This I Believe

Samantha - portland, Oregon
Entered on September 21, 2007

“Don’t let the bottle burst!”

I believe that it’s healthy to let your emotions out.

Keeping things all bottled up inside you rots your soul. Emotions are your soul’s way of speaking. It’s when you silence that voice that things tend to go badly.

Life becomes so much more confusing and taxing if you try to keep it all in, and then it just builds and builds, and sometimes that pressure becomes too much. Even the tiniest comment or action can set you off. The bottle breaks and all those emotions come flowing out all over whoever is closest, even if they aren’t causing those feelings. You just lose it. But if you just let people know how you feel, when you feel that way, there’s not as much built up, and so the impact is less severe and more controlled.

Keeping so much bottled up can confuse you and hurt you internally. I used to be this way. I wouldn’t let anyone know when things bothered me. I got very quiet and kept more to myself. I just kept it all in and put up this wall so that no one could see how I was really feeling. Not even my closest friends knew how bad it was, but luckily I had enough self awareness and courage to ask my mom if I could see a doctor about it. And it turned out that I was depressed, so I had to start taking medication. But this experience taught me that keeping all my emotions and problems to myself was hurting me more than just having to deal with whatever conflict may have arisen had I just talked about it when I first started feeling that way.

Now, I try to be a lot more open about how I feel. And yes, I understand that it’s a hard thing to do, and that there are times when you can’t really talk to the person who is causing this internal struggle about how you feel, but the goal is to try. So I do try.

There are still times when I keep my feelings to myself and don’t talk about them, but not nearly as much as before. And I’m a much happier person because of it. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I don’t have a problem talking about my depression now. This is very difficult for most depressed people and it was at first for me as well, but I know that a lot of people go through the same thing, and so I try to help them. I try to convince them that, no matter how hard it may seem at first, they should start telling people when and why they’re upset. It makes you feel so much better if you do.

So don’t keep it all bottled up. Let people know when something is wrong, and you will be amazed how much freer you feel.