Let’s Bring Back The Nervous Breakdown

I want to fall apart glamorously.

Bev Potter


Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

I’m about thissssssss close to completely falling apart. And amazingly enough, it has nothing to do with COVID. I actually find that COVID has a lot of benefits as far as I’m concerned.

  1. No one tries to hug me. Normally, when someone goes in for a hug, I stiffen into a large chunk of wood. Like if a tree didn’t know what to do with its hands. That’s me.
  2. Fewer people at the grocery store. I hate standing in lines. Loathe it. I feel exposed and helpless in lines — where are we really going? What’s at the end? Are we all jumping off a cliff one by one? Yes, I know this is a Kroger, but you can’t be too careful.
  3. No one thinks it’s weird when I back away from them. I did this before the pandemic, and I will do it long after the pandemic is over. It’s like I’m a magnet, and everyone else in the universe has opposite polarity. (This is science. Look it up.)

Back in the good old days, people had “nervous breakdowns” which were cured by “rest” in something called a “sanitarium” (which is like a terrarium for people).

I always envisioned this as someplace where women (usually women have nervous breakdowns, and God knows we deserve them) lounge around in chiffon robes and fuzzy mules, drinking martinis. Less The Snake Pit and more the Canyon Ranch.

If I’m going to fall apart, I want to do it glamorously. I want to come back from my little “vacation” coked to the gills on Haldol, chainsmoking Virginia Slims.

Unfortunately, it’s more likely that I’m going to shave my head like Britney Spears. This is an urge I feel whenever I’m at my most stressed out. This is the universally recognized SOS — if you won’t believe my words, maybe you’ll believe the pile of hair I’m carrying around in a plastic shopping bag.

Maybe now you’ll realize that I’m overworked. Maybe now you’ll realize that I can only handle so much without help. Maybe now you’ll let me eat my lunch in peace.

Because after he ate out, maskless, at a restaurant (don’t even get me started on that), my boss interrupted me no less than four times today while I tried to wolf down a bowl of cold baked beans at my desk.



Bev Potter

Legal secretary by day, insomniac by night. Ally. BA, MA. Humor, pop culture, and things that make you think. My weekly-ish newsletter is bevpotter.substack.com