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Undoubtedly, there will be a number of offenses taken to the headline of this article. Why would breakdowns be encouraged? How could having a breakdown be a good thing? Who would actually want to have a breakdown? If someone had a breakdown why would they be happy they did? Wouldn’t a breakdown really set the tone for the rest of the year? The answer to the last question of protest is yes. Yes, a breakdown really would set the tone for the rest of the year. In fact, it might set the tone for the rest of life and that tone would be recovery.

There is a saying: it has to get worse before it can get better. Humans have a particular quirk about them in that they don’t like things to get worse. Paradoxically, without letting things get to a breaking point, it can be difficult to get better. We often have to endure an immense amount of pain, discomfort, and struggle before we are willing to make a change. Ironically, the myth of hitting “rock bottom” is regarded as a dangerous one. How much worse do we have to let things get before we are willing to do something to make things better and change, or save, our lives? A breakdown might seem like a dramatic, unnecessary way to start the journey for recovery. For millions of people who are recovering, however, that is exactly how their journey starts.

The Book of Life, an online community committed to developing global emotional intelligence, writes, “A breakdown is not merely a random piece of madness or malfunction, it is a very real – albeit very inarticulate – bid for health. It is an attempt by one part of our minds to force the other into a process of growth, self-understanding and self-development which it has hitherto refused to undertake. If we can put it paradoxically, it is an attempt to jumpstart a process of getting well, properly well, through a stage of falling very ill.” The authors explain that a breakdown tells us “…above anything else that it must no longer be business as usual- that things have to change…”