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Is it ok to feel?
Written by: Where I Stand Blogger Dawn Sachleben
Through out my life I always kept the way I truly felt about things to myself. I thought that was what I was supposed to do because no one ever talked about the way they felt. I got the feeling that feelings were not meant to be shared. So I buried my feelings so they wouldn’t emerge, I buried them so deep that sometimes it was difficult to show any emotion at all. Some days I felt all the built up emotion may burst, but it never came out. I was screaming on the inside but no one could hear me. I began harming myself because I was unable to express how I truly was feeling and I disliked me. Why was I having suicidal thoughts? Why did I hate myself so much? Why was I so afraid and confused?
As I got older I tried harder and harder to not feel. I abused substances to become as numb as possible. In doing this I lost so much, my identity, so many years, people who were near and dear to me, I had stopped caring and fighting for what I believed in. I became a shell that was hollow on the inside. I was existing, not living because the disease had taken over and I didn’t even realize it.
Which leads me to these questions; why as a society are we afraid to let others know how we are feeling? Should there be some type of disclaimer involved before we speak so that our fear of hurting another with out words is taken away? Why aren’t we taught about feelings?
I understand that my feelings could probably be different than others because I suffer from a disease that has tormented my life, but I often wonder what it would be like if we were taught it is ok to feel. If we were allowed to not be afraid of the thoughts in our head and were able to express them to others, not to hurt them but to show we are human. Would we find out that others have similar feelings, that we are not alone in our thoughts. It has taken me months to be able to say who I am and how I am feeling. To let people know when I am not ok, or when I am upset or need help. Instead of crying alone I now cry in front of others if I have too. It is liberating to be able to express myself and let my feelings be known.
To allow yourself to feel is to allow yourself to really live.
When I first began trying to express my feelings I was afraid to let others know, I didn’t want to be judged for who I was, so I took baby steps. It wasn’t something that came naturally or overnight. I carried around a feelings journal and whenever I felt something that was uncomfortable I would write it in the journal. Even the act of writing the feeling down helped so much. It can be just a word or a doodle anything at all. I discovered that once the word was written it took away its power and I was able to reflect and see what triggered the feeling and why. The act of allowing myself to feel was huge in my recovery.
My name is Dawn and This is Where I Stand.
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. – Albert Einstein