I do not like talking to people about my feelings. Feelings are messy and difficult and want attention that in my mind could be better used doing literally anything else. Feelings are demanding. They take up space and time and energy. They need to both be acknowledged and looked at but also dismissed. Confronted but also coddled. Understood but not obsessed over. Managing you feelings is a tight-rope walk where at any moment you can tip from being perfectly fine to falling into a vat of fuck-ups and total meltdown. It is also what I imagine looking after a small child would be like.
Now, because I am an adult, I have learnt to do what all adults seem to do. Repress All Feelings. You see a bad emotion headed your way? Hell no, not today. This has worked perfectly apart from for most people, most of the time in most places. In fact I can quite safely say that this has never worked as a long term solution.
Let’s pretend your emotional centre is a cupboard (hence the title of this post). Now you keep putting emotions into the cupboard- positive, negative, indifferent, what the hell even is that- all of them. However you only ever get the good emotions back out the cupboard to make you feel nice or to send good emotions to others. The negative emotions build up and one day, you open the cupboard and they all fall out, smashing you in the face with a pasta-box of despair and a tin of self-loathing.
This is what happened on Saturday. I woke up and for the rest of the day I immediately regretted that decision. I tried to go to the gym but left in under 30 minutes. I got back into bed, cried, and basically gave up. Part of me wanted someone to come and find me and part of me never wanted to see another human being ever again.
But Saturday I had plans. I had to go and socialise and despite every cell of my being wanting to never leave the bed again, I had a shower and I got dressed. In my mind I rationalised it as I didn’t want everyone to hate me as much as I hated me in that moment. It was going to be my little secret. Of course this did not stop my mind from wanting everyone to know I was sad. I just didn’t want to have to tell them. You see it in movies, right, where the main character stares off into the distance and the side-character (usually a best friend) just has all the right answers? It’s used not only to show that everything has an easy solution in this weird fictional universe where most things can be solved with a montage and some heart-to-heart discussions, but also that if you follow the film’s prescribed standards of living, you too can gain a friend who knows you so well they can tell you are upset without any indicators whatsoever. You don’t even have to be in the same room/city/country. They’ll just know.
Of course people aren’t really like this. Obviously. Your friends are not psychic and no matter how much you mope around (and trust me I have tried), most of the time they will simply ask you what you thought of the latest Planet Earth episode. On Saturday when I went round to my friend’s house, I made no mention of the horrendous day I had and nothing was said, not because they don’t care, but because they didn’t know.
Then I talked to the same friend the day after. Turns out she has clocked that I wasn’t okay but because I made no mention, she didn’t think it polite to ask and then the usual chaos of friend’s visiting happened and it was left. Also she felt the same way too sometimes and had no idea of how to ask for help because it just wasn’t how our friendship had operated before, despite us being very close. Everyone’s talk about communication being king is so true but it is also so difficult. Me and my friend are working out how we’re going to be more there for each other and I know at times it is not going to work and I know I am going to mess up.
But it’s a start. A new beginning, and for that, I’m quite excited.
Wisdom For Today:
Clear out your emotional cupboards. Have a friend there to help you lift the weight and do the same in return.