The price of suppressing feelings

Though we try to conceal them, feelings accumulate to be the basis for our thoughts and actions.

For the majority of my life, I have suppressed my feelings. Sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose. I was under the assumption that I would be better off not sharing my feelings with other people. I even prided myself in not letting people see me cry, thinking that if they didn’t know, they would think I was a stable person capable of handling tough things.

In short, I didn’t want to be labeled as an emotional person. I didn’t want guys to pinpoint me as a flighty, hysterical, girly-girl. I saw the extreme of a girl screaming in a chick-flick about a guy who recently dumped her, tear-stained with pitiful despair. So I went to the other extreme.

For a while, it wasn’t so bad. In my head, I was the tough girl who could be trusted to handle stressful and difficult situations. Sometimes, that was accurate. But as a preteen, not much can go wrong. I didn’t really have a lot of training for when things got more difficult, and my emotions began to amount to more than I could handle.

Emotions began to build up, adding on top of ones that I had previously hidden from other people. Eventually the basin, a place where I put my emotions in the hopes of me not having to touch them, was overflowing.

This was a problem, but I understand that people have much bigger problems. My problem of not dealing with emotions in no way minimizes the struggle that people have with depression, or other emotional afflictions.

But for me, this was a problem that I needed to deal with. Thankfully, it was not a process. I couldn’t even tell you a specific time when the switch flipped, but it flipped. I realized that by suppressing my emotions, I was robbing myself of the revitalizing joy that came with being honest.