Sometimes I cry……

I had to smile when I saw this quote on the screen this morning: “Whenever we decide to take things to the next level, we shake things up within.

That was written by the author of The Jennifers: Jenny G. Perry onto her Fcebook wall this morning. And this just happened to be the morning after I had wondered if anyone else has strong bodily reactions to emotions the way I do.  I’ve heard plenty of people talking about emotions getting stuck in their body and causing problems down the road. But no one ever talks about how they deal with negative emotions in quite the same way I experience them. I suspect there is more of “my kind” out there. Those of us who can’t simply distract ourselves from feeling bad or who don’t even want to ignore that something is making me feel sad, angry, or uncomfortable. There are more of us who feel they could go insane from the strength of their emotions, particularly if you’ve ever had the experience of riding one out in front of someone else. I’m not saying that Jenny has the exact same reactions as I describe below but her words certainly resonated with my gut-wretching events of yesterday. And for that, I thank her.

Most days I am proud of my strong emotions and the way I express them.

  • My kids know they are loved.
  • I make friends easily.
  • People open-up to me.
  • I’m great at public speaking.
  • I am passionate.

That’s a pretty awesome list of great things because of my emotions. Let me try some more.

  • I grab the good times and live them with zest!
  • I make fun and in doing so, bring others along for the ride.

It’s just…    the…    negative…     emotions…     that trip me up from time to time.

Image

I don’t know if I’ve practiced an unhealthy way of feeling those emotions or if I’m a genius at transformation.

It usually starts something like this…..

I’m full of a mix of dread and anticipation, sometimes for days beforehand but not this time. I’m restless and irritated. It increases to uneasiness.

I fidget and I go from task to task to attempt distraction.

When the discomfort finally peaks I have to sit or kneel on the floor while I rock my body back and forth.  By the time the process starts I’m already thinking that “I just want to get through this” so I can get back to my normal life!

My breath quickens. The corners of my mouth turn downward. My mind is a constant loop of criticism. I feel a rotten presence in the pit of my stomach. This is sometimes triggered by having done something that frightened me (the irrational kind of fear). Walking through the fear creates a void in my being where something once was hidden. The seat of my soul was exposed, if only for a moment. Release of my emotions now turns to weeping.  Stinging tears crash down my face. I gasp for air, wipe my face, blow my nose, and repeat. I have no idea how long this lasts but I think it is longer than it feels because I usually lose whole afternoons or even the whole day when negative emotion has its’ way with me.

The cat knows something is wrong and tries to comfort me. I breath only with labored heaving of my chest, a mere attempt to take back control. I wrap my arms around my stomach in a desperate attempt at self-preservation but it is futile. The work of destroying the walls that kept me “little” have already been toppled.  I only need to let the dust settle. To let things reequilibrate within. I continue to gasp for air like a guppy out of water. A desperate wimper and then a moan escapes from between my lips. I look desperately up at the ceiling as though I’ve had enough.

Then I get shivers that roll from the bottom of my spine, up, into and then through the gaping hole that used to house the fear. The tremble continues upward to finally exit out of the throat chakra. I feel the blur of dizziness wash over me. I sigh multiple times and graciously with more and more space between the exhales.

The cat validates the intensity on display with his patient but engaged stance at my feet. It was only yesterday I allowed myself to be vulnerable, to do something that stretched me beyond my comfort zone. The realization that I did it gives no relief in this moment. I’m still breathing hard but less violently now. This is all so exhausting.

I reach up to my head and grab my hair in the last stance between going insane or returning back to reality. I stay there for a while with the fragile sense that I very likely do look insane. The cat rubs her face against my foot as though to say, it’s time to come back. I wipe the final tears off of my face and blow my nose. My senses heightened in the aftermath, particularly hearing. The tips of my fingers are tingling but freezing cold. It seems that time stands still for the moment. A few remaining tears well up in my eyes one last time but a subtle sense of pride sets in with one long slow controlled exhale.  I make eye contact with the cat, start to get off the floor, smile and say “I made it to the other side”. He now seems bored with me so I know all is back to normal.

