5/2/21: Keeping Feelings Inside Only Gives Them More Power

Another on the long list of things I wish knew as a kid.

Growing up in the 80s/90s, therapy wasn’t exactly the most common practice. I’d heard OF it, but really the closest thing we had to knowing something like it was even available to us was the Guidance Counselor’s office in school. And the way that office was explained to us- it was the place where “the bad kids” who acted up in class, “had” to go, for behavioral issues.

With everything going on in my head from my brother being sick all those yrs, I certainly had a good amount of those “difficult feelings” I shared on this pic, swirling arnd in my head. Lots of- what if scenarios that take your mind to some dark places.

But bc I didn’t know what therapy actually was, this was my rationale: Even if I go to someone like a Guidance Counselor, what could they possibly say to me that would help me better understand what was going on in my OWN head?

I thought sessions w any type of professional would involve them trying to figure me out…& it didn’t make sense to me, that if I couldn’t figure out these difficult thoughts/feelings that I was having every single day, on my own, there was no way an outsider could shine light.

Maybe part of it also, was the way that therapy was depicted in the comics, cartoons, & sitcoms: laying on a couch & having your brain shrunk.

I wish I instead knew, what I know now – sharing thoughts & feelings outwardly, is less abt “being figured out” & more abt a sort of pressure release valve, that creates head space, & allows you not to perseverate abt them over & over again – allowing them to take up even more precious real estate.

The linearity of it (even if oversimplified) makes more sense to me now. I understand that there’s this finite capacity for emotional energy & the more we open up (even write/journal) the less we obsess/over analyze, & the more room we create for more productive thoughts/feelings.

We need to give ppl this knowledge so they feel incentivized to open up. But what tools can help w that, if most ppl’s answer to: “How are you doing?” is “Fine”?

Excited to explore that this month. #AreYouFineWithFine? I’m not!

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