First things first: yes, I did totally rip off The Head and the Heart. I had to make sure that I changed it just enough so that we avoid getting sued, because we just don’t have that kind of money at the moment. Secondly, this is probably going to be the softest thing I’ve ever done. I’m not really sure what it is I’m hoping to accomplish by writing this, but it is a cathartic experience. As well-spoken as I like to think I am, I have a tendency to put my foot in my mouth. So, writing serves as a way of communicating that I can obsess over and ensure that every word is meticulous and will carry just the right amount of meaning. Because yes, I am that anal and am that concerned with how I sound.
The last two-and-a-half weeks have been hell on earth for me. And it sucks having to put on a face acting like everything is ok, to buck up and put my best foot forward. Because that is the absolute last thing I have wanted to do. I have so desperately just wanted to crawl into my bed, cry, and have someone stroke my hair and tell me everything is going to be ok. It’s senior year though, which means I have to cherish the moment and experience life to the fullest. But I’ve wanted this semester to be over as quickly as possible, not having to worry about school, finals, clubs, going out, friends, anything. I have just wanted to go back home and sit with my thoughts and feelings, free to process them and, more importantly, free to sob my eyes out in the privacy of my room.
Maybe it’s indicative of our culture, or maybe I just never learned how to do it properly, but I think that this is the first time in a really long time that I have actually taken the time to get in touch with my emotions. I was always so afraid of feeling anything negative, fearful of encountering all of the pain that existed in my path, that I just shoved it down. I suppressed it as much as I possibly could, and hoped that the lid would stay clamped shut. And I distracted myself. I ran myself into the ground with extracurricular stuff, despite the expressed concern of friends and family. I stifled ever feeling sad, ever talking about the negative parts of myself. Hell, even going to BC was a means of suppressing it. If I could get as far away from my emotions as physically possible, maybe I could leave them behind. Surprise, surprise, I’m stupid and that was the wrong line of thinking.
Those feelings never went away. They brewed, and they reared their head every time I tried to get close to someone. Shout out to anyone who has ever tried to get close to me, because I know that I have probably put you through hell. I’m sorry for that. I’m deeply sorry to everyone in my life that has ever tried to invest in me emotionally, and I’ve lashed out at you. If I’ve seemed distant or withdrawn and altogether not invested in you, that is not at all the case, and I know how it must have felt dealing with me. And I am so grateful to have you in my life. I am so grateful that you weren’t overwhelmed by me, because that has always been a very real fear of mine.
I am an incredibly needy individual. I am clingy, get way too invested into people, am uncertain about myself to a fault, and altogether just a great big jumble of anxieties. But I was always afraid of expressing all of that, because I did not want to seem like too much. I have a deep fear of being abandoned, of losing connection with people. It’s always been there, and is going to be there in some capacity I think for the rest of my life. It stems from a decent deal of traumas in my past: my father leaving the country when I was a kid, my mom almost being murdered, and some more. If you would like to chat about them because you care or because you want some support yourself for your own experiences, I’m here. Because feelings suck, and having someone be there with you can be uplifting in a way that isn’t even imaginable.
Confronting your emotions sucks. It is one of the most difficult things that I’ve ever done, and I would have preferred being shot in the foot than what I’ve dealt with these past couple of weeks. Letting the anguish and pain wash over me was too much, and I ended up having a panic attack on Sunday. It’s awful. It feels like you’re dying. If it’s ever happening to you, try to find someone who cares about you to talk you through it. It feels good to be in touch with your feelings, but getting to that point can be difficult. And I don’t honestly know if I’ve been able to fully get in touch with myself yet, which is terrifying and intriguing at the same time.
Get in touch with your emotions. Let the good and the bad ones come in, and be honest with how you’re feeling. Tell someone you care about that you love them. If you want to talk, I’m here, even though I am a voice over the internet. And to each of the loved ones in my life, I am grateful for you. I love you more than you can possibly imagine, and I cannot thank you enough for being a part of my experience. To those who don’t feel like that’s the case, I am so apologetic for driving you to that place. And I hope that I get the opportunity to prove you wrong.
All photos provided by the author.