In 2019, I Learned to Feel My Emotions and Pain

In 2019, I Learned to Feel My Emotions and Pain


I have spent the majority of my 28 years suppressing my emotions. I had this idea that strength meant not letting my true feelings show. I fooled a lot of people with my smile and the way I seemed to handle life’s stressors with ease.

This year, I managed more physically and mentally than ever before. And I learned that bravery doesn’t mean keeping my composure when life throws a curveball. I learned that feeling my emotions and letting out the hurt is better than trying to keep a brave face.

Keeping my emotions inside has caused a lot of anxiety. It is hard work bottling up feelings of sadness, depression, frustration, and pain. Not expressing these emotions brought on feelings of isolation and loneliness. I thought nobody would understand my struggles, and I convinced myself that I was alone in my hurt. I suffered in silence. But I learned that I would never get the help I desperately needed if I didn’t talk about my pain.

Speaking up and releasing the tears brought on by my pain led my doctors to acknowledge the severity of my declining health. In January, I learned that a complex congenital heart defect was causing numerous symptoms. The compression from my vascular ring was creating scarring around my trachea and compressing my esophagus. I was given a feeding tube until surgeons decided on a safe surgical plan for me.

In the five months that I waited for the surgery, I suffered physical and mental distress. I was depressed and anxious about open heart surgery. I lost much of my independence. I was alone and broken from the inside out.

Being honest about my pain helped me get the treatment plan that I needed. My doctors helped me manage my pain and discomfort while I waited for my surgery. They saw the level of care that I needed and helped me the best ways they could. At first, talking about my pain was overwhelming. I was unsure how others would react. But I am glad I didn’t hold back.

I opened up about my PTSD and anxiety to my surgeons and medical team. I talked to my therapist and doctors when I didn’t know how to “hang in there” any longer. For the first time, I wasn’t ashamed of my mental anguish.

Learning to feel my physical and emotional pain was one of the hardest things I have done. But it helped me push through one of the most difficult years of my life. In the new year, I will continue to work on feeling my emotions and pain. I want to learn to accept my emotions without internal judgment.


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Chris Comish serves as the Publisher of the website, and is responsible for directing the editorial focus as well as putting the finishing touches on many featured articles.