how to process emotions

processing emotions + a year clean

I was just listening to Joyce Pring’s podcast about processing emotions, and I thought what’s a better way to start this month than getting in touch with our emotional and mental state.

“How do you process your emotions?”

I’ve always been vocal in my blog posts about my mental health and how I can be overly emotional sensitive. Most of the time, I can’t really control it that I can go to the extremes – from hasty decisions to irrational thoughts that lead to self-destructive actions. What comes next is regret and then self-pity. Self-victimization is real, too. I’m still learning how to breathe amidst it.

Last month, I was finally a year clean. I won’t go explicit about the gory details, but it is what it is.

I want to look back on how I used to process emotions before. Do I really process it, or I just buried it inside that everything is now bubbling up? Do I always let my emotions control me? I think… yes.

I was thinking when did my mental health start to deteriorate. As a kid, I would always think, “Would anyone cry if I’m gone?” Such such terrible thoughts. I don’t know why I had that in the first place. It’s not like I lack attention or anything. My parents, even though they are not emotionally nurturing, have always been good. I think this is the part of me that I buried deep that I can no longer find it. These are the emotions that are long gone, but obviously manifesting physically and mentally somehow.

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At young age, we have always told that it’s a phase. It has always been a joke during our teenage years – the emo days. Until you grow up and you realised that you are just really… emo. But then, you don’t talk about it. You repress because no one ‘gets’ it. You resort to bands, books, and whatever medium where you can express yourself without actually talking about what’s inside your head.

But I’m done repressing emotions. It didn’t do me any good. I realised that I am more destructive when I bottle it in, so I cry. I always cry just to release it. I write. I isolate myself.

I isolated myself because I don’t want to be triggered. It is living on the edge. Every single thing is a trigger. I’m so scared that I will snap anytime; that I’ll lose my last string again. And it is no one’s fault that you can’t heal yourself. It is no one’s fault that you take things too personally because you already lost your logic.

In the podcast, it says: “Every action that you have is caused by your emotion.”

It was 2017 when I reached my breaking point. It was 2018 when I thought I already reached the rock bottom a year prior, but it seemed like the rock bottom has another rock bottom. It’s why I was gone for so long. I took a step back from my friends and relatives, my groups and community… everyone.

I was filled with too many emotions that I had to withdraw – completely. Despite knowing there are responsibilities, and that it’s crucial to stay present.

It was so hard to be mentally and emotionally be there for people. How can you be when you know you’re already empty inside? And it’s weird, especially if you used to always being there for others.

The thing with isolation is that you forget people as much as they forget you. It is really a lonely place. I’m trying so hard not to go back there. I hope you don’t reach that place. Human connection is important as much as we think otherwise.

In the podcast, it also says that we have two brains. One is the logical one where we think “I’m hungry,” and so the initial thought is to eat. The other brain is the one controlled by our emotions.

I’m still controlled by my emotions at some point, but I’m trying to be more present again.

I started going out, one group at a time.

Just recently, I met up with friends and acquaintances I’ve come to know through 5SOS. I forgot how they served as my solid ground when my home crumbled. I forgot how it made me feel so alive when there were events – either concerts or fan parties. They have so much energy that uplifts me up.

“Processing your emotion is knowing exactly why you are doing it (the action).”

I isolated myself because I’m not proud of the life I live. There is always this desire to prove yourself to others and the fear that you are not setting a good example. But fuck that. I just want to heal.

I’m still finding my way to redeem myself from the fall, and I feel like I’ve been saying that for the last two years without much progress. It’s still progress, though. Right? Trying to do things now, even if it’s not enough yet. At least, something is being done, right? Foundation is the hardest to build.

Healing isn’t linear. I’m writing this now because I know there will be days that I might relapse again. I want to immortalize these thoughts into words so I can have a reminder to myself. I hope that it can be a reminder to you as well – that emotions are fleeting, but our words and actions are not. I hope we can live with less regrets.

Also, I believe that if we can be mindful of our emotions, be in touch with it, we can react in a way that won’t destroy ourselves and others.

To summarize the podcast, this is how you process your emotions.

Break it down:
1.) This was the situation
2.) This was the action
3.) Why did the action happen?

I hope this helps! Don’t shy away from “vulnerability” a.k.a. our emotions. It makes us human. But let’s not be controlled by it either. Let’s try to find the balance. Let’s try to process our emotions healthily. I know it’s hard, but let’s try. Breathe. Happy 1st of August! ✨

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