Hello mental health champions, how are you doing? I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend unwinding and spending time with family. I had a great time because for the first time in God knows how long, I allowed myself to just be still. I currently don’t have a second contracting job and I gave myself some time away from Love-Brain to just refresh. It was such a nice reset and to be with family always makes me so appreciative. I was so sad it’s over but December is usually a fun month too and a good time to refocus on your goals for next year.
In my last blog post, I talked about my journey with my health and how appreciative I am that I am feeling better. I also talked about how I felt like my anxiety has been so much better lately and it’s so true. After going through what I have gone through the last few years, I have learned that things aren’t as scary as they may seem. I used to fear confrontation, having negative emotions, my health, and saying no. I would literally have anxiety for a week if I felt like one of my friends had responded to my text differently. I had an awful time telling people how I felt and I internalized things on such a deep level that it completely fucked up my mental health. But I think for the first time in forever (cue Frozen soundtrack), I actually am turning a new leaf. There are so many things I have learned about feelings and it’s crazy that it has taken me until now to realize it, but I am glad that I have.
I always had a problem with negative emotions. When you feel like you are constantly in chaos and just trying to survive, your body is going to adapt. Have you ever heard of dissociation? I think I did that a LOT when I was younger and although physically I was carrying on with my daily activities, I had shut my emotions completely off because it was too painful to deal with them. I then learned this habit throughout the years. When things would get tough, I would completely shut down. And then when the dust would settle post-chaos, I would have a mental breakdown (usually my OCD would spin completely out of control). Although I can’t control that this was the way my mind and body would function, looking back on it, I realize just how unhealthy this coping mechanism was. I’m 23 years old and honestly, this year is probably the first year I have truly been saying how I feel and it has been the most freeing feeling in the world.
The truth is that problems don’t go away because you try to pretend they're not happening.
Yeah…those negative feelings don’t go away. In my case, I think those negative feelings got stuck in my body. I think that’s part of the reason why I have had so many health issues. Your mental and physical health are directly correlated. When you don’t let yourself be mad, sad, disappointed, etc. that energy has to go somewhere and in my case, I think it found a home inside me. The mental load has felt so much lighter when being transparent with how I feel. This is the same with confrontation. I think most people have a distaste for confrontation. However, when you have anxiety and OCD, the obsessive thoughts and anxiety are magnified tenfold until you feel like it’s consuming you. I never used to tell my friends when I was upset with them. I gave them no indication that I was angry and would basically just avoid them until they approached me and it bubbled out of control. And in turn, I would end up having more anxiety. And then- I would bring up 2 years worth of my anger over something that wasn’t really that big of a deal. But because I didn’t share any of the times I was angry prior, it would just explode. Now imagine being on the receiving end of that (and to those who have actually experienced being on the receiving end of me at this state- I apologize 🤣), and trying to figure out how something so seemingly minute was exponential to me. That wasn’t fair to these people. Instead of just saying how I felt when I felt it, I would hold it all in and then lash out. It took me like 4 years of therapy to recognize my behavior and try to adjust it. And get this- the people in my life have THANKED me for trying to speak my mind as feelings come as opposed to letting them fester. I pushed many people away by not sharing my feelings and communicating. My relationships are healthier than ever and it’s interesting that in doing this- my physical health has been feeling healthier too.
Something else I learned about emotions is that although the “negative emotions” suck to have, it’s really important that you do. I always thought that I should just snap myself out of it and be positive and honestly, it can be toxic as hell to force these emotions away. Like I said before, they don’t actually go away, they just come back with a vengeance. I love positivity and manifestation as much as the next person but it’s okay to not always be positive and happy. Let yourself have a shitty day. Let yourself be sad or disappointed. Let yourself feel these emotions and don’t try to bury them. And if you’re scared that you’ll get stuck in a dark place, set boundaries on expressing those feelings. Now that I let myself have negative emotions, I set a boundary on it to keep me from falling into a dark place like depression. I let myself have another hour to be pissed off and listen to angry music or until the end of the day. But when I wake up tomorrow, it’s my duty to try and go into the day with a good attitude. I also think that exploring yourself helps when you want to move past these feelings. I find that listening to angry songs and singing helps me. I also find that driving around eases those emotions. When you know coping methods, it makes holding up those boundaries for yourselves easier. Keep in mind that I am not a therapist but that this is what has helped me feel emotions, vocalize them, and then move past them without displacing these feelings on others. It’s also okay to not always understand your emotions but it’s important that you allow yourself to feel them. I hope this little blog post was helpful! Drop a comment below if you have also struggled with managing your emotions!
Talk to you soon brain battlers, Gracie <3
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