***I PUNCHED A PILLOW AND I LIKED IT***

***I PUNCHED A PILLOW AND I LIKED IT***

{{WARNING - This post contains some pretty heavy shit that may be slightly uncomfortable to hear. It’s scary for me to share it. But I continue to remain committed, wholeheartedly, to my truth.}}

Today has been One Of Those Days.

You know…

“Those” days.

Before I tell you about today, let me start off with a little background.

I grew up learning (from society, from my parents, from my community, from school), that being loud, expressing my emotions, and being too BIG, was not okay.

Crying in public: Not okay.
Screaming at the top of my lungs with excitement: Not okay.
Expressing anger: Not okay.
Talking too loud and for too long: Not okay.
Showing you are disappointed: Not okay.
Confronting someone when they’ve pissed you off: Not okay.

Swallow.
Bury.
Deny.
Suppress.

I’ve always been a fiery little firecracker who won’t take no for an answer.
I’m an only child, and most of the time, I act like one.

I know what I want, I know how I want it, and I wanted it, like, yesterday.

I also know that I’m always right and have the best ideas.

I also get REALLY freaking excited about what I’m passionate about, and want to shout it, LOUDLY, to whoever will listen.

And when I feel anger, oh my goodness, my blood BOILS, and I feel like I could lift a car.

But….

Suppress.
Bury.
Deny.
Swallow.

According to most of society, it is not polite to tell the truth, when the truth sounds rude or hurts.
According to society, it’s not okay to have a nervous breakdown in the cereal aisle because you’re tired and you shit your diaper.

According to society, it’s more important to play nice, fit in, keep everyone around you comfortable, then it is to tell the fucking truth, YOUR TRUTH, in the way you NEED to say it, in order to fully express and release it.

You want to know what’s awesome about this??

WE
ARE
SOCIETY

So let’s turn this shit around, eh?

Ok, so back to my story.

I was taught through example to stuff my emotions down.
And so I did.

When my parents got divorced when I was eleven, I was devastated.

I did everything I could to try and get them back together.

And I failed.

Which then had me thinking that it was actually myself that was a failure.

And I was sad.
And angry.

And I stuffed it.
And buried it.
And swallowed it.

I did better at school.
I joined more activities.
I was the happy kid with a smile on her face.
Anything to avoid my feelings.

Just push harder, study more, achieve more, WIN MORE.

Until it all came crashing down.

Which is exactly why, by the ripe old age of 17 years old, I was a high school drop out, strung out on meth/coke/ecstasy/special K/whatever else I could get my hands on, and wasn’t coming home most mornings until 9am because I had been up dancing in some abandoned warehouse all night.

I was a fucking mess.

THAT is just ONE example of what can happen when you stuff your feelings.

In my 20s and 30s, I found other ways to numb out, bury, suppress and deny my feelings.

In less self-deprecating ways for sure, but still.

I now took on people pleasing. That was my new Mode Of Operation.

Color between the lines.
Look put together.
Don’t swear.
Act smart.
Smile.
Make eye contact.
Do NOT tell that person how you REALLY feel even though they just slept with your boyfriend.

ETC.

Can you relate?

Thank goodness I found personal development work when I was 30 and I was two weeks away from watching my mother die in my arms.

I remember the day I opened up Spirit Junkie by Gabby Bernstein.

It was handed to me by someone, who I’ve since forgotten.

I was laying in the off-white chaise lounge that we had pulled up to the hospital bed that had become my mother’s personal prison in the five months prior.

She was asleep. She was pretty much unconscious.

We had already had “all the talks”. At this point in time, we were all just watching the clock.

I would sit in there, day in, day out, and watch her chest, rise, and fall.

Every thirty seconds or so, her morphine machine would beep.

I was driving myself crazy, for days on end, sitting there, thinking about all the things I could have done better, all the ways I could have shown her how much I loved her.

All the questions I still had.

