How to stop a mental breakdown

Step one: you don’t. The ebb and flow of emotions sometimes just need to happen. I wish I knew how to fix it. I wish I could look at myself in the mirror and just go: “Hey look, you’ve got your life together!”

Unfortunately, I don’t. In fact, I don’t even have today together. I’m looking at being broke for the next two weeks, my love life is not what I want, I live in a shitty basement in a house full of boys. I may or may not have mice in my room, and I’m currently writing with snot pouring out of my nose (awesome visual, I know) while I quietly sob hysterically.

In a way I know it has to look comical from the outside. Here is a semi-successful twenty-something year old who is complaining about stuff that truly does not matter. I have it easy. I know I do.

It’s hard to look past my current moment and get past the woe-is-me part. I want someone to hug me. I want my parents to help me out. Heck, I want my dog to become potty trained, but I also know that he’s a product of my own doing.

So what do I do? I write. I write so I can gain some semblance of sanity and refocus my energy into something else. I think mental breakdowns are your body’s way of saying, “Deal with the stuff in the box you’ve shoved to the back of your brain!!!”

It doesn’t help when you just mentally catalogue issues away to deal with later. If you’re like me, you just end up snot-bubbling (a phrase so eloquently used by my father) while watching the recap of a Grey’s Anatomy episode.

It sometimes helps to talk aloud and name five positive things in your life. It can help, though candidly it doesn’t always work for me.

Step two: Once you’ve calmed down enough to at least stop crying, focus on the next thing you have to do for the day. You can’t focus on all your problems at once, sometimes you just have to go one step at a time..

I don’t know if it’s like this for everyone. I know that this helps me to breathe. Writing helps me to remember myself. It helps me to stop crying. At least as long as my fingers keep moving.

Living life is hard. Being a twenty-something year old trying to balance all aspects of life can be really hard. It’s okay… I think. I think it’s okay to cry. I think it’s okay to be upset that your parents won’t help. I think it’s okay to feel utterly alone even when you know that you’ve got a lot of people willing to be there for you.

Try to breathe and stay calm for the next ten seconds. According to the wise words of Kimmy Schmidt, “You can do anything for ten seconds.”

I don’t even know if all of this makes sense, but at least I know I can breathe for the next ten seconds…

One thousand one… one thousand two….

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