Why bottling things up hurts nobody but yourself.

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This last week I’ve felt a significant weight lift of my shoulders, and you know why? Because I’ve TALKED to people. I’ve opened up about how I’m feeling to a few trusted sources, and regarding a few different things in my life, and it feels GOOD. As someone who is most definitely an introvert, and who enjoys solitary activities like writing, reading and listening to ‘depressing’ music, opening up to people doesn’t really come naturally. Sure, I might come across as an open book sometimes because when I’m feeling nervous I tend to overshare – but usually about trivial things like how long I’ve let my leg hair get before shaving (or other bodily functions… you get the idea). But when it comes to those terrifying innermost thoughts, the ones that are always there simmering under the surface, opening up to people can seem a little daunting – but in the end, SO worth it.

Everybody needs to vent about things from time to time – it’s how we connect as humans and discuss events / people / behaviours, and come to understandings of situations in our mind. After the year I’ve been through, I strongly believe that having someone you can talk to whether that be a paid professional, family member or friend, is absolutely necessary to maintaining your mental health. As the past few years of stress started bogging me down (work related, relationship related and health related), I really began to ball up all my feelings and thoughts into this anxiety ridden state of fear. Fear of change, fear of things remaining how they were, fear of what people would think of me – you name it, I was scared about it. I was completely and utterly stuck. I had a friend who was constantly telling me to go talk to someone, that it would help me figure things out. Of course, I didn’t listen to her at the time (because when do people ever do what they’re told, even when they know it’s probably right)? Ironically enough, that person and I are no longer friends, but I did go and start talking to someone and that small step of courage catapulted me out of my fear and into the light.

What I can say is this; no good will ever come from you trying to get through tough times on your own, and there is no defeat in asking for help. We aren’t built to withstand the storm alone – we live in communities where everyone has a story, and everyone has the ability to open up to each other. If you can see someone is going through a rough patch, kindly let them know that your arms are open. Gently push them in the right direction but remember, the choice to start talking is ultimately up to them and they must come to that decision of their own accord.

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
Herman Melville

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Photo credits – lauramakabresku & fihn

5 thoughts on “Why bottling things up hurts nobody but yourself.

  1. first of all, when youre talking about that time you actually find someone you can talk to who will listen, i agree with you that its an incredible thing. when youre still on the same page months later, even more incredible. ive had situations where someone will say “oh yeah, i know what you mean” and then when you say the same thing when you know each other better, they will argue with you.

    if youre autistic for example, a lot of people will start out saying they know what you mean, that they understand. later on, as they get to know you, they can become more and more condescending (and argue with and negate everything you say) and treat you increasingly like an idiot.

    a GOOD friend on the other hand– the sort thats trusted and too rare– will go in the opposite direction, treating you less like an idiot over time. i have learned from talking to autistic people that this sort is too rare, that im not the only one experiencing the increasing levels of condescension and negation– and finding people you can talk to who wont turn everything you say into an argument (based on the premise that they know anything at all what its like to be autistic) is not something only i have experienced– but that its common. so i still agree with what youre saying… but it REALLY really depends on the person youre confiding in. i dont tell everyone i meet… and sadly 9 times out of 10, i regret doing so. all the best.

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  2. I’ve found that writing a formal letter (like with pen and paper) helps. That way they can’t interrupt and people are so naturally curious, they will surely read it. Besides, writing it out, organizing your thoughts, helps you get it off your chest and onto the paper and sent off.

    Liked by 1 person

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