Emotions we experience in response to different situations, and people shouldn’t be ignored. They shouldn’t be diminished or rushed through to ease the discomfort of others.
We experience emotions for a reason. They are there to teach us something, to help guide us, and to help us experience life to the fullest.
If we didn’t have emotions, we wouldn’t be able to express ourselves. We wouldn’t be able to connect with others.
Sounds pretty terrible to me.
So why is it, when we are experiencing a traumatic situation, such as a breakup or a loved one passing, that some people want to rush us through what we are feeling?
They want to snap their fingers and magically fix us, as if we are broken. They want to help us get back to normal.
Sorry to say this, but after a traumatic experience, you don’t go back to the old normal. You create a new normal for yourself.
I think that is what scares people. Fear of the unknown is always unsettling. People don’t know where they are going to be in that person’s life anymore when their world changes.
I experienced the first major loss of my life in 2013. I was 22 and just graduated from college a few months before.
My mom experienced a freak brain aneurysm that left her basically brain dead. She passed a week later.
After this happened, I was obviously in shock. People were understanding and gave tons of love and support. I was in a daze, but I did notice and appreciate the efforts of those around me.
However, as time went on, people faded into the background. They had lives to get back to, and I understood. But my life was still a pile of bricks that I was trying to build back up.
Some of the people that stuck around remained understanding. They knew when I had to retreat into solitude for awhile, and they welcomed me with open arms when I came back to socialize when I was ready.
However, other people that were ready to move on wanted me to move on as well.
I wasn’t ready. I was made to feel bad for not being ready. I didn’t know what to think. My already exhausted brain couldn’t comprehend anything else, so I just went along with whatever was asked of me.
Let me tell you, that was NOT the way to go.
Grief, and any emotion you are feeling, can’t be rushed. No matter how much you want to be fine for everyone else, and even yourself, it can’t happen if you aren’t ready.
It’s okay to not be ready.
The thing about emotions and how we feel about things is that we need time to process. We need time to adjust. We need that time to think about how we want to proceed.
If that process is rushed, you might find yourself bumbling through new situations, not knowing what to do because you have no idea how to feel.
When we suffer traumatic situations, we need time to think, heal, and retreat until we are ready to venture back out into the world.
Because let’s face it, the world is challenging on a good day. Even worse on a day where you are emotionally drained and have no idea what to do or think.
Most of the time, our loved ones try to get us past bad experiences quickly, because they think that it will help us heal faster. Or, they want us back to normal because it will make them feel more comfortable.
In reality, it makes it worse and makes recovery even longer.
So, if you are healing from a traumatic experience or even a situation that has got you feeling a little down, give yourself time, love, and understanding. Do not follow someone else’s schedule.
Retreat into solitude or spend time with loved ones that understand and give you the space you need. Curl up with a book. Sleep more. Treat yourself to some coffee or a new book. Do whatever you enjoy doing.
Process your emotions and feelings. Do not rush the process. Allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel at that moment, and let it stick around as long as necessary.
You will know in your heart when you are feeling better and are ready to venture back out.
But please, if you are experiencing prolonged periods of depression, anxiety, or any other feelings that make you feel uneasy, consult with a mental health professional. There is no shame in that.
Going to therapy after my mom passed was one of the best gifts I could have ever given to myself.
Never be afraid to feel what you need to feel. There is no shame in the emotions and feelings that are part of life.