I got to a section in the WE book that explained how in order to heal we need to notice what is hurting us, call it out, feel it, and then let it go. This was life changing for me because I have spent my life avoiding all of those things. My behavior instead would be out of control as I tried to hold in my feelings. I wanted to believe that if you ignored or avoided something long enough it would just go away…FYI, it doesn’t.
I would stuff the feelings, numb the feelings with food or distraction, or sometimes completely dissociate from the feelings and pretend they didn’t exist. These avoidant behaviors usually caused me physical pain in some area of my body and they certainly caused me to have anxiety and act out. I recognized that my crutches were most likely hurting me more than the actual feelings would so the next time I was triggered by something I stopped and got quiet and focused on it.
I figured out what it was and then let the feelings come and then I released it. As terrified as I was at the time to actually challenge these beliefs, I survived and I actually felt better. No erratic behavior. No acting out. No chaos. No losing days, or longer, to a game addiction or whatever I could throw myself into to distract me. In a matter of a few minutes, I felt better. I went and shared what had been bothering me with Rob and Molly like an actual adult. I trusted the process enough to try it and it worked. Not that I wouldn’t regress a million times going forward, but I’m so much better at it now and am building the muscle memory so that I process as it comes and I’m not holding onto pain. Notice that something is bothering you. Name what it is. Feel it. And let that shit go. Sometimes bravery is facing what you’re avoiding.