Down below is a poem I wrote last Monday. Usually, when I am upset, I try to distract myself by not thinking about the situation. I suppressed emotions until I became overly angry at the smallest thing and explode with rage. Quite frankly, I’m tired of feeling the way I do when I ignore how I am feeling. So, I decided to do something different.
This time I let how I was feeling out and told myself I would be okay. I know this tactic will not work with everyone, and it might not work all the time. However, it helped me when I was feeling overwhelmed. If you or someone you know stuffs their emotions, I hope you can find this post valuable.
I Am Hurting Today
I am hurting today
The skies are dark and gray
Tears fall from my eyes like the rain in the forecast
My heart is broken and my eyes are downcast
Even so, I know I will be okay
Living in a world where we try to numb the pain
Through various methods like drugs, food, or games
We are made to believe uncomfortable emotions are weak because they hurt
They say not to wallow in the dirt
Get up and stand strong
If you continue to be unhappy, you will end up alone
What if we were told to let it out?
Get through the emotions, scream, and shout
Suppressing pain is only causing more heartache
Feel the emotions, learn how not to break
Would we be more at ease within ourselves?
Not suppressing the emotions causing inner hell
Controlling emotions is one of the keys
To unlock your potential and find your destiny
Next time you find yourself feeling blue
Remind yourself these are normal feelings flowing through you
When your rage starts to ignite
Remember you are in control of the light
When your jealousy starts to glow green
Remember to look behind the scenes
These feelings are normal, cannot you see
Keep going, have faith, and believe
If you are hurting today
Just know it will be okay
Emotions are Normal
From a young age, I learned how to keep my thoughts to myself, avoid conflict, and smile through whatever was hurting me. No one cared about the problems I was going through, or at least that is what I thought and was made to believe. I learned how to suppress emotions very early in life.
This thought pattern made it to where I suppressed emotions, pain, and wrongdoings of others, and started to accept how I was being treated. That is until I could no longer take the pain and would explode with rage over the smallest things.
Personally, I believe bottling feelings seems as natural as breathing air in today’s world. However, I am here to tell you it is not natural to suppress emotions you dislike. Or finding something to distract yourself from whatever feeling you are going through. Hurt, pain, conflict, disagreements, sadness, and jealousy, these are all normal feelings.
The Magical Water Jug
Think of an empty jug of water. Now imagine it starts filling with water each time an emotion comes up that you try to suppress. Guarantee your jug is going to fill quickly if you are a suppresser.
When you keep adding water (suppressed emotions) to your pitcher, you notice it begins to leak out of the top, overflowing. So, you decide to put a cap on the pitcher (building a wall around yourself). However, this is not an ordinary jug, as it magically fills each time you feel an unwanted emotion and suppresses it. Before you know it, your jug cracks and shatters from the pressure of the amount of water collected. (Bursting with anger and lashing at small mundane things.)
We are not meant to suppress emotions. We are very much like this magical filling water jug in the paragraph above. If we hold too much in, eventually, it is going to come out. Sometimes in very unhealthy ways.
To truly get through something, you have to be upfront, open, and willing to feel uncomfortable emotions. You have to reassure yourself that you will be okay and continue to keep trying to overcome your personal hardships. Facing them one moment at a time and looking within, regardless of how you feel, and find the root of your hurting. That way the suppressed emotions can begin to heal and lessen.
Imagine you are at work, ugh work I know but just hang in there with me for a second. Imagine that your boss is very reliant on you because they know you will get everything done on time. Your boss trusts you, and you feel important and proud. She depends on you to get things done. However, it is starting to become more frequent, and you begin to become overloaded. What do you do?
- Keep quiet and suffer through, hoping your boss will let up soon?
- Complain to your coworkers, family, and friends?
- Let your boss know she is overloading you and ask if there is any way you two can come to a compromise?
- Get so fed up, you quit?
Of course, the sensible choice would be to let your boss know how you feel. However, many of us would instead do one of the other three options. Letting someone in a higher position than you understand how you feel can feel uncomfortable, so it quickly becomes suppressed.
If you do not let others know how something is affecting, you then you cannot expect them to magically know. Yes, it is uncomfortable and nerve-wracking to open up and let others know how you feel, but if you don’t, then you are going to continue to feel like you are.
Here is another example. Imagine you and your best friend are spending time together, and they say something that honestly bothers you. Something that goes against your personal values, and makes you question them as a person. You know bringing up how you feel is going to possibly cause them to become defensive. What do you do?
- Ignore your own feelings and try to forget what they said?
- Change the subject?
- Calmly express your concerns to your friend and be prepared to walk away if they get too defensive and talk about it when they calm down?
- Stop hanging out with them altogether?
Again, the third option would be the most sensible; however, a lot of people would instead do one of the other three options out of fear of possibly losing a friend.
Yes, there is a possibility of losing a friend, and yes, that would hurt. However, if you do not talk to your friend and express how you feel, then you could end up losing them in the long run, especially if you are now questioning them as a person.
Honestly, when scenarios like this occur, there is a miscommunication somewhere along the lines. Maybe your friend worded themselves wrong, and you started making assumptions. This happens often, heck I just went through miscommunication with a very close friend. Luckily, we talked through it, sat through the awkward conversation, and came out on top. Granted, all outcomes are not like that.
Ways to Get the Pint Up Emotions Out
Personally, I believe we should learn how to let disliked emotions flow through us. If you are sad then be sad if you are angry, be angry, if you are jealous, be jealous. However, I will say, do not let these emotions take over and control you.
Emotions are a part of us; however, they are not us as a whole. It is easy to fall into the trap of letting emotions take complete control. Learn how to identify the emotions you are feeling and remind yourself this feeling, whatever it may be, is temporary. That you are the one in control.
I understand many people have a hard time controlling emotions, and it can feel like a losing battle. However, I am here to say it is doable. Here are a few ways I use to help me. Again, these are ways that have helped me and may or may not help you.
- Talking it out
- Talking to a professional
- Drawing, writing, anything creative
- Reading self-help books.
- Scream into a pillow
- Write a letter to who or what made you upset and rip it up as a symbol of letting go
- Be upfront with yourself and others about how you are feeling
Suppressed emotions can cause complicated feelings in the long run, like getting angry at something minimal because you already have a lot of emotions stuffed down. We are not meant to continuously disregard our feelings, even if they are uncomfortable.
There are ways to help overcome suppressed feelings like journaling, crying it out, screaming into a pillow, and more. Having a creative outlet is also another very powerful way to help get pint up emotions out of mind and into something more productive.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this post on suppressed emotions, you guys are awesome. Also, thank you to everyone who likes, comments, and supports Motivational Coping and Healing’s mission to spread light, love, and reassurance on the subject of mental health.
“Together, we will make a difference. We just have to find our voices and let them be heard from the highest mountain top to the lowest valley.” -Crystal Grasso