This is something I’ve been working on for a long, long time. I still need to revisit it from time to time, especially when dealing with either my depression, my anxiety, or both.
Sometimes I struggle with it more in some moments, not because of my own mind, but because of the reactions of others if I bring up something negative that is going on, or something I’m feeling that is negative, or some kind of issue I need to bounce off someone, or even something that isn’t that huge of a deal and I just mention it off-hand to someone, and their response is just so negative in return that it throws me for a loop for a while.
Toss into that mix the ridiculous amount of brain power and time I spend re-playing conversations in my head, or the things I would have said had I had the opportunity, or had thought of it at the time, or just plain wished I said but bit my tongue.
These are often times when I realize that I forget that lots of people’s brains and thought processes just do not work the way mine does, and I shouldn’t dwell on their reaction, because they don’t always know exactly where I’m coming from in the moment.
There are many things I try very hard, every single day, not to dwell on. Some days are easier than others, depending on my “levels” that day (hormones, depression, anxiety). The days where it’s easy are the days I long for. I wish they were in the majority, not the minority. Yet another thing for me to occasionally dwell on. The list gets vast.
But… all said, I’m definitely getting better at reminding myself not to dwell.
The next step that I’m actively starting to realize is to communicate my feelings in some way, either here, or to my husband, or to a friend, in order to at least release that energy out into the universe and rid my body and mind of it, at least for a while. The release is something I’ve struggled incredibly with for a long time, and it’s something I have just plain forgotten for far too long.
That brings me often to dwelling on feeling like I’m a burden on those around me, because of the things I struggle with internally. I feel like if I go through a period where I am consistently needing to release something stressful, anxiety-ridden, or worrying that I’m slipping into depression, that I’m just going to drag everyone down around me. I dwell on thinking that the only way a conversation pertaining to those things can only go down, and not end in a place where I’m actually doing better than I was when I started. Which, intellectually, I know is a fallacy.
I dwell on being “too needy”, not independent enough, too emotional, too unstable, not actually capable of adulting, even though I manage it without any major disasters every single day.
I’ve too often forced a smile onto my face, bit back the tears, and swallowed the rising lump and bile in my throat, so I don’t make anyone’s day worse than it might already be.
I don’t want to be “that guy”, so they say.
And perhaps because of that, because of the standard that I’ve managed to create in my own life, it can often feel like I’m not allowed to feel my feelings. I’m not allowed to break down. I’m not allowed to get frustrated and huff.
Do I need to find better ways to handle my emotions? Absolutely. No doubt in my mind. But I also need to feel like I’m allowed to feel my feelings without repercussion, as long as I’m not taking it out on someone. I want to be told (pretty much like a child) that it’s ok to feel mad about something. It’s ok to feel sad about something. It’s ok to feel anxious about something. It’s ok to feel frustrated over something. I want to know that it’s ok. That I’m not less of a person for it.
I also need to communicate when I start feeling this way. I know that. And I’m certainly trying. Perhaps the key (sometimes) to not dwelling, is to talk. To put a name to the emotions.