One of the challenges, for me at least, that comes with being a feeling personality type is when I have to stifle whatever I may be feeling at a given moment for social/professional reasons or for the sake of someone else. This usually happens in times of sadness, fear or worry. I have to swallow whatever I am feeling and push past the overwhelming surge of emotion that has bubbled up.
Over the years I have become skilled at doing this but no matter how good I get the same outcome is always inevitable; if I have to bottle up too much the bottle will overflow. When this happens I call it an emotional throw up.
You know that feeling of being ill and feeling queezy? You think to yourself, if I could just vomit you would feel better. It feels the exact same way. It starts with negative vibration inside of me, like all the bad I haven’t been allowing myself to feel has started banging around inside of me. This feeling won’t stop until I let it out. I need to cry. I need a good hard cry.
I don’t like to be around anyone when I know this is coming, I want quiet and solitude. I have been known to go into a dark closet and sit amongst the hanging clothes if I can find no other place to be alone. I just want to feel like I am the only person in the world at that moment. I need to feel exactly the way I want/need to feel without having to answer questions or have someone worry for me.
This is incredibly personal, more so than what I would normally share but it is what I feel compelled to write about today. Primarily because yesterday after work I needed an emotional throw up. There has been too much that I have had to push through and not feel in the last week and my sensitive system cannot handle all of the negative feelings it has been forced to hold back.
Todd’s lost a loved one over the weekend. That is where things began.
We spent the day with my family and did not leave my parents house until late in the evening. On the car ride home he offered to drive (we had taken my car). I thought this was unusual because we both kind of hate the long drive home from my parents house, I thought he was just being sweet. I know now it was because he was about to share bad news with me and because he knows that I am sensitive and emotional he did not want me to be driving when he did this. He made a good decision. I was surprised when he told me and did start to tear up but this was his loss not mine and I felt the need to be stronger for him and not give into the way I was feeling. Todd just lost someone, it didn’t seem fair that he should have to console me as well. In fact, it should be the other way around. The rest of the car ride home he talked and I listened.
The week started OK after our sad news, the days went by normally. Tuesday Todd called me on his way home like he usually does but this call was slightly different. Normally our after work call consists of him saying he is on his way home, me asking how his day was, him asking what is for dinner and me telling him I cant wait to see him. This time he asked if I had a few minutes to talk because he has to tell me something. That is how Todd starts bad news, “I have to (or I need to) tell you something”.. To hear those words twice in one week immediately rattled me. Without sharing too much he has a health situation we are having to deal with. I got off the phone with him and called my administrator to let her know I would not be in the next day so I could be with him while he has tests and appointments. He got home and I went into nurturing mode. My main concern was for him not to feel anxious or worried, the whole time pushing down those exact feelings in myself.
We got through the next day OK but no answers yet, there is more to do and it may be a little while before we know definitively what is going on. I have had to suppress all the nagging “what ifs” in the back of my mind in order to have a strong front for him and keep him from giving into the “what ifs”. Plus, I of course am trying to keep a positive outlook on the whole situation. It is so hard though because they are there in the back of my mind dancing around and begging for my attention. I would feel better just having a private moment to worry and cry and get it out of my system, knowing full well that he will be fine and this is just my anxiety kicking up.
The icing on the cake came at work last night. There were two instances of the wrong thing being done by two different patients. In both cases it was out of my hands to fix, it was bigger than me. Both instances came up at the end of my shift which is the worst because that is the note my day ends on.
I am always telling Todd when it comes to work I could have a great day and feel very fulfilled and successful with our patients but if something goes awry at the end of the day that is what I am left with. Just like I could have a terrible day with everything going wrong but if I have one good moment at the end that can change everything, especially my mood when I leave the office. That last half hour of my shift really affects me I guess.
I left work feeling defeated, helpless and frustrated. A very sour combination of emotions. When I stepped out onto the sidewalk I noticed the entire sky was flourescent pink and orange from the sunset, this lightened my mood slightly. I thought to myself, this is perfect I will just focus on the sunset while driving home. I drive west in the evening so I knew this would help distract me from what just happened. No such luck. By the time I was on my route home the sun was already beneath the horizon and the sky was black, appropriate I suppose given the way I was feeling.
Everything inside of me started banging around, the bad needed to get out and I needed to give in and let it. I knew this was the only way I would feel better. It was actually OK timing as well because Todd would not be home for another hour so I would have peace to let my emotions out finally. Again, no such luck. The tears would not come. I felt so bad and needed to release it but I couldn’t. I was thinking too much and not allowing myself to feel the way I needed to feel. It made me feel increasingly frustrated, I wanted all of this negativity out of me and this is the best way I know how. I felt bad, I needed to throw up.
When I got home I turned on the City and Colour Pandora station and started making dinner. Slowly the negativity began to just melt away until it was gone completely. Between the soothing music sung by forlorn poets and the catharsis of chopping vegetables (I chopped a lot of vegetables) my emotions were quieted. It wasn’t the release I intended but I was happy to feel soothed.
By the time Todd arrived home I felt better. All my bad was gone and I felt like myself again, playful and excited to see him.
This feeling of needing to expunge the negative feelings I’ve absorbed is not unique specifically to me. I know everyone feels this way, one can only endure so much before it becomes too much. I know my limits and I know what will make me feel better when I reach my limits, every person is different in that respect I suppose.