“We all have feelings, and some feelings that we feel are so strong that it’s hard for us to be the person we know in our hearts that we can be. So what is the best way for us to deal with these kinds of powerful and dangerous feelings? “We talk about them. If we talk about our problems, it makes it easier to process our feelings and make us feel like we are not alone.” One of my Favourite Tv Shows
I was once told that the Devil’s (or whatever you believe) biggest tool is to make us feel isolated. He wants me to feel like I am the only person experiencing whatever hardship or obstical and that no one understands. He wants me to feel ashamed for the feelings I have. He wants me to believe that others will judge me because I am struggling with something. He wants me to burry my feelings so that I can’t open up about them and heal.
About three years ago I noticed I started to bottle my feelings. I think I did it because I was ashamed of the stress and anxiety I was feeling over the really big things that were happening in my life. I thought feeling this way made me less of a courageous woman, I thought it mean that I was failing in my faith. I felt like this made me weak and that people would judge me for the thoughts I had. It made me isolate myself against all the people who loved me and supported me.
Then all of a sudden the internal pressure became more than I could handle. I felt like an elephant was always on my chest. I finally broke down and told my husband (my then fiancé of only two days.. He is a saint to say the least) and I was shocked by his grace and compassion. A huge weight had been lifted off my chest. I then eventually felt comfortable to slowly tell my 5 closest girlfriends. To my surprise, no one judged and they responded in love and understanding. What I didn’t know till later was that I was suffering from Fibromyalgia which is a neurological illness that causes havoc in your bones, muscles, and can cause severe anxiety and depression.
No matter what illness you are experiencing, it can be easy to fall into this isolation. What I have learned from this situation is that 95% of the time, once I find the courage to open up, that my confidants do understand. They don’t judge, many of them have been in the same situation, and they often had the best wisdom to share. I feel better for talking about it because I am able to verbally process my feelings and begin healing. Like the above quote says, “If we talk about our problems, it makes it easier to process our feelings and make us feel like we are not alone.” Once I shared with my closest friends, I felt freedom. It has been proven in psychology that in order for your brain to heal from trauma, it needs to make connections through verbal speech.
So here is what I learned about opening up about your feelings in a healthy way:
1) This Situation is like a Highway: There are two ditches for ever mile of road, two ends of the spectrum, and I have been on both sides. The one side is the “overshare side”. This is when I would open up way too easily to people about all of my emotions. I also see people do this by plastering their feelings over social media in repetitive and intimate ways that are not appropriate for that platform. I was lucky enough to be confronted about this 5 years ago so it is something I grew up to learn how to deal with my feelings differently.
2) Know Who You Can Trust: I have 5 girlfriends who I have known most of them for at least four years. I have seen how they handle life and how they walk with integrity. I am 100% against gossip and I chose my closest friends based on this shared value. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Trust the friends that won’t take your problem and turn it into juicy gossip!
3) If Necessary Get Professional Help:
2/3 of people suffer from some form of mental illness in silence due to fear of stigma and discrimination. But it is okay to reach out to a doctor, pastor, or psychologist as they deal with this frequently. They are trained to know the right questions to ask to help you get to the source of the problem and help in healing and have knowledge of necessary resources.
4) Learn When It’s Time to Get Positive: it is so important to share your feelings, but there comes a time when we need to put on our big girl pants and start talking positively to the situation. My feelings follow my mouth so I have to throw positive words at my situation. Example: “I am okay. I am going to make it through this. This problem is only temporary.” It’s really hard to do but the more I practice the easier it is. The more I say these words, the more I believe them, then the more I feel it change my perception m!
I am so sorry if you have ever felt trapped in your own emotions. I am sorry if you have ever felt alone. I am sorry if you have felt like you were lost in the dark. But know there is hope, it will get better. There are resources available for any type of physical or mental illness and all you have to do is reach out!