This past year, dealing with my own separation and divorce, I believe I've felt every single emotion in the contimuum of human-emotions.
Anger. Sorrow. Joy. Depression. Happiness. Grief. Embarrassment. Excitement. Shame, Fear... Name the emotion and I'm sure I've felt it.
I am a sentimental person by nature (so it's very possible that I am quite in-tune with my feelings) and can swing from one emotion to the other easily. I imagine there are others out there who are a bit more even-keel with their emotions, but I am not that person. And that's ok.
I am also a rather private person so I don't feel many of these "negative" emotions infront of other people. For as long as I can remember I've been a bit of a care-taker. Others around me being happy was always my concern and priority in situations. On the outside this sounds like a good personality trait; however, it has become obvious to me, that this has actually been detrimental to my own mental health.
When I was married it was ALWAYS about his happiness.
- Don't rock the boat out of fear he would get upset.
- Don't speak your mind too clearly out of fear he won't like what you're saying.
- And don't show any emotion other than "happy," to keep him happy.
I sacrificed parts of my true self for him because I always wanted him to be happy and taken care of. I guess in my mind, he was the priority, not me. I am not trying to sound like some sort of helpless victim - I did 100% participate in, and create this dynamic. Unfortunatley, it spilled into my relationships with everyone else in my life.
This past year, more times than not, I have not been "o.k." But when anyone has asked how I'm feeling, I have prioritized their comfort over my own and I have told them "I'm o.k." Because the admission of anything else than "happy," could possible result in the discomfort of someone else. I guess I also didn't want to look weak or pathetic.
Well folks, I'm here to call bullshit on that whole practice! I'm done hiding my feelings to help make others around me feel comfortable. There is no shame in not being happy. It is ok to feel sad. You don't need to "buck up" or "put a smile on your face."
Grief and sorrow are not signs of weakness, Depression isn't shameful. Sadness isn't pathetic. Loss does not need to be suppressed.
There is nothing wrong with feeling sorrow. There is no shame in communicating your grief.
It is o.k to NOT be o.k.
If someone in your life isn't comfortable with your pain, well fuck them. You heard me right, fuck them. Honour your emotions and allow grief to happen. You do not need to be happy for anyone else. Stop trying to force it. There will be some people who may exit your life, but so many others that stand with you and acknowledge your grief.
Your painful experience happened. Your feelings of sorrow are real. All of this is now part of your life-story. The aim of life isn't to hide from our realities, but rather embrace them and move forward having fully acknowledged what's happened. Embracing and feeling your true feelings is courageous.
Only when you truly feel your pain and honour those emotions will you be able to start moving forward with peace and acceptance.
Founder of the site Divorced at 30, Alexandra is a blogger who is passionate about speaking her truth. She is on a healing journey as she enters this new chapter in her life. A mental health advocate, she is passionate about motivating others to find “the light” and attain peace.