This one goes out to all the over-thinkers and the deep-feelers who keep on a tough exterior but secretly are filled with emotion. I’m sure at one point you’ve experienced the dark occurrence of staying up too late thinking about things that confuse you, or hurt you, or that you wish you could change. You start to feel small in the dark room that surrounds you and no matter where you are, you no longer feel at home anywhere. You don’t like to feel this way, yet it happens randomly on a Tuesday night every now and again.
It leaves you asking, “Why do I feel so emotionally attached to these thoughts?” and “Why do I care so much?” It’s these times at night when you wish your brain would just shut up for good.
You don’t want to care anymore, and one day you too may decide what I did:
I would no longer care deeply about anything.
I tried this method for a little while, and I must admit, it worked for the short-term. I didn’t feel sad, angry, or frustrated, but at the same time I didn’t have the opportunity to feel genuinely happy or excited either. I stuck myself in a gray area with no emotion whatsoever. After a while it got hard for me to push away all my thoughts and bottle up my feelings and pretend they had no effect on my state of mind. Because I wasn’t dealing with my feelings, they took that opportunity to circle through my mind as a poisonous negativity.
When I stopped treating myself well, I let others treat me poorly too. I avoided my feelings and thoughts at all costs, which in turn made me incredibly anxious and self-conscious. When someone said something or did something to disrespect me, I let it happen. I thought if I reacted to them that would mean I would have to care, or if I fed into my own thoughts, I would start to get too deep into them. And to follow this new philosophy where I wasn’t allowed to care, and I wasn’t allowed to think deeply, I lost a big part of myself. Because I didn’t stick up for myself, or mentally support myself, I started to believe that what people thought of me was actually true when it wasn’t.
I felt like two people: one being very vulnerable and hidden away, and the other being tough, standoffish, and supposedly unafraid of being hurt. It wasn’t until I finally did some self-reflection and realized I had created two false identities for myself, that I broke down and cried. Yeah, I said it!
I do have feelings! Lots and lots of feels! And as Oprah would point her finger to her audience members and say, “And YOU have feelings! And YOU have feelings! And you in the back, yeah, YOU! YOU have feelings too!” And guess what? That is perfectly normal and healthy.
It’s okay to feel your feelings.
It is normal to have random nights when everything hits you at once. And from what I’ve learned, the best way to cope with having lots of thoughts and feelings at once is to work through them. You won’t go to bed any sooner by bottling things up. So turn on a light to escape the darkness, make yourself some tea, and think. If you’re sad, angry, frustrated, or upset, identify what is causing you these feelings. Talk it out with yourself until you are no longer feeling so stressed, or make a game plan for tomorrow as to how to change the issue. Please, don’t beat yourself up for having feelings like I did. Because it is both equally important to laugh as it is to cry. And to be able to appreciate the good things in life you have to experience the bad.