Now, before I tell you the best part of my nervous breakdown, let me get something straight. I am not and never would make light of a mental health disorder. Never. I suffered a nervous breakdown and was voluntarily hospitalized for one night in January of 2017. I know the pain and the fear. Trust me.
As I was saying...
Right before the first set of repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse came to the surface of my memory, for a period of about three weeks, I laughed and laughed. I laughed until I was bent over double leaning against a wall, tears rolling down my cheeks.
Laying in bed at night trying to get some sleep was difficult. Because I couldn't stop laughing. Night after night I lay in bed curled in to a fetal position hugging my knees laughing silently in to my pillow until it was soaked with tears. Now, that does not make for a good nights' rest.
When I wasn't laughing uncontrollably, I got the giggles. Putting my hand over my mouth to try to stop them didn't work. It just made me giggle all the harder.
Forget trying to talk to me about anything serious during this time. It just didn't happen. I couldn't have kept a straight face if my life depended on it.
Going to the grocery store, the gas station, a visit to my doctor's office was difficult. Again, I just couldn't control myself.
I always tried to warn whomever I was talking to that I was a bit loopy because I was getting a dissolution and please forgive my laughter. Of course, my words of warning came out in bits and spurts between bouts of uncontrollable laughter.
I completely stopped working during this time. Working in court, a hearing, an arbitration or a deposition is serious business. And it would not look good if I, as the court reporter, was in hysterics. I simply didn't trust that I could conduct myself properly in a professional setting.
Being self-employed has a lot of perks. But no work equals no pay. And that hurt.
Anybody that knows me well knows how much I love to laugh. But, really, this was a bit over the top. Even for me.
But I never questioned why I felt the need to laugh so much. I just accepted it and enjoyed the ride. I thought since I was able to laugh that I was finally coming to terms with the difficulties in my personal life.
Oh, how wrong I was.
Sure, I had a few problems. Nothing these broad shoulders couldn't handle.
My marriage had ended.
Living with my soon-to-be ex-husband was very stressful, to say the least.
My children were hardly speaking to me they were so hurt and angry at me for leaving their father.
I was suffering extreme burnout professionally.
We had just moved to a smaller house, a decision that I alone made with no support from my husband.
Major financial stress.
And, unbeknownst to me, the repressed memories of my childhood abuse were coming at me like a speeding train that would ultimately knock me off my feet.
A year and a half later, as I write this article, I can finally put the laughter in to perspective. I now realize how good it was for me. I desperately needed the release, and laughter provided that.
The events leading up to my breakdown and the year and a half it has taken me to finally feel "normal" have been eye opening, to say the least.
And that, Reader, is my firsthand account of the best part of my nervous breakdown.