Experience has taught me that tomorrow is going to be a fantastic day and walking through the thing that I feared will bring multiple rewards but I still have to ask:

  • Is it worth it?
  • Can I survive another “stretch of my soul”?
  • Is there another way?

I don’t want to be the only one.

Is this an unhealthy way of feeling negative emotions or is there a purpose to the madness?  

What do you think?

 

 

 

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55 comments on “Sometimes I cry……

  1. This posting came to me on the most appropriate day. My morning was filled with negative emotions. I just found out my doctor didn’t send a referral in time to the hospital where I chose to give birth to my first child. For me, this was devastating – the end of the world so to speak. I had my heart set on that hospital. I cried a lot, called my husband, and cried some more. We have since found a better alternative, but I’m still feeling drained and a little upset. Sometimes it is hard to let go of emotions, I haven’t mastered that trick yet either.

    • Hi Krystal — We can touch base more often…and help one another “release the negativity” if needed. 🙂

      I’m thrilled you found a better alternative but yes, I relate to the residual effect the emotions have…even after getting them out. I’m glad you seem to have a supportive partner. That helps too!

      I’m looking forward to reading your posts and the many others in this event….so exciting. Good luck to you in the birth of your baby!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I have really intense emotions too. And if I do somehow manage to ignore them, they will manifest themselves through illness. I’m 28 and have already had shingles, ITP and mono and mono induced hepatitis. I am convinced all of these illnesses have come from emotional repression/anxiety/stress. I feel things deeply but don’t often take the time out to process.

    • Thanks for the share Jenn. I hope all of illnesses remain in remission. I have an autoimmune disorder (Multiple Sclerosis). It was juvenile onset (Ages 8, 12, then 19 until I was finally diagnoses). I know EXACTLY what you mean about not repressing or holding in emotions. It may be why I have developed such a strong reaction to my emotions. I know I HAVE to GET THEM OUT or be affected by them. You’ve made me think!!

  3. This is definitely intense. Do you keep your emotions bottled up until you just kind of explode? When I am nervous or anxious for a few days I find that physical pain will creep out of me. The first time [and only time that I am aware] this happened I was on vacation in Rome in the middle of the summer. UGH. Never again. There were *so* many people and the transportation system was confusing…my neck stiffened and I couldn’t move it. Couldn’t even look up at the Sisteen Chapel! My husband had to lean me back. It hurt so much. I know this isn’t similar to your situation, but I can understand how negative emotions can take their toll. I hope you are able to do something to ease the turmoil.

  4. grrfeisty says:

    This is definitely intense. Do you keep your emotions bottled up until you just kind of explode? When I am nervous or anxious for a few days I find that physical pain will creep out of me. The first time [and only time that I am aware] this happened I was on vacation in Rome in the middle of the summer. UGH. Never again. There were *so* many people and the transportation system was confusing…my neck stiffened and I couldn’t move it. Couldn’t even look up at the Sisteen Chapel! My husband had to lean me back. It hurt so much. I know this isn’t similar to your situation, but I can understand how negative emotions can take their toll. I hope you are able to do something to ease the turmoil.

    • Hey Roxy!
      Thanks for the share….and no worries, most of the time I am good to great!
      I am starting my business and that has been confronting me with a new set of fears…which is really what this “explosion” was about. It has already been 5 days or more since the post and it has been a joyful ride since. I do know I will have these kinds of “gritty” posts from time to time on my new blog…which kicks off in March at http://www.myfeminineessence.com I thought this was the best event to try it out for size…..so, thank you for your response.

  5. Paula_Rollo says:

    Emotions are such a tricky thing. I’ve been all over the place with them in my life, and finally feel like I’m getting to a place where I want to be with them. Where they are not hidden, but they don’t take over as much either.

    • Hi Paula!

