A Letter to the Girl Who Holds It In

If you ask anybody that knows me well, they will tell you that I am a very emotional person. Stereotypical “girl” over here. And it’s not that I just see a sad puppy on TV & it makes me feel sad….I’m a very empathetic person. I will put myself in that sad little puppy’s shoes & really try to understand how they feel. I do this with everything & person in my life. I have grown to be this way. I don’t think I’ve always done this. But over these 26 years of my life I have learned that, usually, there is a reason for every action someone takes. Any time I’m in an argument with someone [which is hardly ever because I hate confrontation] or when someone I know does something I don’t understand, I try my hardest to put myself in the other person’s shoes before I assume wrongful things or judge them. This is a huge work in progress for me, & I am by no means perfect. The reason I started doing this was because of my own personal struggles I dealt with in the past, & still honestly deal with them to this day.

I grew up in such a loving household. I have been blessed beyond measure when it comes to close family. My daddy is an emotional bird like me. He was always so open about his feelings & I never felt ashamed to talk about anything I was feeling. Once I started reaching older high school age & my college years, I began to withhold a lot of my feelings. Maybe that’s just a phase everyone goes through? That’s such a huge transition in your life. So many changes & literally all of the hormones are going crazy. I tend to wear my feelings on my shoulder. Anyone can tell when something is bothering me. Now getting it out of me….that’s the kicker. I’m sure some of y’all can relate, right? I know my husband can. We are so alike in this way. Which can make for some difficult “let’s discuss our feelings” talks, because we always just say, “I’m okay”.

I’m okay.

So many hidden messages can be found in that small, two-word phrase. That’s usually my immediate reflex answer. Very recently, I started to realize that there is something really wrong with this. I sat down one evening waiting for my husband to come home from work & started thinking about why I felt so down all of the time. I thought about my family. My beautiful children & husband. The brightest joys in my life. They were definitely not the reason. We are close to our hometown now, so Texas nostalgia was not the source of my gloominess. Okay….my appearance? I was not happy with my body, but I was working on it. Could be a little part of why I feel this way. But what was really the issue here? Everything in my life seemed to be just as I wanted it to be. Around the same time some old pictures had popped up on my phone. When our sweet Noah was in the NICU. Then it was like this ton of bricks hit me.

I have never dealt with the emotional roller coaster of having a premature baby & the aftermath of it. I never really talked about how that whole experienced effected my physical state & mental psyche. It wasn’t just about the NICU, it was about all of it. The unplanned nature of both of my pregnancies. The timing of it all. It was all a lot. Especially to all happen in the course of just 2 years. The first two years of our marriage to be more precise. The first time I had lived away from my family. Eleven hundred miles away. It all just started rushing back to me. Please don’t misconstrue what I’m saying. My whole life is a huge blessing. Something I grew up praying about. A thing not everyone in this world gets to have. But it was the fact that I never expressed it. I never really let it all out. The undiagnosed post-partum depression that I never treated. The anxiety I felt having our baby boy home but nothing hooked up to him to make sure he was still breathing. The control I felt I didn’t have over my life because nothing was going how I had planned it.

Here I was, 2 years later having this “ah-ha” moment. And this is me, starting to let it all out. Taking that first step. To the girl like me. The girl who holds it all in. You may not realize it now. It may take you awhile like it took me. But those things build up. They get to a point where they overwhelm you. To the point where you might look around & not see anything wrong, but your mind tells you different. You want to know what helped me start to let it all out? The one thing that never faltered through all of my experiences? That overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of my God. When all else seems to be falling apart. When all else feels out of your control. There is one thing you can always trust in. That He has full control over everything. He holds your life in His hands. And He will never steer you down the wrong path. We may lose sight of that sometimes. I know I did. But like God always does, He made me see again. He helped me let out what I felt was holding me back for so long. Holding me back from enjoying what was right in front of me. So if you’re that girl like me, I pray you find that peace. I pray you realize that even if you feel like you don’t have anyone to vent to, God is always there. He hears your cries & your struggles. And even better, He heals them.

This blog has been such a wonderful thing in my life. It has allowed me to challenge myself. Encourage myself & others. And even document memories with my family. It’s also been a journal for me to write down things like this. I just wanted to give a huge thank you to all who read along with my words. It means so much to me.

As always, God bless

Brittany

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