“The feeling you are afraid to feel is ruining your life” Rhonda Britton
I spent years running away from my feelings. Years and years.
Alcohol, food, exercise and back to alcohol. Using any, and all, methods I could to squash my feelings so far down that I barely even knew how to feel any more.
Some call it self sabotage, I called it coping. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. I still don’t, but I’m getting closer.
Coping culminated in two near-nervous breakdowns, one year apart.
I didn’t face the feelings. I didn’t even consider it could be fear, or darkness, or depression. I focussed on what was wrong externally. I moved jobs.
A one year pacifier, until almost a year to the day I found myself back in the dark, back in the doctors and back on the phone to my mum saying “I can’t do this anymore”.
This time I had to look deeper. I had to dig underneath my obsession with food, with running, with drinking too much on a Friday night. I had to explore underneath the many drunken nights & the behaviour I had tried to wipe clean out of my own self-conscious history.
I had to find my feelings again. I had to learn to face my feelings without the distraction of food or alcohol. I had to be alone with my feelings, face them for possibly the first time in my life.
I had to face my fears, my faults & face up to a new way of life that I had begun to see might be possible for me.
Start small. Next steps.
We can’t change years of distracting ourselves from our feelings in one night (or from reading one blog post).
Rather than reaching for that glass of wine, or bar of chocolate when you’re next feeling sad. Notice how you are feeling, and sit with it. Ask yourself: what am I afraid to feel?
Why do you feel sad? Can you break down that sad feeling?
Are you feeling alone, insecure, not good enough?
Take a moment to acknowledge the feeling, express gratitude to yourself for noticing your feeling of sadness rather than running away from it. Now do something extra nice for you. That might be the glass of wine or chocolate after all, for me it’s a nice long bath with a glass of something sparkly and alcohol free, and painting my nails in my favourite colour.
What are you afraid to feel?
All my love, L xx