BREAKDOWN OR BREAKTHROUGH?

Fr Jim Cogley



It’s a very scary and difficult place to be when you feel on the edge of a nervous breakdown. So much is screaming at us from our unconscious that we feel overwhelmed, and worst of all we have no idea of how long the crisis is going to last or what depths of despair it might lead us into. We feel lost and confused, restless and agitated. Nothing brings satisfaction and we can feel beyond help. Sometimes a lifetime of buried emotion is rising into consciousness. Very often a part of our lives that has been repressed for years is now expressing itself and urgently seeking our attention. This acts like a sub-personality that has been dormant and some trigger factor has woken it up. No longer asleep it gives us no peace until it has been acknowledged and integrated into our lives. Just to recognize what is happening, and that this feeling of having a breakdown can in fact be a breakthrough, brings great reassurance. Rather than being a victim of unconscious forces, this awareness puts me back in charge of my life and enables me to facilitate a process of integration and healing.