When we are in emotional pain or turmoil why is it that we generally keep it to ourselves? We have a well-used phrase for this – suffering in silence. If we keep our emotional issues private that action is based on another emotion – embarrassment or a deeper one – shame.
In society there are “just some things you don’t talk about”. We make excuses for keeping silent:
- What will the neighbors think?
- This is a family issue.
- This is my problem and no one can help me with it.
If we are physically hurt do we not seek help or talk about the wound or the broken body part? Yes, you may feel silly that you chose to do something that caused you to become injured but you move past that feeling, seek the help you need and perhaps later you can laugh at your folly and maybe even learn something from the experience. At other times we wear our scars as badges of honor.
At one time people with physical difficulties were excluded from society. Now, by having talked about it we are making inroads to providing easier access for them. At one time those with delays in mental capacity were hidden away but now through the advocacy of family members more opportunities for development and life enhancing experiences are available. Deeply emotionally troubled individuals still have trouble getting the help they need.
When we have emotional issues we still don’t want to talk about them. As humans we are meant to experience as much of life and living as we can. This includes physical experiences such as riding a bike or going on a hike and mental experiences such as artistic creativity or solving a math equation. We also experience a full range of feelings from deep sadness to blissful elation. All of our physical, mental and feeling experiences are meant to flow one from the other.
If we become stuck in one it can become an addiction. If our only physical activity experience is watching movies we limit ourselves. If our only mental activity is doing crosswords or playing a computer game we limit ourselves. If we are focused on one emotion we limit ourselves. Any time we limit ourselves we do ourselves no favors.
If we find that most of the time we feel very sad or depressed it is time to seek assistance and talk about it. It is just as important to do so if the emotion one is stuck in is anger or frustration. The same is true about being constantly in worry, distrust or pessimism. When we feel we must always ‘prove our point’ or ‘be right’ we are caught in an emotion we might classify as egotistical. We can also be addicted to feeling excited or happy constantly seeking experiences that thrill and we can be addicted to just feeling good finding that in alcohol or drugs.
We all have emotional issues. Bringing those difficulties into the open at first can seem to bring more pain. Compare this to putting antiseptic on a bleeding cut. That stinging sensation is an indication that healing has begun. Once you have acknowledged what is there bringing it to the open can start with journaling about it. There are many trustworthy individuals one can approach such as professional counselors, religious leaders or good friends when one is ready to discuss an emotional issue. Suffering in silence does not heal. Talking about it begins the healing process.