Big Emotions in Small Spaces
November 30, 2015, 10:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Nobody walks into the middle of a ballroom and has a nervous breakdown.

We never feel that urge of complete and utter emotional collapse coming and feel the need to make it a spectacle.

We always retreat–to a bathroom, a closet, under the covers.

We curl into ourselves, like an armadillo. We brace for the hurricane and keep the structure around us as tightly compressed as possible.

We have big emotions in small spaces.

That was always me. I would lock myself away, allowing no one access. I would scream, cry, hurt myself. This was my struggle, no one else was allowed to help. People couldn’t handle it, I told myself. No one wanted to be a part of this. This was ugly. This was scary and dark and not how I wanted the world to see me.

The problem with big emotions in small spaces is that it doesn’t give the emotions anywhere to go. They bounce off the walls and land right back in your lap, your mind, your heart. You recycle your dysfunction. You become a compost pile for turmoil.

This month, this blog, has been an exercise in expanding my space. I have slowly–ever so subtly–let the walls out, inch by inch. I have let my emotional breakdowns trickle out of me in articulate and calculated posts, instead of a vomit of emotion on my bathroom floor at 8 pm on a Tuesday.

I don’t know what I’ve done, really. I know that people have taken my words and found their own words. I know that some people think I am brave for baring myself in the way that I have, that I will continue to do. It never really feels brave. It feels like I am doing something potentially stupid but I do it anyway. When I write, I imagine I am in therapy–I have been in therapy multiple times before. I have never excelled at therapy, because I can never ever find the right damn words.

With this blog, with this form of therapy, I have control over my words. I can type out a sentence, look at it, and say to myself, “No, Carrie. That’s not at all what you are feeling. That’s just some bullshit.”

I can delete. Re-do. Draft.

And then, when I am ready and have read it over and over again and thought long and hard about it

I hit publish.

And I send my big emotions out into the world–to the giant ballroom.

And the most glorious thing has happened since I started doing that, guys.

The emotions aren’t coming back to me as quickly. Sometimes they don’t come back at all. People, readers, catch these emotions. They hold my scary thoughts and my depression in their hands and they do things with them. Some people look at it and say, “Hey, I’m feeling this, too. Thank you.” Some people turn them into joy and courage. Some people just throw them far, far away.

What I am saying, to you all at the end of this monthly blogging, is that you don’t have to do this by yourself. You don’t have be be afraid to let people see the real you.

Stand in the middle of a big room and have your big emotions. Small spaces are meant for prisoners.


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