“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed.”

I have been thinking a lot lately about emotions (and not just because I had a lot of trouble with mine last week, either). I think I often detach myself from how I feel and overanalyze it. It’s one of the things that makes me fear I will never be a very good writer, because I am uncomfortable reading things I have written that are very emotional. I want things to wrap up simply, even though I know life isn’t like that. I look at (or even just think about) journal entries I wrote when I was angry or upset, and I cringe inside. If I was talking to someone else, I would say, “You shouldn’t be embarassed about your emotions. That’s how you felt at the time, and it’s valid that you felt that way.” But I don’t see it that way for myself. I just see overreaction.

I do have a tendency to get worked up over things, and I look back at most of those things and I feel ashamed. Mike and I were talking about one in particular last night, and how I am really embarassed about it and I feel that I overreacted. He completely disagreed that I should feel embarassed. It was helpful that he disagreed, and his argument made sense, but I guess I am still undecided. I wish my emotions were more moderate, but I don’t think that’s really the answer. Everyone has emotions, and everyone overreacts. It’s not realistic to think that I won’t. I think being more thoughtful about what I do with my emotions is the only realistic answer. I can’t wish the problem away – that’s not growth. That’s just suppressing, which is what I think I do too much of.

One of the things I have been trying to do to be more comfortable with my emotions is that I have been trying to crack fewer self-depricating jokes. It’s not a novel idea or anything, but I do often deflect seriousness with humor. I also use sarcasm as a wall to keep people away. I have been noticing how much I do that, and I have asked several of my friends to keep me accountable in that area.

I am encouraged that I have even realized these things about myself. I’m not completely stuck! I’m going somewhere! In the past few weeks it has felt as if my soul was waking up after a long dark winter. I am ready to start living again.

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