I Believe that Bottling Up Emotions Only Causes More Pain

Douglas - Fruitport, Michigan
Entered on May 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

When I think about it, it seems really stupid to hold my feelings inside till I feel like I’m going to explode. Even though I realize it’s stupid, I find it hard not to bottle up emotions—and I’m just one of many people who find themselves doing it. In a world that socializes us to “be a man” and “keep a stiff upper lip”, I believe refusing to communicate how people and events affect us can only cause more harm than good.

Sometimes when I lock something away, I start to feel symptoms very closely related with physical illness. It’s as if the problem imbeds itself into my stomach and gives me unwanted symptoms like nausea, sleep loss, and general pissy-mooded-ness. About that time that I begin to hear (or rather feel inside me) the ticking—a time bomb slowly winding down to the time that I’ll explode in a gust of obscenities and anger-induced hot air.

Not only does “sucking it up” hurt me, but also it hurts others. When I hold emotions in, it’s usually due to something someone did that I misunderstood. Like last year, I couldn’t understand why my band director seemed to be patronizing me. I was the drum majour at my high school and couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t let me conduct the pep band. I balled it all up in the pit of my stomach where it festered like bad milk. I was in a perpetual bad mood for the rest of the week and wasn’t aware of all the encouraging comments he made about my tuba playing. I was only concentrating on my own frustrations, making myself extremely ignorant.

Eventually, the time bomb’s clock struck down its last few digits and I ended up telling him all that was wrong. In a burst of harsh words I didn’t mean (but said anyway in my adrenaline-fueled rant) I made an absolute jerk out of myself. It all turned out to be over a silly misunderstanding.

So, I believe that even though bottling emotions inside us may seem easier than talking them out, WE SHOULDN’T DO IT. I know from personal experience that it causes more pain than it heals, and I know I am one of many people in the world trying hard to open up.