Climbing out of the hole

Climbing out of the hole

What a difficult month it’s been so far. There’s only one way I can describe it: intense. On Sunday, I spent some time reading about Mercury Retrograde and what it affects, then later told my mom over the phone that she needs to wait this period out. I don’t think MR affects me as strongly as other people in my life, but now I want to paint warning signs all over the people I love. For my mom: avoid travel and communication outside of your comfort zone. For a few friends: please stop having difficult conversations and ride out this period. Those conversations will go better in a few weeks.

For my part, intensity is playing out in not being able to go outside for days to protect my lungs, getting ready for surgery in two weeks, and planning to take the LSAT a few days later. I’ll be quoting one of my favorite movies, Legally Blonde, extensively for the next two weeks. (“You don’t want to go to law school. Law school is for boring and serious people, and you, sweetheart, are neither of those things.”) Also, my birthday is next week, and it’s the first time I really can remember that I haven’t had someone else pushing me to make plans—instead, I’ve made plans well in advance.

A fancy humidifier on a table.
And this fancy new guy is keeping the air in my room at a good level of humidity to help my lungs work

But I still have my fair share of psychological gunk that I’ve been avoiding, and I’m not sure how to approach it. I definitely have been avoiding my Tarot practice. Do you just… start despite the fact that it’ll end in tears? I don’t cry easily, I don’t cry well, I am not sure how to deal with feelings, really. I have an inkling if I keep these in any longer, though, something bad will happen. And I don’t want that.

How do you get past periods of intense feelings? Do you stay in, ignore it, and ride it out? That’s what I’ve done for a long time, to avoid triggering depression on top of it, but that doesn’t feel right anymore. It feels like if I ignore the feelings, they’ll explode. And I definitely don’t want that on top of everything.

Macro shot of four oranges in a bowl
Oranges brought home from California to remind me that I’m loved

So I’m a bit lost right now. I wish I could tell you that I’m on my way to finding my way, but I just don’t know if that would be right. Everything right now is too intense.

13 thoughts on “Climbing out of the hole

  1. I don’t know if this is helpful since it is one million percent easier said than done: but I’ve finally gotten to a place where when I’m feeling super intensely I just plain let it happen. I don’t judge it at all as a bad thing. I just experience it. I cry, I wallow, I grumble. And at the same time I keep in mind self-care. I cry and shower, I wallow and eat, I grumble and toss some clothes in the washer. (Now, this of course is not during a depressive episode when I can’t really do anything at all.) Like you said, things will explode if they stay bottled up. Your emotions are not bad things. You feel them, and you deserve to express and feel them thoroughly. Or else they’ll haunt you and then make you explode 😉

    I’m in the middle of feeling super duper angry and hurt right now. Occasionally I’ll think, “am I being just a tad unreasonable?” Then I remind myself that there are reasons I feel the way I do and that I am absolutely allowed to feel angry and hurt. It’s not the best time of my life, of course, but it’s much easier than fighting these feelings and judging them. So I’m feeling them and letting my brain do its undercover, unconscious work while I feel. That was rambly and possibly not helpful. If so, my apologies!

    Long story short, you’re definitely not alone and intensity can be really uncomfortable :p

    1. You’re right that that sounds a million times easier said than done, but it won’t hurt to try it. It’s better than letting feelings fester, right? Thank you for the comment – I’m going to be mulling over it for a while.

    2. This is really good advice, honestly. Getting it OUT is the same way as getting rid of any infection, it hurts to cough it out, but doing it is so much better in the long run.

      1. Thanks for the reinforcement! I’ve been doing a LOT of journal writing to try to get it out.

  2. Feelings! Intensity. That is a very good way to describe this month. I agree with what The Tarot Donkey said – sometimes the best thing to do is just feel it. Let yourself cry. Get it out.

    Advice or hugs? I’ll give either, whichever you’d prefer. I also have ideas for using the tarot to help with building energy, instead of being all stress energy. But perhaps that’s best talked about during our study sesh, yeah?

  3. When I’m not experiencing that kind of intensity, I think of it wistfully, with rose-tinted specs. Then when I’m in the midst of it, it’s so very different. Stomach-churning, heart-racing, mind-boggling. Personally I find music has *such* a powerful effect on it all. I can go further in (if it’s safe to do so) by listening to emotionally intense stuff, or I can switch things significantly by playing pop and hip hop. I was never a pop music fan, but a few years ago whilst crawling out of a hole I really threw myself in to beats, tunes, lyrics that are still intense, but about something other than how sad or anxious I feel. Never looked back.

    If you don’t like pop, I recommend a round of Paul Simon’s Graceland. It rarely fails me. Also Bell’s Roar (find them on Soundcloud) and Fleetwood Mac 🙂

    Hugs, especially for your birthday! (It’s mine tomorrow. Aquarians unite!) xxxx

    1. Fleetwood Mac! Yes, they would definitely help the feelings along. I often use music to soothe myself more than to help me feel things, because for a lot of my life the feelings were so intensely negative it was better to soothe than to heal. So I’ll have to try out your music recommendations… while I have a good cup of tea and a pillow fort all made up.

      Happy birthday! Go us Aquarians 🙂

  4. When I am feeling overwhelmed by feelings, I try to at least acknowledge the feelings if I’m not in a place where I can do anything else. I’ll tell them “yes, I know, but we have this to do first.” and focus on another task like washing dishes or my work task if I’m at work. It also depends on the kind of feelings that I’m dealing with.

    1. Acknowledgement. I will contemplate this as well. I am really good at the “soothe and ignore” routine I have, but maybe I don’t effectively acknowledge the feelings, and that is a thing.

  5. I think that it depends on where I am. I tend to bottle up feelings until I get to a place where I’m able to experience them where it won’t cause any harm. This sometimes means putting a lid on it and just plowing thru work, but it has to be done. But I agree with other people’s comments a lot. Feel the emotion, experience it, then you can process and move on.

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