My Mental Breakdown

A Nervous Breakdown

I had a nervous breakdown. I am still recovering from it. I am almost ashamed to let people know…it seems that it will show others that I am weak. And right now, I still feel weak. That doesn’t mean I want others to perceive me as weak. It means, more than ever, I need others to see me as a strong, self-reliant person that can take on the world and win. Because right now, I haven’t won.

Let me tell you about my nervous breakdown.

How It Began

It’s been a tough few years. This breakdown has been in the making for quite some time. I have had to be strong for far too long, and my mind and body finally just couldn’t take it any longer. The first I noticed things happening was when my mom started getting really sick. It was the six weeks before she passed away. Since it was summer break for me, since I am a teacher, I was the only one available to be with her on a regular basis. So I was there with her for six to eight hours – or longer – every day. I couldn’t be away from her. I didn’t want to miss any of the time I had left with her.

At this same time, my husband realized he was addicted to his pain medication. He wanted to go to rehab. He went for six weeks. The same six weeks my mom was dying. So the time I wasn’t with my mom, I was with my husband. In another town – nearly 100 miles away. I had to be there for him, too. I had to let him know how much he meant to me – how much this step in his life meant to me.

This left very little time for me. And I liked it that way. I didn’t have time to think about what was going on in my life. It was go south to take care of Mom, go north to take care of my husband and then back in the middle to go home and collapse in bed. And start the whole thing over the next day.

After my mother passed away and my husband came back home, things were different. My husband was a different man. Not bad – better in so many ways. But different in so many ways. I didn’t know him anymore and I had to get to know him all over again. And when I wanted to vent – wanted to scream and yell and go talk to someone - that someone – my mom – was no longer there to vent to. It made things much more difficult than it would have been if she would have still been there.

Things got better – or I pushed things away and just tried to forget about them. Life went on. And then, my stepdad – my late mother’s husband – began molesting my daughter and my nieces. My brothers and sisters didn’t believe it was happening. Only my former sister-in-law – the one no one liked – believed it was happening. So, now I had NO family support. And we had to go to court to have my stepdad convicted of molestation – and put him in federal prison.



Work Stress

My work life was just as stressful. I am a special education teacher. I work with children with behavioral needs. Sometimes, severe behavioral needs. That means that there were times that I would go home with bites and bruises and severe emotional strain from the day at school, only to have to deal with family calling me at home and calling me every name in the book because I was trying to put my stepdad in jail.

What About You?

Have You Ever Had A Mental Breakdown?

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I Took Pictures...


I Tried To Get Better

Finally, my body – my brain – could no longer handle it. I broke down. I cried every day. For hours and hours a day. If I wasn’t crying, I was sleeping – hiding away from the world. It got so bad that at one point my husband – my wonderful, loving, loyal husband – threatened to leave me because he didn’t understand what was going on with me. He thought I was just ignoring him and being hateful to him – which wasn’t the case.

Ai finally went back to counseling. It had helped a bit in the past. So I wanted to try it again. I even went to a psychiatrist to get a better therapist this time. It worked. I found someone in Alyssa that I could be open and honest with. I could reveal and share all of my feelings with her. And she gave me such great advice without giving me “homework” like previous therapists had done. Homework that had done nothing more than give me something more to stress over.

Alyssa - My Saviour

Alyssa was – is – different. She talks to me much like a friend would. She truly listens. And she is in the same school system as me, so she understands that stress as well as I do. Even though she is somewhat younger than I, I told her that I wanted to be like her when I grew up. She is just that great!

Because of Alyssa, I have begun to understand that I need to take care of me. If I don’t take care of me, I can’t take care of others. I have heard this before – but have always taken it as taking care of myself physically. But I must take care of myself mentally, as well. Or I will lose it – and I did.

Alyssa gave me permission to take care of myself. To take some time off from life itself to concentrate on me. Thank goodness, my husband understood completely. He got me a dog as an emotional assistance dog to help take care of me. He let me be alone when I needed it, sent me away to have some time with my daughter and grandchildren across the state, and made sure my other children showed how much they cared and needed me. He was awesome.

What Is A Mental Breakdown?

Taking Care Of My Mental Health

With my time off, I concentrated on grieving for the loss of my mother – and the loss of my family. I even began talking with one of my sisters again – something I thought would never happen again. I took time away from all responsibilities – my job, housework, babysitting the grandbabies – everything -and just worked on getting better. I slept when I wanted to sleep, drew, read, watched nonsense television, took drives and took pictures. All in an effort to bring some inner peace to myself.

