Sometimes I have to force myself to feel the feelings. I get used to living in a sort of disconnect day to day so that I can function. Part of this is because of my job. Working around death on a regular basis slams you face first into reality and it's hard not to live in the delusion of immortality that we kind of need in order to live our lives. So you learn to disconnect a bit. This has been getting MUCH harder lately and I have been struggling through some pretty intense existential issues. But beyond that... some of us just can't function if we allow all the feelings to be felt. Be it past hurts or being overly sensitive (or both), we push things aside with the intention to deal with them later. These are a few of my reasons for putting my feelings on a shelf:
1. If I felt all the feelings that come at me each day, I would never get anything accomplished apart from wallowing in all the feelings. I feel everything. And I over analyze everything, too. It's not the best recipe for productivity. I can easily become paralyzed by my thoughts and feelings.
2. Sometimes the feelings are lies. And the more you listen to them, the worse everything looks and feels. It can take a little time and distance to differentiate what feelings are real and what are missiles directed at you from the enemy. Sometimes distance isn't a bad thing.
3. Feeling the feelings is hard. And exhausting. And it hurts... a lot.
All day I have been in a funk. I wanted to have a good cry, but didn't have it in me to let the feelings come. Finally, as I sat in the bathroom earlier (with small kids, sometimes that's the only place to get 5 minutes alone... and sometimes that doesn't even work) I had to say to myself repeatedly, "It's okay to feel the feelings, Jo. Feel them. Accepted them. Let them out. And then move on." And I did... sort of. 5 minutes isn't exactly adequate time to deal with everything that came at me this week. But it's a start. And I'll get back there again. Because if I don't, I will end up curled up in bed unable to move or feel or do anything at all. And it will get much worse before/if it gets better.