Why Breakdowns Are Sometimes Necessary


From Sustainable Human: “Sometimes you go nuts. Something happened – the operating system temporarily crashed. And quite often, I think that can be a very good thing. I think that having your personality or your ego crash can often mean that you were trying to be [something] that you aren’t.

Some people are accountants, they’re wearing suits and their ties are on tight, and they’re organized and disciplined. But inside they’re probably painters. They want to paint dayglow mountains down at the beach. That’s what they really are. But their daddy or their mommy wanted them to be a good little businessman. So they became this thing that’s the opposite of what they are. And they hold up this thing. They’re always working to hold up this giant tail feather, and then their arms start shaking.

Suddenly, their friends are like ‘you turned into someone that I’ve never met. I don’t even know who that is.’ It’s like, no, you met them. You met underneath the tail feather, the seething sea of anger and disappointment and sadness, you met that thing that they’re trying to avoid by looking up at this mask that they’re holding up to the world. But that seething sea of disappointment, anger and horror, and sadness, that’s where it’s at, you got to go into that thing. For some people, the only way they can go into that is by having a full-scale nervous breakdown. Because then they can have permission to dive into that awful vortex of darkness.

Because underneath that vortex of darkness is paradise. Underneath that – that’s love and happiness and joy and connection and tranquility, and all that stuff. And everyone thinks that the way to get to that point is by avoiding this awful black forest that surrounds the Garden of Eden, which is inside everybody. It’s inside everybody. It’s there. It’s there. Until you address the [childhood feelings and reality] that you haven’t acknowledged, you’re always going to go back to that place where you find yourself morose and depressed and angry and you don’t know why. You always go back to that place until you sit with the sadness inside of you. You have to do that.”

“What if it’s only a ‘nervous breakdown’ if you bottleneck and bury the emotions that are trying to come through you? That’s what causes the breakdown – the resistance to what is, the stopping of the process before it has an opportunity to move toward realization and resolution. What if something beautiful is actually happening within you, something that wants to heal and move into full authenticity? What if this is not a nervous breakdown – but a nervous break-through – a profound emotional cleansing, a dissolution of the false structures that have ruled your life, a breaking through to a more authentic state of being?” ~ Jeff Brown



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  1. Breaking points aren’t just physical, they emotional, psychological, and spiritual as well. And everything collapsing can open the way for reassessing and clarifying one’s life. Some call it spiritual rebirth. “Illness” it is not.

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