What do you say to the potential new employer? it’s a good question. I’m thinking saying you took time to travel or time to explore or develop some interests. Interests can be psychology informal study or classes (aka personal therapy) to understand yourself better, give yourself the gap year you never had. haha! Or be completely bold and honest (without unnecessary details) and see what happens?!
This is a tough question and a tough spot to be in (if they ask). I probably wouldn’t be open and tell them the truth, even though I would love to just peel off the mask. But maybe you can say something vague like “a few (personal) things came up that I had to take care of, but now I’m happy to be back at the workplace.” They could interpret this as anything. The interpretations are endless. Or, they might just leave it as that.
Personally, before I tell anyone anything, I like to “feel them out.” If they appear to be open minded, warm and non-judgmental, then I’ll slowly share. But that’s me and I think it’s really how you feel about it.