      I felt myself relax when I read your post. You are so correct…and I do embrace and manage my emotions well…most of the time. I wanted to share my deepest, scariest, possibly polarizing moment of the recent past in this event. I thought…why not? If I’m going to “sometimes” bare my soul like this….I need to try it out and get feedback.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I can’t wait to start reading all the other posts!

  6. What a powerful post. Thank you for sharing and baring your soul to us.

    My emotions tend to run more in the line of crying and not being able to stop.

    I too have experienced many health issues over the years from holding my emotions in and not dealing with the stressors in my life. My recent episode centers around my husband’s kidneys failing a little over a year ago. Being the caretaker, it was necessary to ‘swallow’ what I was feeling and just continue ‘keeping on’. A couple of months later I started having digestive issues. Over the course of a year, they intensified. I went to see a friend who does some stress management. She helped me to see that the ‘swallowing’ I had done was at least in part to blame for my digestive issues. So, I am working on it.

    It is so important that we deal with our emotions and not bottle them up. They only do damage to our bodies when we do.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  7. What a powerful post. Thank you for sharing and baring your soul to us.

    My emotions tend to run more in the line of crying and not being able to stop.

    I too have experienced many health issues over the years from holding my emotions in and not dealing with the stressors in my life. My recent episode centers around my husband’s kidneys failing a little over a year ago. Being the caretaker, it was necessary to ‘swallow’ what I was feeling and just continue ‘keeping on’. A couple of months later I started having digestive issues. Over the course of a year, they intensified. I went to see a friend who does some stress management. She helped me to see that the ‘swallowing’ I had done was at least in part to blame for my digestive issues. So, I am working on it.

    It is so important that we deal with our emotions and not bottle them up. They only do damage to our bodies when we do.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    WordPress.com / Gravatar.com credentials can be used.

  8. anallievent says:

    Emotions sure can undo us, can’t they? I have found that the older (and wiser, I hope) I get, my emotions don’t control me as much as they did when I was younger and rearing my children. What I considered to be “end of the world type things” that used to put me over the edge, do not seem to bother me as much. I do sympathize with you, but also admire you for all the great traits that you have.

    • Thank you anallievent! That was kind and nice to hear. My emotions are still a little raw when it comes to being divorced and “making it on my own”….more accurately….creating the LIFE I WANT! I’m doing it no matter what. I’m looking forward to reading your blog too!

  9. Paulina says:

    Hi Jenn, my name is Paulina and the Comentathon brought me to your blog. Because of my character I don’t experience such intense outward manifestations of my negative feelings but I do boil inside sometimes and I know that’s not healthy. My husband has taught me that it’s OK to share my negative emotions and I’ve become better at it but it’s still hard. I guess we’re all on our way to becoming healthier versions of ourselves!

    • I hear that apromisetoholdonto! Thanks for reading my post. I’m looking forward to reading all of the other blogs too! I admit…I wanted to write something that made me feel TOTALLY VULNERABLE to criticism. I figured this event is the best way to build up some “GRIT”….push past the “I can’t do this” thinking. So….thanks again for both reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

  10. tomesed says:

    This was an intense post! Emotions are so powerful and have a way of taking over sometimes. I’m a cry baby and try to think of happy thoughts. Wish you all the best!

  11. sewcraftlive says:

    I remember feeling something similar… it wasn’t long enough to be labeled depression, but it was definitely an intense feeling, like if I didn’t cry I would crumble.

    • YES…sewcraftlive! That is a great way to visualize what I was experiencing. I knew I had “broken down walls” by pushing through fear the day before….and I literally felt like the structure of my “BEING” was being realigned….like a clay figure being ripped apart and remolded for enhancement!

  12. rakiwright says:

    It seems that you are a really passionate person – in both good and bad. But, like you said, your experience tells you that tomorrow will always be better. Allow yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling.

    • Thank you rakiwright!!!!! I AM TOTALLY PASSIONATE and sometimes that doesn’t look like a neat little package.

      I loved your encouragement to “ALLOW” myself permission to feel what I’m feeling. THANKS!

