Stuffing our feelings is like having an internal trash compactor. We mash our feelings because they are overwhelming, we just can’t deal with them at the time, or we don’t want to deal with them at all. You guessed it, the trash compactor eventually fills up. Just like the compactor, when we stuff our feelings over and over again, we fill up. It’s like the saying, I’ve had it up to here! The compactor in a kitchen gets emptied, but what happens to all those feelings we’ve stuffed? The next feeling we want to stuff has nowhere to go except up and out.
When this happens we could have angry outbursts, or act out inappropriately, including obnoxious behavior. Some us may become depressed. Others may seek relief in the form of drug or alcohol abuse. They may have been stuffing their feeling since childhood, and don’t realize they are doing it.
When we are sober we need to become cognisant of our feelings, and not stuff them. For one, being aware of our feeling can help prevent us from having a slip or a relapse. Another reason is the need to honor and accept our feelings. When we face our feelings we can let them run their course. When we stuff them, they just stay mashed in with everything else and our growth and potential are stifled.
It’s normal not to want to face difficult feelings. Some of us are afraid we could lose control if we let our feelings live in the open air. We think we could have a breakdown, or burst into an uncontrollable rage. If we harbor a lot of unresolved feelings, we would do well to seek counseling. A therapist has the education and skills to help you deal with and release your feelings in safety.
Think of your pent-up feelings as a big balloon. If you stick in a pin, the balloon whips around in a frenzy. A therapist can help you slowly release the air. In therapy, you’ll learn to recognize coping skills for your feelings. Being able to cope with your feelings instead of stuffing them down could strengthen your mental health.
“It is not our exalted feelings, it is our sentiments that build the necessary home.”—Elizabeth Bowen
Infinity Malibu’s vision is to help clients tap into their infinite potential to create a future of lasting and beneficial change. Among the many benefits at our rehab is helping you connect and build trust with therapists, explore healthy coping strategies, and build a sustainable recovery. Set your course today for freedom from addiction by calling 888-266-9048.