So many of us bury our feelings on a daily basis. There are some reasons for this fact. It could be that we have ourselves convinced we have too much going on in our day to day lives to deal with feeling. Sometimes we don’t even admit we feel. But if you’re breathing, you’re feeling!
There are also those of us that don’t know how to cope with feeling so we just bury them day after day into our internal compartments.
But let’s visualize your compartment as a carry on suitcase. You put one item in, and then another and another and so on and so forth. Eventually the suitcase will get too full and you use extra energy to shut it by pressing down on it or sitting on it and you walk around with this overstuffed suitcase with clothes hanging out the sides identifying that you have many more items than your baggage can handle.
You go to the airport and get ready to board your flight. The airline attendant tells you that your carry on is over size and you can’t bring it on. You argue with them explaining that technically everything is in the suitcase and the suitcase is the dimensions of a carry on. They explain to you that the dimensions are larger now because you’ve overstuffed it and it won’t fit in the overhead bin. You continue to argue, refusing to remove any of your items from the suitcase and eventually get kicked off the flight for refusing to abide by the guidelines of the airline.
Well, life has guidelines. Some are rules (laws) and some are just common courtesies. If you overstuff your emotional compartment, you’ll find it very difficult to live within the guidelines.
When you refuse to deal with your feelings, eventually your compartment will get too full and instead of emptying it out, you’ll deal with it with anger, self medication, irrational behavior and even suicide in order to keep the compartment shut.
This is why I’m such a strong advocate for therapy. It’s very unhealthy to keep your feelings bottled up but there’s only so much we can keep in before it explodes and comes out in unhealthy and even dangerous ways. No one “wants” to feel their emotional pain. But we NEED to feel it in order to heal from it. Therapy is a safe place to feel and express. You can yell, cry or say anything without judgement or being harmful to others.
When your compartment overflows and you fight to protect it, more often than not you hurt the people around you that you love and at the same time, hurt yourself by not only damaging your present circumstances but your potential future circumstances.
So next time you start pushing something you’re feeling into that oversized suitcase, even if you don’t go to therapy, go someplace alone and give yourself permission to feel. Yell, cry, talk to yourself like a friend, draw, journal, go for a bike ride or just do something that allows yourself to work through what you’re feeling.