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Yes, You are Allowed to Feel Upset

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Allowing Ourselves Space to Feel

The other day I started bawling my eyes out while in a state of horrible anxiety, and my partner said to me, “Cheer up.”

I said in response, “I’m allowed to feel upset for a little while, no?”

He paused to consider it before saying, “Yes of course you are.”

We are the microwave generation, and live in a high speed, instant gratification society. The idea of ‘dwelling upon’ can be a foreign concept. As a chronic illness person, we spend much of our time fighting, weeping, exhausted and in pain. It is this vast majority of our lives that I would like to explore today. You could say, let’s take a little break from finding closures or solutions. After all, the no man’s land of everyday life is where we spend most of our time.

Are You Upset? Then Just Be.

Sometimes you feel awful for no good reason or perhaps you have just received some bad news, and you know what? Yes, you’re allowed to feel upset about it. To feel melancholic, tired and defeated. It doesn’t help when others around you mumble some casual sympathy. Or worse yet, start sending random articles in an attempt to fix your feeling – you are not a mechanical product.

Pretending Otherwise Makes it Worse

In fact it just piles onto the misery, because it invalidates our capacity to feel as a human being. It downplays the severity of the underlying issue. It exacerbates the assumption that you couldn’t possibly care that much. How could you, with such flippant, insensitive remarks? Sometimes darkness is able to provide cool comfort for a little while, and the last thing you need is the blinding light of the sun scorching down on your face.

Do What You Need to Move on, Your Way

It’s okay to cry, to be in pain, to be not okay. Reach out and touch that raw nerve of fear. Feel its heavy weight in the palm of your hand. Spend time studying its ugly nature. How else are we truly going to defeat something that we refuse to examine? We often drown ourselves with distraction, sometimes using positivity as an excuse to hide. At other times using social noise to override internal dissonance. But we are human beings blessed and cursed with the capacity to feel. We own the ability to experience a mind blowing spectrum of emotions. Each comes and goes in good time, and balance is always healthy.

So ignore the naysayers who tell you what and how you should feel. If it helps you to make it through, to wake up and see the sun rise again tomorrow, how can it be that bad of a thing?

*Note: This article is for educational purposes, and is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding new treatment protocols.

Read More: How to be a Positive Thinker: Without the Unicorns & Rainbows

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Emotions come and go, and balance is always healthy. Some days we feel lousy, and it's okay to sit with our feelings and be upset for a little while. Click to read or pin to save for later. | | #depression #selfcare #spoonies #chronicpain #chronicillness

Emotions come and go, and balance is always healthy. Some days we feel lousy, and it's okay to sit with our feelings and be upset for a little while. Click to read or pin to save for later. | | #depression #selfcare #spoonies #chronicpain #chronicillness

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  • Avatar of Alison Hayes

    This is so true and so important!
    We have every right to feel upset and it’s healthy to let that out when necessary. The worst thing we can do with our emotions is ignore them or try to push them away. So if you’re in a tough place, you have every right to take a few moments or hours and just let yourself process through what you’re feeling and why. Even if the answer is just ‘I'[m feeling overwhelmed’ or ‘but COVID is scary’ that’s okay, taking the time to recognize the feeling and let the emotion go through you is so helpful and healing!
    We all need to absorb that lesson: our emotions should be expressed and we deserve to express them.

    • Avatar of Sheryl Chan

      Hi Alison, yes our emotions are there for a reason, to tell us something about ourselves and our environment. Ignore them at our own peril!

  • Avatar of Shruti Chopra

    Feeling upset is so important – it gives us the opportunity to work on those emotions rather than bottling them up and causing an avoidable outburst on a mundane thing. All required and all very valid. I enjoy being human! 😀

    • Avatar of Sheryl Chan

      Agreed, Shruti. I enjoy being human too, and embrace all the pain that comes from giving love, and feeling.

  • Avatar of Claire

    So agree. We are definitely allowed to feel upset when things feel hard and heavy. I can’t stand it when people say ‘think positive’ when I’ve had bad news about my health (or anything else). I’m allowed to feel upset, angry, grief etc and shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for doing so.

    • Avatar of Sheryl Chan

      Oh gosh yes. I’ve had friends that preached the positive thinking thing to me early in my illness and it was just so annoying and frustrating, because that’s not how it works. And we aren’t even being negative, just facing reality, which is so important to living well with illness.

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