I have always thought of myself as an emotional detached person. I thought that this was a good thing. I did not cry in emotional situations, I kept my cool when arguing a position, I let cruel comments about myself and others go in one ear and out the other. Nothing affected my emotional state other than if I was exhausted or anxious. The situation had to be severe. When I was swimming I would get very nervous, it was half of an adrenaline rush and the other half was a fear of not being able to breathe when I needed to, which resulted in sporadic episode of panic and discomfort, yet still those would only last for a few minutes and I would move on as nothing happened. I did not think emotions were necessary. I did not want to need it or have it present in my life. I have always considered myself a happy individual, who looks forward to getting up each morning and then going about my day. As I have grown to the person I am today, I have noticed that all those year of not dealing with my emotions is coming back to get me in full force. I am unprepared when I feel sad and start to have tears on my face. I am stunned when my heart pounds so quickly when I have a situation of anger and frustration. I am tired of just denying how I feel and when I feel it. I am accepting that it is okay to feel, yet I still question what I am going to do when certain situations arise.
You know that feeling deep down in your chest, you know that one that is there to tell you something you have not been ready to face quite yet? Yes, you know. I chose to ignore it most of the time. It is not what I should do, but it is this automated response to when I should be telling myself, ‘Kelsey, listen, slow down, take a second to breathe.” I suppress this feeling to an extreme and it builds up over time. Over that time I tend to just keep filling this hypothetical bucket, you know like the ones at the pool that you never know when they are going to tip but then they dump on top of you in a sudden splash of icy water-maybe your water park didn’t have this? That is how this bucket of imaginary emotions fills and I never really know when its going to dump out. It is a much bigger bucket to fill, yet it has its tipping points. When this tipping point comes, I start to feel the last thing that I push side. I feel the weight and I see the rest slowly starting to spill in a steady stream. Then it gets past this angle where the emotions simply cannot stay in anymore and I refer to this as the dumping point. Laugh as you may, yet it is true. The rest of the emotions like the water in a bucket does not just controllably pour, it dumps with nothing else at the bottom, but I am also not a bucket. So there is this thing left that feels a bit empty and cold, and I think this feeling is loneliness.
Loneliness and being alone are two different things. Being alone is truly not having someone around to be with. Lonely is this feeling of being alone, yet there are still people around that care and want to help. I think this is how I get out of this feeling. Having people around who consistently remind you of how much you are appreciated and wanted is one of the best supportive measures I have come across. In the moment it may sometimes feel intrusive and unnecessary, yet when I feel this sense of loneliness I can think back to when a friend said, “I’m here for you,” or “I want to make sure you are okay,” or “Come by this event, I would love or you to come.” All these things help, and get me out of this sense of being by myself. People create this sense of belonging and this is powerful in a time where you do not know where to go next.
I do not have a solid plan of how I get out, yet I know what makes me happy. I am happy being around friends, I am happy when I have a weekend home. I am happy when I am reading a classic book with a glass of Rosso in the fall. Happiness is a feeling I never turn away or push off to the side. I embrace it, I enjoy the laughs that make my muscles work so hard I am sore the next day and I live to make the most out of every smile. I remind myself that I have overcome everything that has come my way and I look for a light even in the darkest of moments. I do not know about you, but there is much more to see in life than looking into darkness. Find the happy things, and hold on tight, its a wild ride, yet completely worth it.