  13. balmtomysoul says:

    Emotions color all aspects of our lives. I know that negativity can sabotage even the best intentions. It is sometimes easier to tell someone else to “stop it” than to tell ourselves. We say things to ourselves that we would never say to another. One of the best things I have found is to get out of my head and do something for another. It kills me sometimes to do it, but once I am there, I feel better. Good luck! Best wishes in your journey!

    • Hi balmtomysoul!
      I love this idea and it is something I can easily implement.

      I have to be honest that I decided to do the most polarizing, fear-invoking post possible for this challenge. I know I get tripped up on being vulnerable at times. So…I’m less in need of “changing anything” other than continuing to “GO FOR IT”! But I do really like your approach. 🙂

  14. blessedfe says:

    This is an intense post that I’m sure many can relate to, including me! I am a bottler and it sounds that you might be too. Do you tend to keep negative feelings until the point that you can’t keep them anymore? I am working on mine and although not everyone agrees, I find reading certain Scripture brings such peace. Also venting to my Father when it’s not appropriate to speak to the person because of anger. Crying is definitely okay but if this comes after an intense bottling explosion, then it may be time to reach out. Negative feelings not let go are a danger to us as they cause physical sickness. That I know all too well and see that my youngest daughter has picked that up from me as well. I’m teaching her now to communicate. Praying for your joy!

    • Hi notsoemptynestdays!
      Thanks for reading the post and for replying….I appreciate it!
      I am still spiritual although I no longer align myself with any particular religion. Usually nature helps me center and the intense fear that brought me to the place I explained in this post does not happen often any more. Plain and simple…I’ve tackled most of my biggest fears.

      I’m going to think more about if I did in fact bottle up anything prior to the “explosion” I described in this post. Not sure….

      • blessedfe says:

        Hmmmm well I hope you get to the root of it. Again crying is very good! I have had major cries at dropping a piece of paper. But if in fact it was bottled, that’s something to seek out for healthy sake. Hopefully your day is good today! 🙂

  15. yumeating says:

    There is a lot of stress in my life and with my depression and PTSD I tend to have a lot of clinical anxiety and panic attacks. Must of your emotional distress sounds a lot like my extreme panic attacks. I lay in the fetal position and just cry for hours after having a scream and throw fit. Not healthy, but that’s my mental health and I’ve come to accept is as part of me.

  16. leeanngtaylor says:

    Negative emotions are definitely a challenge to deal with, no matter who you are. My issue is anger and I do have a physical reaction to this emotion for sure!

  17. i’m with ya on this one, kid…. 😀

  18. I feel these emotions often myself and wonder why and how to deal with them. Always trying to be positive because that’s how I used to be, at least I think I was!?

  19. busymama911 says:

    My emotions control me sometimes but thankfully not too often. I stuff the a lot of times. Then get sick. It’s no fun. It’s funny how your cat knows something is up. My dog is like that too.

  20. April Grant says:

    I can’t say whether it’s “natural” or not, you experience emotions whatever way you experience them. I would ask though, is it healthy? I know there are some meditation exercises that you can do to get you out of an emotional attack. I do hold on to anger, but it’s more like a movie playing through my head. I have to switch the movie to something more positive, like engross myself in playing with my kids to turn it off. I’m sorry that they are so intense for you.

  21. probablycrafting2014 says:

    I find sometimes I bury my emotions. Hiding them inside until they break free and flood my whole body. Those are usually my bad days. Most days I don’t let anything bother me. I feel sometimes when they do break loose that I become an irrational mess of emotions.

  22. Brittany says:

    Wow–thank you for being so real. I (and several close friends) are going through some difficult times. And while you may never want or choose to respond the way you describe… it happens. And it’s okay. But we can know that we will press on and be stronger as a result (awful as it may be at the time). Thanks for letting us know we are not alone.

  23. Katie @ Pick Any Two says:

    I deal with a lot of anxiety and it can be difficult to manage in healthy ways. Too often I run from it instead of just feeling it. For me, simply acknowledging and validating my emotions, both positive and negative, is very powerful.

