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Our suits of armour

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Old 02-07-2009, 08:58 PM   #1
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Default Our suits of armour

Quote:
my suit of armor was also polished and impenetrable
This was said in another thread by CountingDown, and it makes me think. We all have these suits, I think, to protect us from the world. What I've heard from maintainers on these forums, though, is that there comes a moment when that armour is chinked or outright shattered, and the pain. frustration, anger, whatever emotions we're hiding from get through. When the armour breaks is when the changes come.

I have realized, as I've said in other posts today, that I'm entirely numb. I'm cut off from everything--I go through my days and yes I have my petty frustrations and my minor joys, but the deep, huge, cumbersome emotions don't get through. I'm so blocked off that I don't really feel anything deeply. I think this needs to change.

The question is, HOW? Once you've learned to cut yourself off from your emotions, how do you open back up? How do you know what to do with them when you're feeling them? To get even more basic than that, how do you identify the feeling in the first place?

This is something I'm thinking about, and I think it holds an important piece of understanding myself and changing who I am and how I live. I want this change, but I don't know how to get it. Any ideas?

How do I actually feel my emotions?
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:15 PM   #2
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This is an interesting question and I think maybe it is different for everyone. So I can only tell you my experience. When I was extremely overweight, I was not living life to the fullest. The fat protected me from certain situations that can cause temporary and intense emotions both positive and negative, while it caused its own constant low-grade pain (the burden of wearing the armor might be the metaphor of choice here). Losing weight naturally exposed me to new situations where I had the opportunity to feel more intensely. This is a process that is still going on, but I'm not actively doing anything about it. Life is just richer now in that sense.
So, for me, I haven't had to learn anything about reconnecting with emotions. But it is probably different for others. If you are clinically depressed or are suppressing emotion because of some traumatic experience, maybe a counselor could help you get more in touch with your feelings.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:40 PM   #3
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Alas, I think you have to let that armor tarnish a bit. Then, you need to let the world, that is constantly assaulting it, make a dent, then, a crack, then a fissure, and finally, a hole. Once the emotions "connect", you need to allow them to penetrate. It is uncomfortable, even painful, at first. But, each time it happens, you learn to "own" them. Deal with them, and eventually, embrace them.

Not to say that it is an easy process. But, YOU are worth it. Life isn't easy. It is much, much easier to put up the walls, hone your defense system, and continue the status quo.

It is a process. It is a journey. Baby steps really do count. You have a purpose, a destination, a calling. Don't let that "suit of armour" stand in the way of YOU becoming everything YOU were meant to be.

You really are a very special person, and you can shatter that armour. And, your posts today indicate that you are ready. I'm anticipating that a beautiful flower will emerge as you explore the possibilities.

So, let the journey begin anew. We are here for you if you need a hand along the way.
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:19 PM   #4
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I wish I could tell you. For me, the starting to have emotions thing, after 20+ years of burying them, just happened a little at the time over about 2 years. Then yes one day the floodgates opened, I cried and cried, then I realized, after you're done crying, you feel better. Now, this happens maybe not every day but pretty frequently--and, each time, I feel a little bit better. I think it was about the time I started back on Atkins I finally realized, hey, I used to be depressed but I'm not now. And I'm not. I'm sad sometimes, but I'm not depressed. And it does get better every day. I ready for my own suit of armor to be gone. Yeah, it's kinda scary without it but a good kind of scary.
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:01 AM   #5
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That's totally not weird. It feels incredible to finally accept your current self and not have to worry about the future all the time. Plus, you always look better in clothes that fit, which isn't bad for self-esteem. I did the same thing this morning; all month I've been saying "When I'm x pounds lighter I'll get that dress, when I'm x pounds lighter I'll get new jeans," and today I said "Screw it, I'm hot enough now" and raided the mall for clothes that don't make me look like I shrank in the wash. It's kind of like shouting "Up yours, social prejudice!" and starting to see change as a positive thing instead of an obligatory punishment to flog yourself over.
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