Healing Emotional Avoidance: Why I Love When People Call Me Dramatic
My heart warms when people call me dramatic and I will be the first to admit I can be a touch over-emotional, and yes you called it sensitive. But, all I hear when people say this is; in tune, expressive, and emotionally intelligent. I will be that friend that asks you " But how did you feel about that?" Or- "Let's make space for your feelings today" And let's be honest you need those kinds of people in your life.
Trust me I was not always like that and it took so much work to get there. It still takes work.
For the longest time, my eating disorder was my biggest coping mechanism. Using it often and without realization to avoid emotions and self soothe, I would push down feelings of anxiety, rage, depression, and even happiness if I felt it wasn't deserved. This became such a natural thing I was unable to sit with any emotion or even define what I was feeling at all. I would immediately avoid it and restrict my food intake to try and gain control.
Through recovery, I was able to learn emotional identifiers and how to sit with emotions, even the not so fun ones and sit with myself. Eventually, I learned how to enjoy emotions.
Now, I am at a point in my process where if I do not immediately express myself I feel stifled- this also has its issues that I am working through.
Here are some of my thoughts on how to heal from emotional avoidance
1. Listen to your mind and body.
Be mindful of the emotions that are building up. Stay focused and present at the moment, if you can remove yourself from the situation and give yourself the time and space you need alone in order to reflect on how you are feeling. Try to use as many words you can to describe your feelings, write them down if you can. What is causing these emotions? Remember to be honest and kind with yourself, no emotion is good or bad- remove all judgment, you deserve this space.
2. Allow yourself to express these emotions naturally.
Do you feel like screaming? Crying? Laughing? Taking a jog? Or a long shower? Do it without judgment. Remember to be kind and compassionate with yourself. Treat yourself how you would a friend and allow your body to process these emotions naturally and safely.
3. Communicating your emotions.
Expressing yourself is strength. Journal your emotions or head to a mirror and talk to yourself. Just hearing the words out loud can be healing. If you are able to find someone you trust, open up and practice this vulnerability with a friend, partner or loved one. No matter how you come, come as you are.
My recovery hasn't been perfect. I have been known to throw myself in a rage, misdirecting my emotions towards others, oversharing, or expressing emotions instead of identifying them first.
But allowing myself to be open and vulnerable has been a journey that has healed me in a way that has changed my life, my relationship with my body and myself that I wouldn't change.
I hope you can share with me how you connect with your emotions. I would love to talk about it with you.