You know the pain. The mental and emotional annihilation. When your stomach drops and your heart tightens. It happens to everyone. Multiple times. Throughout your life, that feeling will waver and heighten over and over again. It will occur in friendships, romances, with peers, in the workplace, around strangers, and every other type of setting where you’ve put yourself on the line in someway. Those experiences take a toll on the broken bodied in more dramatic ways.
We don’t casually feel the physical effects of an emotional hit. We FEEL the hit. That stomach dropping moment turns into a day’s worth of nausea and vomiting. A tightening chest causes real palpitations. The flush and surge of adrenaline rolling through becomes a trigger for full-body autonomic dysfunction. Stress and nervousness about the future becomes migraine fuel. Tingling skin and feeling weighed down manifests in severe pain and amplifying any formally quiet symptoms.
Our mental health is already precarious. We work hard, every single day, to maintain positivity and a good attitude. Facing a reality of perpetual pain and constantly evolving symptoms, takes a lot of energy. When we can engage with people, we put everything we have into the relationship. Even the temporary or work-centric ones. They get every bit of us that isn’t focused solely on survival. We push down symptoms and find solace in sharing ordinary interactions with others. Relishing those moments, we also open ourselves to excessive damage.
Our tolerance for pain is high. Living in anguish is nothing new. When an emotionally traumatic moment happens, that already full system overflows. The small wave of embarrassment and associated physical manifestations that an average person experiences, is our flood. We grasp onto buoys of normalcy. Those daily symptoms look so safe and predictable! But, being swept away by our hijacked physiology doesn’t leave much hope for floating peacefully above the fray.
We have to relax into the mess. Feel all the feelings. Acknowledge the physical turmoil. You won’t drown. Practice finding microseconds of control. If it means talking to yourself, praying, meditating, sleeping, eating a comfort food, crying, laughing, or whatever. Find those moments and start making them larger. Let them take up the spaces that have been destroyed. Find comfort in old symptoms that pop back up. Watch yourself even out and get back to your baseline. You are getting stronger.