This is for people who have experienced some type of “breakdown” or know people who have. It’s probably more common than you think. It can be known as a “nervous breakdown,” a “psychological break,” or just a “break” for short (don’t you just love therapy slang?). These are all umbrella terms, though, meaning that the experiences vary greatly. In many cases, the person was really just stressed beyond his/her ability to handle it and needed someĀ  help.

The way I see things, this isn’t really that odd. Life can be pretty stressful, and sometimes we get overloaded. A Clean Mind is all about whacking stress the second we notice it in our bodies; this way it can’t build up. We keep pressing the reset button by releasing it right then and there, even in the grocery store or in the car or in the office or during a conversation with someone. A big part of this, as I’ve said many times, is by understanding that stress is normal and that it’s okay for it to be there. Let it be there and let it flow out when it’s time. And by the way, I use the word “stress” in a pretty general sense – that’s very useful and accurate, I think.

In my job and in my life, I’ve come across many people who seem to be perfectly “normal” (as if there were such a thing), but who’ve been overloaded before and had what was called a “break.” To them I would say don’t worry about it. Seriously. Just learn how to handle stress as it comes, though – that’s important. This “break” doesn’t define who you are at all. It’s in the past. Maybe it turned out to be your greatest teacher. Regarding what society thinks, always remember that society used to think the earth was flat – I never keep that too far out of mind. I mean, how hilarious! And how insightful…

Nobody’s true worth is defined by the past, regardless of what “everybody else” thinks. And there’s a good chance you’re doing some mind reading about what everybody else thinks anyway, making assumptions that aren’t true. Let it go and move forward. If there’s truth in what you’re hearing, then act on it. But don’t make it a bigger deal than it needs to be. Own it and make changes or don’t, but don’t feel defeated and damaged, because that’s useless. The past is still just the past. The question is, what are you going to do about it? Chill out, relax, and know that the rest of your life starts now.

In time, I’ll get deeper here at A Clean Mind regarding my thoughts on whether or not we’re really a body and how important the details here on earth are. I don’t think that now is the time, though. If you’d like to discuss this, then I’d love to. I feel like I’ve been through the “spiritual ringer” and have a decent perspective on it. For now, though, let’s just say that the details here might not be as important as we think. And yes, I know about the concept of karma and how it seems to be so linear (I’m A Course In Miracles student, though…). I’d focus on healing your interpersonal relationships – I’m pretty sure that’s where it’s at. Whoa – we’ve drifted into forgiveness, which is pretty huge and pretty misunderstood, I think. Back to the subject…

If you’ve had a “break” or know someone who has, there’s a chance that it might not be as bad as you think going forward. Check out Byron Katie’s story (last paragraph) she went from halfway house to spiritual teacher. But you can’t escape learning a whole lot about yourself. Let this experience be your teacher. And as always, if I can help, let me know.