The risk of letting yourself feel

It is mental health awareness week and in order to honour this, I decided to write on what actually makes us anxious and depressed. There is not a particular reason that applies to everybody, but I strongly believe that there is a single personality feature that is common among all of us.

We care!

And we care a lot. We care so much about our families and friends, we care about our jobs and doing the best we can, we care about the world, about the environment, about the human race and its survival. We care to the point where we are no longer able to hear about all the problems and all the things that went wrong and we could not do anything about them. We start to overthink and blame ourselves that we are not better, that we cannot help or save more people. Then all of the emotions come along and they are so overwhelming that we suddenly become paralysingly numb.

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Being so caring, empathetic and emotional is a risky business.

By being this type of person I have become so much more compassionate, good person, who somehow knows everyone’s deepest fears and feelings and can talk to them in a way no other can. I am proud of this side of me. It really is an amazing feeling to belong to a small group of people who still have their human gene active and are good to others without expecting anything in return.

But, on the other hand, this has contributed to my anxiety and mental health issues significantly. I feel as if I am not able to escape feeling everyone else’s feelings. Even watching certain movies has become so much more difficult because I cannot escape experiencing their emotions.

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Last week I was talking to my boyfriend about life, but most importantly what differentiates risk-takers from non-risk-takers. Everything in life is a risk and that’s why most people who battle mental health issues have lots of safety behaviours, myself included. Not leaving the house without certain things in your purse, not visiting specific places, avoiding certain people and situations, even coming back to check whether you locked the door are all safety behaviours that we have adopted in order to protect ourselves from the risk of something (bad) possibly happening.

There are so many different types of risks. People who work with money, for example traders, take the risk of possibly losing hundreds of millions every day. And I believe that the reason that they do this is because they believe more in the possibility of earning hundreds of millions.

I myself feel that I have always been such a risk-taker when it comes to emotions. I have always let myself feel everything so very deeply. My words will never be enough to express the magnitude of the emotions that I hold. I do not know if it is a blessing or a curse to be able to feel so deeply, but it is certainly a choice whether to let yourself feel everything or not. I have always let myself feel everything – the sadness, the happiness and everything in between. I have such a strong energy that most people around me somehow pick up the feeling that I am currently experiencing.

A part of the reason why I have always felt everything so deeply is that I was never able to escape it. These feelings are so loud and clear that you cannot avoid them for very long. They will find their way out one way or another.

But the other reason is that I have always wanted to feel everything like that. What is the point of living if you have never experienced great happiness and great sadness? You cannot have one without the other. You either choose to have average feelings, which means not having any major feelings at all or you choose to live life to the fullest and be brave enough when the sad, dark moments come.

I have not yet learned how to deal with the magnitude of my emotions fully, I have a couple of ideas and tricks which I use for my overall anxiety and plan on sharing in the coming weeks. But one major thing that I believe in and helps me tremendously is my faith in a higher power, named God, that I believe always look after us and even when we are faced with major difficulties, there is not anything given to us that we cannot cope with. Sometimes we may feel as if we cannot, but deep in my heart I always know that I can survive this somehow.

You should know this too. Do not be afraid to feel. You have the power in you to survive!

I believe in you all.

Lots of love xx