I went to see the movie Inside Out today. It’s entertaining, fun and light – nothing too deep here, or even 100% accurate, but let’s not forget it’s a movie and not a scientific paper. More importantly – and not wanting to give away too much here – the movie is also a reminder that all our emotions play an important role in shaping who we are and keeping us safe from danger. Often we want to shut out the most unpleasant ones – sadness, fear, anger – but they are needed, and nothing else would exist without them.
I should know, I’m the kind of person who stuffs all her emotions inside. My emotions have always spoken through my body in such an eloquent and vehement manner that I learned to fear them. To fear losing control, because I have bad memories of what happens when I do. So I try to keep them quiet. I either ignore them, or embellish them, or over-rationalize them to the point of not even recognizing them anymore.
What I’ve been realizing though is that strategy doesn’t work either. My emotions keep speaking through my body. I’ve been going through a very stressful time at work lately, and I’ve been feeling sad and lonely about not having any medication for my MS, like no doctor, no hospital, no one can support me and do anything about it. So I started having night leg cramps again after years of not having them because I usually store all the tension in my muscles, and I went back to waking up way too early because of bad dreams, usually related to what’s going on in my life.
So today, since I woke up really early, I decided to go for a run. I thought it would be a nice way to deal with the stress. All my body would be oxygenated and I would burn off some of the negative energy. Turns out, when I got home, I burst out crying. But not in a bad way. It was a good cry, it felt as natural as the sweat breaking out on my skin and my breathing faster when I started to run.
I felt so much better afterward that I decided to treat myself with two books to read during the holidays (only two weeks to go) and a movie and popcorn. It was a nice Saturday. 🙂