Today my pain is heavy. It weighs on my chest and in  my gut almost like a tangible force pressing on me. It’s hard to breathe. It’s hard to not cry. The pain is so very similar to physical pain. Do you feel emotions in this way? Do painful emotions hurt your body in this way, also? Please comment below. I would like to know.

I’ve always had a high tolerance for physical pain. I bump into the corner of a desk and I don’t really stop to examine the injury or to complain about the pain: I’ve got things to do! At times I look down and notice my hand or finger is bleeding – not knowing that I’ve cut it on something. Migraines get me down occasionally. I’m convinced it’s my body’s way of saying, “You know what? You need a break. Lie down and rest.”

Emotional pain is a much different matter for me. I have very few coping skills to deal with emotional pain. My eyes grow heavy. My breathing is shallow. My thought processes are disconnected. The enemy of goodness tells me things will never get better. He says I am dumb and repeats things that those who do not support me have said in the past to deflect any responsibility for their part of the relationship I have shared with them. Words such as, “You are so sensitive!” “What is wrong with you? You have so much to be grateful for!” “Stop being so emotional!” make matters worse and only serve to make me feel even more isolated.

What methods do you use to cope positively with emotional pain? Here are a few of my methods at attempting to cope, although many times I don’t cope very well. I have a very difficult time getting the demons to leave once they get comfortable.

Sometimes I go to a 12-step meeting. Sometimes I text a friend who understands what it’s like to be working those 12 steps. Sometimes I break down and cry. Sometimes I blog. A lot of times I give up and sleep, but that never helps anything. That’s just an escape. It’s an, “I simply cannot deal with this right now” method of going forward. Sometimes I draw or paint or involve myself in a craft project.

I used to drink to drown the pain, but the pain always swam to the surface. I used to starve myself of food in attempt to control something!  I always admire people who can simply get through to the other side of the pain, calmly knowing it will pass at some point. An episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” comes to mind. The one where Amelia Shepherd is heavily triggered on her wedding day. Her mother and other members of her family do not plan to attend her wedding, and she is crying and distraught and attempting to convince her mother over the phone that she is neither drunk nor using drugs. Meanwhile, on the other side of the door, Meredith Grey is yelling at Amelia to simply “Stuff your emotions like everyone else does! Quit crying and move on!” Don’t health problems raise their ugly head when we simply stuff our emotions? Isn’t the right thing to do to get them out? To expel them? Please write in the comments section below and tell me your effective methods of coping with emotional pain.

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