Into the Looking Glass
When you’re in the middle of a literal panic attack or a mental breakdown, it’s like nothing happy exists. You don’t notice the moonlight or the smell of your favourite curry. You get shot down by realisations, one after one, and you believe you’ll never be okay. And that’s the only thing you truly believe anymore. You realise you’ve been a hypocrite all this long. You secretly cuss at all those therapy videos on YouTube and those bestselling self-help books. You wonder what went wrong. And you ultimately decide that you want to quit. Quit your not-so-fine-looking job, your not-so-fine-looking relationship, your not-so-fine-looking dream, your not-so-fine-looking life. Because you think to yourself, “Why should I go through all this trouble?” And during that moment, you reach the end of the deep black pit.
You are at the end of the labyrinth. You have reached the end of the game; you’ve not lost, and you certainly have not won. The end of the end. Mental breakdowns are excruciatingly painful. During that duration of say fifteen minutes, it’s like time slows down; and science also tells you, you were wrong. There is no glint of hope, at least for a while. And then you slowly start looking for it. Through the tears and sobs. You want to get out of there. You hear Dumbledore talking about happiness and finding it in the darkness.
You think about all the fun times you had with the reason you’re breaking down in the first place. With your job, your relationship, your dream, and your life. And you’re still sobbing and a part of you is just tired. And then the other part just wants to prove everyone wrong. And you feel this sizzle at the bottom of your heart. It spreads heat throughout your body and brings calm to yourself. The ‘you’ to ‘you’ returns. But it’s still painful. After you get tired of your broken self (this can be done within an hour, a day, a week—you get the point) you seek help; validation. You call up a friend, you look for videos and blogs, much like this one, you schedule an appointment with a new therapist, you go down and lay on your mother’s lap and leave the rest of it to her maternal love, you take your dog for a walk or talk to your goldfish, you binge-watch your favourite show and replace your keto with burgers and colas. And in the end, you discover you were being a tad overdramatic. Your pain doesn’t cease. But it doesn’t take over you either.
“At the end of the end…it’s the start of a journey. To a much better place. And this wasn’t bad.” Maybe McCartney wrote about death. Maybe he didn’t. We never know. But I think it makes sense if you look at it in a good way. Start somewhere new. Somewhere better, and it won’t be bad. Foggy breath out, a glimpse of the blue sky, smile at yourself in the glass window and you’re ready to restart your game.
REFLECTION: Change Is Good
If you could restart your life, what would you change about it and why?