There are so many ways to get there: working too much, being in a mentally or physically challenging lifestyle or relationship, abuse, heartbreak, or many years of just forgetting oneself… We collapse and it takes time and effort to make our way back. Some manage to throw themselves courageously out there again. Shortly after the blur of the burnout or depression has lifted and the brain can handle an average day again, they step back into life and seem to be just fine.
For others it is a slippery slope, and needed is a carefully mapped out schedule, of events and rest. The threshold is low and even the slightest exertion can put one back into hibernation, hiding from the world again. When we break a bone, we have surgery, we wait patiently as the bone heals inside its cast. When the healing is done (confirmed by a medical expert) we get into a rehabilitation program (conducted by another expert, the physiotherapist) that should be exercised several times a day, for weeks or sometimes forever.
How come then, when we have broken our spirit, our heart, our mental capacity of any sort, we most often do not spend even half as much time to properly heal and look after the wound?
Well for one, breaking a bone in your physical body probably meant that you lived a daring life, right? You challenged yourself and threw yourself out there, meaning that you must be a brave and strong person, and now you can take other people’s concerns for your healing as a sign of your accomplishments (even if they went slightly astray).
When we break our spirit, it is more often than not felt as a weakness. Meaning our mental game was not up to the task. Meaning that if other people can handle this and I cannot, I must be too sensitive, a burden, and fragile. So after the initial healing has taken place (sometimes in hiding from the world since the lesser people that knows about our delicate state the better) we dive back into life and chores without much of a mental rehabilitation program.
What if we payed as much dignity to our mental state as to our physical state? What if we let the aftermath of a mental surgery take its time, payed attention to the fragile state and gave it some rehabilitation exercises?
Perhaps you can find trust and safety in mindfulness exercises after or during the healing process. Maybe you can seek out yoga, meditation, silent walks in nature, sailing, drawing or other activities you enjoy and find comfort in. This is our way to a rehabilitated society, where we take equal pride in having taken the leap off the risky cliff of an emotional challenge as we do from a fall after a brave jump off the ski-slope. Take the time to mend your broken spirit.
And, please keep it up! forever.