I haven’t found it all yet. I am still working on it. But things are better. I have found that I have a wonderful support system at home and at work. A support system that only wants the best for me and grieves for me when I am ailing – either physically or mentally. I will be a better person because of this. I have to be – this is just another stepping stone in life to help me grow.

He Helped, Of Course


More by this Author


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 2 years ago from USA

All of us can handle only so much. Just having your mother pass away is a lot of stress. You are a special person is you work with special education children. That takes a lot of patience.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

It is so important that people write articles like this a way, it gives other people permission to open up about their problems. Sending blessings your way, my friend. May 2015 bring you some much-needed peace of mind.

B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Up, Useful, Awesome, & Interesting -- awesome in its willingness to be upfront about your breakdown in a straightforward way helpful, I expect, to others facing extreme stress and breaking down.

I have gotten interested in the approach of Marshall Rosenberg. See cnvcDOTorg and search YouTube on: nonviolent communication marshall rosenberg

His approach explores ways to replace thinking, speaking, and behaving in terms of right-wrong, win-lose, blame-blame, etc., with thinking, speaking, and behaving in terms of making life wonderful for self and others by focusing on giving and receiving from the heart to satisfy needs. I am just starting to get acquainted with this concept; I thought of it when I read your first paragraph, about taking on the world and winning or not winning.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I have a family member who went through this. It's wonderful that you had a good therapist and a helpful dog. Best wishes to you..

Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 2 years ago from Michigan

LeDenna, You are a very strong woman to stand against your stepfather in order to protect your daughter and nieces .. even in the face of rejection from brothers and sisters you stood firm. I honor you!

You take the time you need to rest and release all cares; you've been through so much. So thankful for Alyssa - Counselors are the Greatest of friends at times like this. I too have had a very wise counselor walk me through some real deep heartaches in my life. I thank God for her ALL the time.

Appreciate your honesty and transparency, I'm sure it will touch many lives.



justateacher profile image

justateacher 2 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Barbara Kay...thank you for reading! I love my job...I have very special kids!!

justateacher profile image

justateacher 2 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Bill...thanks for reading! I am definitely hoping 2015 is better

justateacher profile image

justateacher 2 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

B. Leekley....thanks for reading! I will have to check out the Marshall Rosenberg approach. It sounds interesting.

justateacher profile image

justateacher 2 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Always exploring....thanks for reading! I am very lucky to have both a great therapist and great well as a great husband

justateacher profile image

justateacher 2 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Mekenzie...thanks for reading! I had no choice but to stand up for my nieces and daughter...they mean more to me than the rest of the family...they needed someone in their corner!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

a one time or another we all will feel that emotional pinch, strain breakdown... but coming through it.... fighting, talking about it has to help, bless you and I hope strength embraces you always...Frank

justateacher profile image

justateacher 2 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Frank...thank you for reading! Yes...we all go through this at one time or another...

Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 2 years ago from Michigan

Here's the thing, I have a friend whose Mother did nothing and did not believe her. This friend's life has been filled with tragedy after tragedy .. of her own making .. out of her 'zero' self esteem.

You have done your family a great honorable service. Even if they never get it.. your nieces will. :)

justateacher profile image

justateacher 2 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Mekenzie - thank you so much! Your words mean a lot to me!

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Having the courage to share this experience shows just how strong you really are. I'm sure it will be helpful to many others and thank you for sharing.

justateacher profile image

justateacher 2 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Blossom....thanks for reading...I hope by sharing I can help others...

catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 2 years ago from the South

You can be very proud of yourself for being so open about this. I have gone through something very similar and know exactly how you were (and are) feeling. I am in the same boat...trying to recover. It sounds like you are doing exactly what you need to do. Hang in'll make it. Sending you a huge hug.

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 2 years ago from Arlington, TX

Revelation and self-discovery are keys to what you are dealing with. Denial sure isn't the answer my friend. Great that you can lay it out there for others to see.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 2 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Catgypsy....thanks for's nice to know that others have been through the same thing...makes things easier somehow...thanks for the hugs!

justateacher profile image

justateacher 2 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Frog...thanks for reading...I sure my story can help someone else! It would make things so much easier!

carter06 profile image

carter06 2 years ago from Cronulla NSW

Gosh've been through an awful lot of stressful situations and I have to say way too many for anyone to cope with..being a special needs teacher is stress enough alone even though very rewarding..but losing your that's tough..never mind your daughters molestation..that alone would just break you..I think what's so great about this hub is that you have actually been honest enough and brave enough to share what you've gone is sure to help others..I really hope 2015 will be a lot kinder to you and you will find some peace as you recover..Cheers

justateacher profile image

justateacher 2 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Carter06...thanks for has been tough...hopefully my story can help others...

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