoughts to complete silence - to the present moment. And meditation doesn't necessarily mean meditation per say (although it's fucking amazing and I recommend it!) but it can also mean being in the nature, making music, whatever makes you be in peace, where you don't think of anything.
I've also gotten the question, how often should I meditate? My answer is (I heard it somewhere and I think it's such an amazing saying) that every person should find an hour every day for themselves - for themselves with their thoughts and feelings - and if you can't find one hour a day for yourself, you should find 2 hours a day for it. What? Why?! Because it means that you are so far away from yourself that you are probably in much greater instability with yourself and you need much more time to reach this moment of peace, quiet and bliss.
So as you can see. I'm not always smiling and cheerful. However, I am working hard to get there. I read a lot on that topic and I have expanded my horizons so I have developed so much in the last year and a half!
Below are 3 interesting studies that prove that your thoughts really matter:
One young guy who was depressed took part in one of the clinical trials of a new antidepressant. He had been on antidepressants for 4 years before, but had to stop taking them because they began to make him sluggish and numb. After one month of participating in the clinical trial, he decided to call his ex, which did not end very well, and he swallowed all the remaining tablets in the jar of the new antidepressant (there were 29 of them). Immediately, however, he regretted his action and ran to the stairwell. He managed to call for help, after which he collapsed. Fortunately, a neighbor heard him and was taken to the hospital, where his blood pressure was measured at 80/40 and his pulse was 140. The doctors did all kinds of tests on him, but everything came back in order. Therefore, one researcher who conducted this clinical trial was invited to the hospital and found that this guy was in the placebo group. Thus, the tablets he swallowed did not contain any drugs. In just a few minutes after receiving this news, the guy's blood pressure and heart rate stabilized.
In 1996, 10 soldiers were used at a clinical trial, all of whom suffered from osteoarthritis of the knee. In Dr. Moseley's study, three of them were to receive a procedure called a lavage (where high-pressured water is injected through the knee joint, rinsing and flushing out the decayed arthritic material); and five of them would receive sham surgery, in which Dr. Moseley would deftly slice through their skin with a scalpel and then just sew them back up again without performing any medical procedure at all. Everything else in the operation went exactly the same. After the operation, all ten men said they had better mobility and less pain. Even men who had only a little skin cut and sewed back up to give the impression of having surgery. Even six years later, they still claimed that they could still do things they could not do before the operation.
During World War II, a lot of morphine was used to operate on severely injured soldiers. Unfortunately, by the end of the war, there was not much morphine left. Dr. Henry Beecher at the time was worried that certain men would not survive the operation without painkillers. Without thinking, a nurse then filled the syringe with saline and injected it into the soldiers bloodstream, just like morphine. The man automatically calmed down. Beecher then cut the man's skin, made the necessary 'repairs' and sewed it back together - all without anesthesia. The soldier felt a little pain, but did not go into cardiac arrest and survived. And that was used a lot after that first incident.