This I Believe

Steven - North Quincy, Massachusetts
Entered on November 24, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Life is not always what you want it to be. Anyone person who pays attention for more than three seconds can notice that. When life is not what you wish, you feel emotions; sadness, anger, even hate. Now, confronted with these emotions, you have two choices; you can let these emotions out, and tell people how you feel and why you feel that way. You can also, however, take all these emotions and hold them inside. This is the path some people taker, and unfortunately, the way I did as well.

Some people will never understand what it’s like to hold things inside and not let people know how you feel. These people are the lucky ones. To all those who do what I do, bottle things inside, I understand. I understand how hard it is to hold an outward emotion, while inside something is tearing you apart. I understand that sometimes things leak out and hurt those around you. It is difficult. You want to let things out, let people know how you feel, but you can’t. You hold everything inside, and it all builds up. Eventually, it will burst, and everything you have attempted to contain will break free.

I know what it’s like to have bottled emotions erupt from you, to be unable to contain it as you cry and scream and shout and curse everything under the sun, yet all you want to do is stop. About seven years ago last October, my grandmother passed away. My grandmother had been the most influential person in my life, teaching me to love and care, to learn and question; she taught me how to live. Without her in my life, I lost focus. Sadness built up inside of me, even hate. I mean, who was she to die on me when I needed her so much? I learned to cope the only way I could think of; at the young age of eleven, I began to bottle my emotions inside of myself.

Over the next few years, I began to do it more and more often. I held things inside, and finally, I snapped. In a moment of horrible abandon, I poured out everything I had buried. Anger, grief, and rage poured out of my mouth. To spare the gruesome details, people got hurt, and I lost my best friend. I wish I had never done what I did, but I can’t change what happened. So now, I stop.

I stop keeping things inside. I stop bottling my emotions. I tell someone how I feel, and it helps. I believe keeping feelings locked up inside is the unhealthiest thing anyone can do. I wrote this essay hoping to reach out to others who do the same thing I did, in hopes they’ll stop. I believe it has to stop.