How I never did ask her what the name of that perfume was that she wore when I was little.
How we never did have another laugh about the night we got really drunk together on dirty Ketel One martinis, and our hotel caught on fire, and my mom rescued us, and then promptly got us literally set up and sampled out IN the fire truck, in our bathrobes, because as Mom put it - when disaster strikes, love has a funny way of finding us (side note - even though both of us were single at that time, neither of us got ANY firemen’s phone numbers)…

I sat there and I thought about how quickly life passes us by.

How it seemed like yesterday that I was three, and my mom and I were flying around the windy back roads of Newbury, MA, in her old Monte Carlo, listening to Fleetwood Mac, on our way to get an ice cream cone at Hodgies.

How fast it slipped away.

And so finally, someone handed me this book, and I had something to look at to keep me from going crazy.

And the words in that book changed my life forever.

What I learned from that book, was what carried me through a week later when my mom’s heart stopped beating through the other end of the stethoscope that the hospice nurse gave me.

It’s what gave me the strength to pack up my mother’s belongings, to stand tall at her wake, and to make the journey back to California to start my life back up again.

It was around that time that I started to give myself permission to feel.

I allowed myself to feel the pain, the grief, the despair, of losing my best friend.

I allowed myself to feel the gaping hole in my heart.

I allowed myself to show up in support groups and cry to complete strangers, while they rubbed my back and wiped my tears away.

I faced my grief, again and again, albeit sometimes very reluctantly.

But I did it.

*****************

I’ve noticed since I’ve become a mindset coach, that my desire to stuff my feelings has come front and center again. We can tend to label anger, fear, sadness and doubt as BAD and Something That We Must Shift Quickly.

And so I’ve noticed in the past few months, that deep, yet subtle buzz of Unexpressed Emotion, just sort of hanging out under the surface, like a radio that you didn’t even fully realize was on.

And I’ve been stuffing my feelings in particular with one of my closest relationships, and this morning, mid-argument, I fucking lost it.

We were deep in the throes of this complete upheaval of he said, she said blah blah blah, when I felt the dam breaking, and all of a sudden, this complete rage came over me, and I couldn’t even control my body anymore and I heard my voice raise to an octave I never even knew existed and I started YELLING.

I wasn’t consciously creating the words that were coming out of my mouth and I couldn’t stop my voice from shrilling and warbling.

It was intense.

And I felt this energy rising that felt too big, too fiery, uncontrollable and I heard my conscious, rational mind say - Kelly, calm the fuck down” - and then I heard this other voice say - NO! Do NOT calm down! It’s time to FEEL THIS SHIT AND RAGE IT OUT SISTER!!!

I immediately, without even thinking, grabbed a pillow from the couch, ran into my bedroom, put the pillow on the bed, and began beating the shit out of it.

I punched that pillow harder than any punching bag I’ve ever hit, and even harder than my friend’s face that time I tried to steal her car keys away from her when she was drunk on tequila and we got into a fist fight over it (that’s another blog post - but yeah, definitely do NOT try to drink and drive under MY watch or you you’ll get two shiners for that, can I get an AMEN?!) ;)

The funny part about this, is that if I had ONLY grabbed the super SOFT, big, FLUFFY pillows that were already ON the bed, rather than grabbing the decorative pillow from the couch, my right arm wouldn’t feel like it’s broken at this point…but anyways….

I punched that pillow as hard as I could for a solid thirty seconds and then what happened next was miraculous.

The anger lifted, and, I felt myself calm down, and then I shortly burst into tears.

I felt raw.
I felt vulnerable.

I FELT SADNESS.

From that heart space, I was able to then communicate with said person I was having an argument with, and share my feelings in an open, authentic, vulnerable way, which of course, then led us to being able to have a conversation that eventually led to us cleaning up this little issue and moving the fuck on with our day.

You gotta feel that shit.

Repressed emotion is dangerous.
It’s unhealthy.
It leads to violence.
It leads to illness.
It leads to unhappiness.
It leads to stifled expression.

Amongst other things.

So, yeah.

I punched a pillow and I liked it.

What emotion do YOU need to express today?

******************

Reminder that there are only THREE spots left for my private coaching at my current rate before the price goes up, up, UP! Send me a PM if you’d like to know more.

xx