So today a friend of mine at work was telling me about her daughter, and the past two days she had. This is not unusual, this particular co-worker often tells me about the goings on (at least some of) in her and her daughter’s lives.
So anyway, Monday was a pretty bad day for my friend’s daughter. She was stuck spending a lot of time with some relatives, most of whom were acting rather unpleasant and unreasonable pretty much the entire time.
This particular girl is very athletic, but was unable to use her normal means of venting frustration. She later told her mom that she ‘was so angry she ate her emotions’. That was how she dealt with the situation without losing her temper, by eating a lot of junk food.
Well, Tuesday was apparently not a very good day for my friend’s daughter either (for different reasons), but she was able to deal with it differently. She worked out for over an hour, then jumped rope for a while, and practiced foot work (she plays soccer. a lot). She said she felt a lot better dealing with her frustration by working out than when she dealt with anger by eating junk food.
But what she said about eating her emotions stuck with her mom, and with me when her mom told me about it today.
Everyone deals with their emotions in different ways. Some people talk, some work out. Some people eat, drive, work, drink, or just plain cry. Some people just bottle it all up inside until it explodes.
Me, well I rarely talk about my feelings, negative or otherwise. When I was in high school, I did sometimes use physical activity to handle frustration, but it wasn’t something that became ‘my thing’, if you know what I mean. I have also bottled up emotions once or twice (OK, a lot) until I found better ways of dealing with things. If you ever met me, you can pretty much tell I’m not in the habit of eating tons of junk food to suppress my emotions. I’m not a drinker. I almost never cry. Even as a baby I rarely cried. My mom has told me more than once that I was by far the most quiet of any of her 3 kids.
I say I never cry, but that’s not strictly true. I do cry when I’m sad, or angry, or frustrated, and sometimes even when I’m happy or excited. But not the tears one would normally think of.
I cry tears of ink that flow through my fingers, my pen, to glisten damply for a second or two until they dry and stain the page.
My tears don’t leak from the corners of my eyes
no salty tears slide down my cheeks or stain my pillow
My tears are ink and pour forth from my fingers
to moisten my page, the vessel of my sorrow.
I write my emotions.
Poetry, stories, ideas. Sometimes I draw, but either way, pen and paper (or my keyboard) are my therapist and medication. I often write to describe what I’m feeling, sometimes directly, sometimes using analogies and similes. (A lot of times using weather, or nature in general. I imagine there are as many different types of weather as there are emotions.) Sometimes I try to take what I’m feeling and change my view of it. I once started writing something I called “A Beautiful Emotion”. It was about sadness. It never really came together for me, I have not put it together into a finished piece, but it was still a way for me to explore my emotions, to look at them, myself, and the world in new ways.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with their emotions, pleasant or not. Hopefully, people will be able to find healthy ways instead of destructive ways, but everyone will find their own way.