Mending, But Never Broken

Over the years, I've heard people refer to themselves or to others as being "broken". When we refer to ourselves or others as being "broken", it seems strange to me. Humans can't "break".  I have referred to my heart "being broken" before to be metaphorical, but it was never actually physically broke. We can break a leg, our arm or some other part of our body (yes, our heart can "break" too, but that's when it needs surgery), but we can't be broken as a human.

I think humans mistake healing and being "on the mend" from pain, as being broken. If you are reading this and think you are broken, think again. You are not. You are experiencing feelings bubbling to the surface, which is 100% NORMAL.

So many people despise feeling their feelings. "Feeling the feels" (as I call it) makes humans super uncomfortable. As soon as many feel the feelings bubble up inside, they push them way down deep. This ends up repressing them. When you repress feelings for too long, they can explode in horrible ways.

I didn't grow up in a house where you were allowed to "feel the feels" or express your feelings. When I was sad, I was told to "put my glad pants on". When I talked too much (because that's how I let out my feelings and expressed myself, surprise, surprise), I received the "motormouth award". If you received the motormouth award title, you were made to stop talking or you got grounded. (If there was an award for being grounded, I would have won hands down every day). When I was scared, I was laughed at (usually by my stepmother as she stood over my tiny hunched up body in the hallway, refusing to let her to grab me, as she often did). When I wrote my feelings in a journal, they were found by my parental figures and I was told I was lying. I was not.

Interesting concept to think about......who really was lying to themselves......?

Because I was raised to suppress my feelings and wasn't able express myself, it came out in not so healthy ways. I had an eating disorder, I came home SUPER drunk one night at age 16 (oh yes, a three month grounding occurred with that one, but no actual help, counseling or talking about it because I was just a rotten, sneaky girl, according to my stepmother), and I did anything I could possibly do to not be at home.

I suppressed my feelings for a very long time until I got counseling and help on my own in college. Whenever times got tough again as an adult, I went to therapy again. I went on depression medication a couple of times as an adult, but only to help through some very rough times. After having a great talk with my doctor a couple of years ago, she helped me understand that I should not be on anti-depressants forever. She fully believed therapy and counseling could help, and it did.

Through therapy, I learned how to talk about my feelings in healthy ways. Maybe this is why I am able to be so open now about my life and how I feel now. I believe we all need to stop suppressing our feelings and emotions. We need to allow our feelings to come to the surface, deal with them (mending!), and let them naturally flow away. This is what it is like to be human. Humans have feelings and need to be able to express them. This is the only way humans can experience life in the best way possible. Humans will never be "broken".

By the way, I would totally give myself the motormouth award again today. I would give it to myself over and over again. It's cool to me now because I have turned it into a positive award. Talking is cool. It's how I mend.

 Art by Carolyn J. Braden

Art by Carolyn J. Braden