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March 13, 2012

Embrace Your Nervous Breakdown. (I Did!)

Photo: Victoria Klein

I haven’t posted for an entire year … so where have I been?

I had a nervous breakdown. (Don’t worry: I’m OK now.)

So why I am telling you?

I’m telling you because you need to know.

We all go through times of rapid change. Some changes are happily welcomed, while others require a healthy dose of patience, understanding and pure faith.

My personal situation involved accepting an entire new lifestyle (the military lifestyle—oy!), being separated from the one I love most for months at a time, preparing for another cross-country move, and choosing the next phase for my career.

Yeah, that’s a lot to take in for anyone.

In the beginning, I lost a dangerous amount of weight and found myself in a deepening depression. Consciously, I didn’t want any of that to happen and resisted the oncoming changes, but another part of me just didn’t give a crap.

It is a year later and things have changed drastically and all for the better. I still vividly remember how I felt a year ago and all the “progress” I’ve made since then. It didn’t happen overnight (naturally). I wasn’t a steady forward momentum, and there were many times of fear of the unknown, but here I am now.

Why do you need to know all of this?

What does it have to do with you?

How will it help you?

In order to find the patience, understanding, and pure faith that I needed to heal and then thrive, I needed to do one thing: go with the flow.

I know, I know—you’ve heard it a million times before and it’s easier said than done.

As a person who likes to plan things, going with the flow seemed downright absurd. Most of us prefer to at least have a sense of direction before we step off into the unknown of the future.

Whether you are in the military or otherwise, we can’t actually see the future—anything can happen at any moment to throw our lives for a loop. Our first response is usually anger, frustration, fear, or downright denial.

Instead, we can choose to go with the flow. We can choose to ride the wave of change and expand how we define ourselves.

Maybe you’ve never had a nervous breakdown, and maybe you never will (I’ve had two in my 27 years of life). But I can guarantee that life will present you with surprises on a regular basis—some you will welcome and some you will (initially) abhor.

How you react is up to you and you alone. Will you deny, avoid and lash out at everyone around you? Or will you embrace change—the change that you choose and the change that is seemingly forced upon you?

Life is too short and too spectacular to spend our precious time resisting anything we are presented with. Emotions are natural and fear is likely to rear its head. That’s fine. Say, “hello” to your fear, and then walk right past it. You can feel fear and not let it overwhelm you or change your path—it is merely part of the awesome journey of being human.

So embrace you moments of nervous breakdown and thrive like you never have before.

~

Editor: Brianna Bemel

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