As someone who experiences minor breakdowns way too often mostly thanks to my anxiety, I feel like I have something to say about it. When I was younger, I had troubles recovering from breakdowns and often saw them as dead ends. Now as I'm a bit older, I've gone through dozens and successfully kept going after each somehow still being able to accomplish big things. The funniest thing was, even when I went through some hard times in college, it was never a problem to keep up with important tasks, like showing up every day and getting good, if not perfect grades. Now it's my job that I'm somehow keeping up with. I show up every day that I have to show up, sometimes even extra days, and I like my job. Liking it doesn't make it easier on certain days, though. I suspect that one day I either overcome certain issues or will have to build my life around it a way that will make it easier to live alongside them. As for why I'm writing this now, there's one thing I've learnt from my adulthood already. It is that no matter what happens, life goes on.
Life doesn't stop after your breakdown.
I mean, when you're watching a TV-show where a character is going through tough times, it seems bigger that when it happens in real life. Because when you're watching a show, the world they depict is limited by the plot, it is framed within the universe of a group of people. It's as if nothing else exists in their reality except them and their story. When the episode wraps up at some intense point, in their world everything stays frozen in the moment until the next episode gets released, say, a week later.
In real life, you've had a tough day, yes, but the new day is going to start no matter what. You get home and and sit there trying to pull yourself together, but nothing around you is frozen waiting on you to start moving again. In just a few hours, people will go about their business, stores will open their doors, services will still need to be provided; same old, same old. The bigger picture. And here you are, feeling too overwhelmed, wishing you could take like ten years off starting now (paid, please!), and is there a cave somewhere around here, what are you going to do?
I'll tell you what I always do. I'm going to wake up tomorrow and dive into it, again, into the world full of triggers. Because that's what I do, I show up and do the work. I am still good enough. Because at the end of the day, my breakdown, whatever triggered it, is only a tiny little episode. It doesn't say anything about my abilities. It doesn't say anything about me as a person. It doesn't define me, my talents or what I'm going to do in my life next.
Your breakdown doesn't have to stop you from trying to be your best self, do your best work and put yourself out there. You showing up, that's what defines you.
Please note that I'm not an expert, this is just how I see my own experience of dealing with anxiety, social anxiety in particular. If you're feeling too overwhelmed, please don't deal with this on your own. Try reaching to counselling services or other forms of support. Please remember that you're never alone, and there's always hope and always help.