For most of my life, I’ve been the type of person that usually holds in all of my problems and things that have bothered or upset me. I’ve just never felt that letting out my problems would actually help. If the hurt had already been caused, there was no taking it back anyway; what would letting out my problems actually resolve anyway? I figured that it was simpler to suppress all of the anger, sadness, hurt, and pain deep down inside, and only allow myself to feel happiness and joy.
Unfortunately, this sort of thinking had lead to nearly a dozen bottled up problems from throughout my life; and like a shaken up bottle of soda, the cap was ready to fly off, and all of the problems that I had worked so hard to suppress for years started to inch their way towards the surface. Sadly, with so much contained inside, it was the perfect recipe for a giant eruption that I wouldn’t be able to stuff back down.
Then it happened.
One day, I found the seams of my emotions bursting, and being unable to hold back anymore, they unleashed. I realized it was time to recognize the anger and sadness that I had hid away in the dark corners of my mind for so long, but the problem was that I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be sad or angry; it’s not good to be sad or angry.
But then I realized…I was entitled to those emotions. It was okay to feel mad and upset and sad and frustrated and hurt. After all, these feelings are totally normal responses to events that we experience in our lives, and we deserve to allow ourselves to feel those emotions. Those are our feelings. They are neither right nor wrong; they just are. And we have every right to have them.
Furthermore, I realized that if I didn’t address these issues within myself, it was only going to cause me more harm in the end; it would be detrimental to my mental health and overall happiness in life. It was crucial that I deal with my problems.
So I decided to confront my problems head on. And I did. I started by talking to one person in my life about what I was mad and hurt about. I had never opened up in this way before in my entire life, and it was not easy by any means, particularly when confronting the very person that hurt you. But I was honest about what they did that hurt and worried me. As I was sitting there, being incredibly open, and vulnerable, I explained my troubles and watched as the person listened to me. After a great deal of opening up and revealing all of the things weighing heavily on my heart and mind, the person understood my feelings. Then they apologized to me and tried to reassure me that they would always be there for me.
Feeling that my talk was rather successful, I decided to talk with another individual that had hurt me at some point. After discussing my concerns with them, they empathized with and validated my feelings. Most importantly, they apologized for doing the things that caused me pain, and told me that they would do better by me in the future.
I started to feel freer after letting so much out and finally coming to terms with all of the hurt that I had experienced. Even more, it meant a lot to hear the people that had hurt me say that they were sorry for doing what they did.
The more I let my feelings out, the better I began to feel.
I realize that I still have a ways to go before I truly feel that I have brought closure to all of the things that have weighed heavily on my heart and mind and that I spent years trying to repress. And that’s okay. This may be a process, but it’s a process of healing. And one day, I will be free of it all, and will be able to move on without anything hindering me or constantly nagging at the back of my mind.
But what I have learned so far is that we are entitled to our emotions; we have every right to have them and experience them. What’s more, by expressing them — letting the people who caused those feelings and emotions know how it has impacted us — we are allowing ourselves to become freer. We are beginning the process of closure and healing. And that is a beautiful thing.