It’s been a month since I last wrote a blog and a lot has happened within that time. Some good, some bad, some both. I have learnt a lot over this past month, particularly over the last couple of weeks.
A selection of sad events as well as events which whilst not sad were less than palatable to have to deal with. A few weeks ago, I recognised that whilst I was not dealing with the feelings and emotions I was having about these things, people and events, I knew I would have to. I knew there would come a time I needed to sit and ugly cry or just sit and feel bad for a while. I told my therapist this, I am not sure he felt this was as healthy as I was making it out to be, but to me, it was a step in the right direction. (My blog wouldn’t be called The Emotion Febrezer if I didn’t have issues with allowing myself to feel after all!) I knew I felt bad deep down, I could still feel it even with having pushed it down, and I knew that I was still avoiding these emotions, but at least I knew they were there and I knew I would deal with them. I just wasn’t ready.
Then something happened – A situation I hadn’t been honest with myself about for some months. There was a bubbling inside me and the arguably questionable actions of another person pushed it over the edge. The tsunami came. I was suddenly thrown into the rush of emotions with such a feeling of overwhelm that I was drowning in them. I feel like this situation happened because I needed this lesson. I needed to get thrown into feelings and emotions, as much as this person’s actions upset me.
I felt awful. I hated how I felt, but I felt it. I allowed myself to feel everything as I felt it. It was a very low week or so. I didn’t mope whilst trying to numb the feelings as best I could, as I would have done years ago, instead I took the Matthew Hussey approach. In a conversation with Marissa Peers I happened to have listened to a week before all this happened, he mentioned how an athlete won’t sit on their laurels when they are injured. Instead, they will exercise and train anything they can whilst allowing the injury to repair. That’s what I did. Even though I was hurt, sad, angry and feeling lower than I have for a good while, I allowed myself to feel those things but I was proactive at the same time. House clean? Done. New sofa? Ordered. Gardening? Done. Meditation? Got back into it. Gym? Beast mode activated.
I wanted future Leah (me now and beyond) to thank me for not sitting and moping whilst eating junk food and numbing myself with TV. Instead, I can sit on my comfortable new sofa, in my clean house and be happy with what I have achieved over the last few weeks. Sitting in my feelings whilst taking care of myself is honestly one of the best things I have ever done, which sounds obvious when you put it like that, but it’s not easy. We want to numb ourselves and not feel sad, angry or hurt, but that only leads to extended (and I mean extended as it can last years) feelings of sadness, anger and hurt. I am not free of these emotions in regards to the events of the last month, but I am having more happiness to balance the sadness, it doesn’t feel like it’s dragging on like it would have done before, because I am processing rather than ignoring.
It’s allowed me to see the events clearer and process how I feel, think and what to do about them quicker than I would have been able to before. When you are hurt, your head, gut and heart will lie to you. Don’t get me wrong, they want to protect you and they mean well, but they will lie in the process of trying to spare your feelings. They don’t want you to feel sad or angry. They prefer to feel hope or happiness. The sooner you allow yourself to feel what you feel and accept how you feel, the clearer your head, heart and gut will be to make decisions that future you will thank you for. I am not saying you’ll get over things quickly, or not feel sad or hurt at times, but it will be less. And when you do feel hurt by something you thought you’d healed from, you’ll know you can get through it. Those feelings aren’t any less valid because they crop up a few weeks later when triggered.
I am lucky because I am in a financial situation that allows me to have a therapist who guides me and in particular, helped me see that boundaries had been overstepped and my feelings were valid in regards to the past month. In some ways, it’s been an amazing month because I have finally taken a step forward that I had been struggling with. You will never be ready to feel the feelings, but I recommend that you do.