Let me start by reassuring you, I am a self-diagnosed emotional mess. When I was 5 my mom took my to the Dr. because I essentially cried too much and in odd situations. (Like birthday parties, attention, getting in trouble, loud noises, yelling, other people crying, embarrassment, sad movies, happy movies, not being understood….how about, you name it) The Dr. reassured her this was a common side effect of very empathetic and compassionate people. What he did not do, was give her nor I any coping tools with the issues to come as I got older.
Let me share a quick story to see if this will help you understand my level of emotional wreck-ness.
My daughter goes to day care, she got a new Leap Frog Epic and she had been bringing it for a few days and I thought we should probably ask and see if this is something they allow at day care. So the next day I walk in and she has it in her hands and I ask “This whole tablet thing is your guys’ call. Please feel free to let us know if this is something you don’t want her bringing.” Well they were both quick to tell me “This is NOT something we allow and it causes other kids to want to bring things from home”. I went into my number 1 and biggest defense mechanism, I’M SO SORRY. The pathetically apologizing over and over again. This is something I will do even if YOU bumped into me in line at the grocery store. Then get this, as I am saying sorry for the 60th time, I start feeling that stiffening in my throat and my head starts getting that aching feeling like tears are about to start spraying from my eyes, nose, and ears. I am repeating in my head ‘Chanel, don’t you dare start crying…you are a joke. This is a joke. Don’t cry, it’s okay, it’s okay. Oh look at the little boy who just tried to kiss his little girlfriend. CUTE HOW CUTE. Focus on that.’ Long story short, I left there escaping a catastrophe and I did not cry, but I am pretty sure they knew I was going to. Because I ran away like I just got a phone call my dog was ran over. Let me remind you, incase you forgot. I AM THE ADULT, this happened just a short few weeks ago. This didn’t happen in Kindergarten when I missed my Mommy. No this happened when I AM the mommy and my child could care less.
The moral and point of this story is, I was not feeling this way because they weren’t allowing my daughter to have her tablet, it wasn’t because I was mad at them for denying us. I was embarrassed. I felt like we had been breaking some rules the last few days, I felt ashamed or as if they knew this was bothersome but didn’t say anything and instead we annoyed them every time we brought the tablet in. I felt foolish for letting my daughter do something without asking permission. In that moment, I wished we would have just left the tablet at home from the beginning. All of THESE feelings were making me want to cry.
I carry an incredible amount of emotional weight, guilt, and responsibility with every situation I encounter. This causes me an enormous amount of emotional anxiety. I am here to tell you a few things but if you get anything out of this article, you are not alone. I am right here with you.
1.) Understand Your Triggers
As humans and adults, we know what triggers us and sets us off. We know physical triggers when the stove is hot we don’t touch it. We even are aware of second hand emotional triggers such as, if the baby is crawling put up the baby gate. That doesn’t even involve us, but we know emotionally it would hurt to see a baby get hurt. Did you know our emotional and physical pain are tied to the same mental releases. Mine would often be, crying and apologizing. You have to know these triggers before you begin and art form of reformation.
Understanding who and what has control in this world was and is my biggest saving grace. Who are you givning control to? If you give too much controls to the wrong people, you’re in trouble. I had to come to terms that I cannot control other people and what they think and how they act. If I could, I would be having everyone be being kind to each other, even if it was fake. I would have everyone go through their homes and find things they don’t need to give to shelters. I would have children be therapists. But, I can’t control that. I can control how I make other people feel, what I give to others, how I react.
3.) Becoming SELF-ish
I use that word self-ish hyphenated and with a lot of reservation. Being sensitive and selfish do not go hand in hand. It is like oil and water. I felt so selfish for beginning to focus on myself and my emotional needs. But if I continued down the path of expending my energy on people who trigger me. It would become a cyclic destruction of my life and my well being. Listen, emotional needs are in my opinion, equally as valuable as needs like water and food. If we don’t have our physical needs met we lose weight, become malnourished, and then go crazy and die. Because if your brain doesn’t get the nutrients it needs it will fall off of it’s rocker. Your mental state is strictly derived from your emotional state. So you have to get your emotions understood, under control, and put energy into getting better for you. No really, if you can’t get to this step you will never get out of this emotional roller coaster. If you can get through each of these steps you will be enjoying the emotional coaster rather than dreading it. Because let’s face it, life has an ebb and flow that we cannot re-create, it is a part of something more than us. We just have to have the tools to accept and enjoy it. Learn to value how you’re feeling and honor it.
Once you have started focusing on yourself and loving who you are create a mantra. You don’t need to tell me, this is yours. I personally think it makes it more powerful if you’re the only one who knows it. Think of your deepest insecurity. Mine is, the fear of someone not liking me. And encompass that in your mantra. My mantra is, I am loved and a wonderful person who has a wonderful life. I am so thankful. It is quick but more than anything it is positive and grounding and something I can repeat when I am feeling like I am becoming emotionally overwhelmed. It can change depending on your setting. I know I have a few people that I HAVE to be around that cause me a lot of emotional stress. I will say something like I have a lot of people who love me and those are the people I am giving my energy to. or I cannot control others only myself. Get a mantra (or a few) and when you feel that feeling in your gut where your nerves are flying around and your shaky and nervous repeat the best fit mantra. I know for me I sometimes have to take a potty break and go stare at myself in the mirror and repeat it. It helps I promise! Be wary of doing this in a public bathroom.
This is the last and final point and I left it to be last for a reason. It is so important. Whether you believe it or not, you have energy it is your inner thoughts, your outer thoughts, your emotional welfare, it is those personality traits you have had since you were 4 years old that just makes you who you are. It is all of those things and you have to know that your energy is VALUABLE. It is like un-see-able gold. Literally gold. If you put all of your energy into the negative people who make you feel like crap (most likely because they do), you have then expended all of that energy into them versus your wonderful husband and sweet children who think you are God’s gift to earth. I know for me when I become entranced into those people, I am easily agitated, I am absent from dinner conversations, because my mind and my heart and my energy are there with those people. That is not fair to those we love and it is not good for your emotional well being.
When you find yourself going to that dark place and your becoming consumed by negative thoughts and energy put out your hand and get your five fingers up and check in with your self. 1. Triggers 2. Control 3. Self 4. Mantra 5. Energy. Breath and conquer that shit!
Lastly, like I said, these are just things that helped me become a more balanced person emotionally and mentally. It well rounded me into a better mom and wife and I hope you know you’re not alone. Have a wonderful day my sweet, sensitive, happy, compassionate people that this world truly needs.