  24. Audrey Ann says:

    Wow, I’ve never heard feelings described in this way, I really admire you honesty.

  25. Your post is very thought provoking and vulnerable. I think it is hard for many of us to figure out how to handle negative emotions. They aren’t “polite.”

  26. I think we experience stress in different ways. When I get stressed and angry I cry like mad and blow up. I never use to cry when I was mad, but I do now. The blowing up part are few and between, but it still happens.

  27. Jeryl M. says:

    I get the opposite reaction with negative emotions, I absolutely freeze up.

  28. I know I don’t always handle my emotions the way I should, but I try to turn my worries and fears over to God. To pray for his peace, comfort, and wisdom.

  29. I am sure it takes a lot of courage to write something like this. I cannot relate to it personally, not that I don’t have negative feelings or stress! But because I handle it differently, I pray. I let God carry my burdens and take my anxieties and fears away! And He does! Always! It is so much more calming and peaceful than what you have described here…I just whisper the Name of Jesus, bind any spirits of negativity or fear and release the love and peace of God into my heart, soul and mind. I pray you could also find that peace through Him!

  30. Ouch, it’s painful to come across so many others who have suffered this way. In my life I have seen a lot of personal pain but most of it surfaced in extreme illness after my divorce to my former husband. I was broken, felt my life to be a useless waste and in the midst of that God sent a friend I hadn’t seen in years across my path at a critical moment in my life. I may not be here today if it weren’t for Rosalind’s loving friendship. She let me work through all those negative emotions and kept me feeling safe until she was convinced I wanted to live again. We didn’t talk about it being wrong to feel what I felt, she cooked for me and fed me spiritually as well. Now looking back some 30 years later I can say . . . there is hope . . . there is life abundantly . . . there is joy . . . there is the ability to feel emotion without feeling broken. I pray you have just such a friend and that you remember two things: 1. there is life after divorce 2. never let anyone’s opinion of you become your reality (quote from James Brown) oh and one more thing: FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real. Be blessed – 2000 yrs ago someone died to set you free.

  31. Awesome post – I agree with crativekkids – I have to depend on God’s strength and guidance.

  32. Megan says:

    I learned, unfortunately, as a child to bottle a lot of emotions, and later in my life this turned into severe anxiety, with anxiety attacks. I am slowly learning to be ok feeling negative emotions at the time they happen, rather than trying to hide them or bottle them up. And I want to teach my child to be open to feeling, rather than hiding it.

  33. Chuck Taylor says:

    Negative emotions are one of the quickest ways to explore the heart of who we are. They expose the deeper meaning to our existence and often offer us the ability to see the world for what it truly is. Negative emotions help us lament the bad in life and help us draw our selfishness, our pain and our frustrations to the surface so that we can deal with them. As a coach I encourage people to explore their negative emotions often so that they can effectively deal with them. Thank you for giving yourself permission to do this (and do it well I might add) and for still choosing to highlight that which you do well in life. You seem well-rounded. Yay for you! I hope you can help so many others explore a deeper part of themselves with your blog. Blessings to you!

  34. I’ve had moments like that where I broke down and felt like I was going to explode and be washed away and lose my way. The times that I felt that I was having problems with myself, my marriage… Today I’m much better and haven’t had those feelings. It was very brave of you to share such an intimate look into who you are.

  35. I have moments like this I call them my “I want to dissolve in the shower days” it is really hard. You expressed it so beautifully!

    • Thanks Eschelle. It is funny that you say “dissolve in the shower days” because if I can’t find alone time, it is in fact the shower where I go if I can’t find any alone time and I let my own shower join that of the spout. I lean against the side and let the emotions move through me. Amazing. Thanks for the share!

  36. Kendra says:

    I feel an ache so I believe your emotions are perfectly acceptable.

  37. kwpierson says:

    I cry too. I also physically ache on occasion when I’m upset. I think your feelings are perfectly normal.

  38. […] blog I found very interesting, The Dancing Mennonite, was about how stress impacts this person’s body. I could totally relate due to stress […]

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