This piece has been pulled over from my secondary, private blog and edited for Leah Suzette Creative Studio.
My first instinct is always to comfort myself. I want to make the bad feelings go away so I think…
“Treat yourself to a Starbucks coffee, you’ll feel better.”
“Just head over to TJ Maxx for your lunch break, who cares if you have to use the credit card, it’s going to make you feel better, now.”
“Yup, you need an extra glass of wine after putting up with today’s bullshit, who cares if it turns into the whole bottle, its fine.”
“Go ahead and eat the whole pint… no one understands you.”
But of course, all of those things, despite being exactly what I want right now, are incredibly destructive overtime.
If I choose to relieve stress by shopping and eating or drinking, I’m gonna have a bad time. I know. I’ve been there.
So then what do I do when the darkness is winning and my feelings feel just a little too big to manage?
What do you do?
I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that my first option is to do nothing.
In order to avoid doing negative things, when I don’t have it in me to do positive things, I just don’t do anything. And let me be clear – this isn’t necessarily healthy either. It’s fine to give yourself a little space to cry-it-out when you get home from your day job, but if crying-it-out for 15-20 minutes turns into wallowing in the darkness of your bedroom for 3 hours… you’ve past the point of taking a healthy approach. Unless you needed a nap. Naps are always fair game.
Healthy options might include things like:
Writing, reading, drawing, painting, walking, cycling, running, cooking a meal from scratch, meditating, doing yoga, taking a hot bath or shower…
There are tons of options.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be days where the weight of what you’re feeling is enough to keep you from acting on even the best of coping mechanisms.
But the truth (that I’m still learning over here by the way) is that you just have to get accustomed to feeling your negative emotions and not running from them at all. Celebrate your darkness.
Because even the hottest bath, or the strongest liquor, isn’t going to make the pain of losing a loved one, the fear of failure, or a mental illness like depression, go away.
Some things are just too overwhelming. So overwhelming that all of the positive and negative coping mechanisms in the world won’t help.
But I’ll tell you what does help. I’ll tell you what’s going to help make all of it feel a little LESS. Here’s what I’m learning:
Just going ahead and feeling it a little bit MORE.
Let it hurt. Get angry. Cry. Rage. Freak out. Let it get you down. Let it burn through you like the plague.
And then let it heal. Accept what happened to you, or what’s happening to you. Accept the thing you did or didn’t do. Accept the shittiness.
And then choose to let it go. Move on. Break up with the asshole. Find yourself a new and better job. Smile when you think of the loved one you’ve lost. Have the courage to make the necessary changes to make it better.
Things happen every day that come at no fault of our own. But it is still our responsibility to choose our reaction.
Some days my emotions and thoughts and feelings feel so out of my control, it’s all I can do to make it through the day and dump them into my journal or talk Greg’s ear off, just to get it out.
And that’s all we can do.
We can keep fucking going.
We can talk about it.
Because we all have days like the one I’m having. Where feeling big feelings just feels like too much.
And that’s OK.