Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sitting with these Feelings

I don't do too well with sitting with my feelings. When they're bad and uncomfortable I want things to be fixed right away. Impatient as I am, I smother the problem and want it to be resolved so I don't have to stay with the residuals for much longer. And if it's out of my control then I seek out ways to dull the pain, anything to make me forget how sucky it feels. I run towards others, I seek mindless chores or sleep, anything so I don't have to face what's swirling inside me.

"What would happen if you were to just explore those feelings for a while?" my therapist asks.

"I'd just feel worse and spiral downward," I tell her.

When things are going well, I actually enjoy being alone. It's blissful even. But when my mind is occupied with gloomy thoughts, the idea of sitting alone with them scares me and I'll go through annoying lengths to keep me from being with no one but me. She's vicious that little one. She'll analyze, pick apart, and recount past failures others and I have committed. Why would I want to put myself through that when I don't know how to turn the moment into a constructive one?

Maybe that's why I keep feeling the same so often, I never confront them or stay with them long enough to hear them out. I merely drown them out, replace them if I can, or put a bandage over it. "There! All better!" I lie until they inevitably surface time and time again.

Emotions are so exhausting sometimes, aren't they? More so when you're incredibly sensitive to the slightest changes around you. An electrical failure on the train yesterday led me to take a crowded bus for almost an hour. Cue the traffic! The school children! Crying babies and screaming old grumps! And did I mention an appointment that I was now running late for? I nearly experienced a panic attack and it all stemmed from this small inconvenience out of anyone's control. I still don't condone it, but I see what could drive a person to smoke a pack a day; it dulls the anxiety.

I recognize when I reach out to others just to avoid facing how I feel, but I do it anyway because it provides immediate gratification. I know eventually I'll have to come back to an empty apartment and crawl under the covers where nothing but my inner thoughts are there to keep me company, but until then I'd like to pretend that moment doesn't even exist. Though who knows? Perhaps if I just stood still long enough to face it, one day I might realize that I'm finally met with an answer.



  1. Confronting your feelings is hard, but necessary!

  2. I have a few fights with my persistent thoughts...I use a tibetan bowl app which does the trick to calm my brain. It falls flat, I relax and in the morning my brain begins again...

    I wish you easy days my friend.

    Ginger-vee (a brooklynite)

  3. "I'd just feel worse and spiral downward"... I SO understand (just been there the past month or so) - avoiding the downward spiral is nearly a full-time job some days... :(


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