Journal Entry 2
By Stephanie Korpal
Never forget that no emotion is permanent.
Depending on what you’re feeling right now, and to what antecedent you’re attributing that emotion, you may not believe me.
I hear you.
Let me tell you about my experience with that first sentence over the last few weeks.
A few weeks ago, I was feeling so good. Like, so good. Peppy. Making eye contact with every single person I could on the streets of Chicago as I walked to and from work just to give everyone a big smile. Feeling “aligned with the universe” using that speak. Finding all this good stuff happening. Feeling confident, on the up-and-up, and just loving life.
It was amazing.
Then. Sometime last week. WHOOOSH. That emotional carpet pulled out from under me.
The universe and I were not dancing to the same rhythm. Middle of the night wakefulness became my companion. Mental fogginess and fatigue were everywhere to be found. I couldn’t find the “good thing” in the day. Or nothing that carried any impact, anyway. UGH.
After feeling so good, it was hard to, well, not.
Plus, I was feeling soooo sad. So sad.
Now, part of the sadness was very real.
The other part was very hormonal. As in….cycle time. (More on that another entry.)
Because I’ve curated an almost too-deep awareness of all things related to my emotional state, I was very luckily able to catch that the sadness was probably:
-nothing to root around in too much
I also knew that it would be okay to “get into it” –interact with it, let it express itself—a little bit.
Sometimes it can feel scary to interact with emotions. “What if it gets worse? What if I can’t get out of it?”
Other times, interacting with emotions can be the way to “purge” them from yourself. Sometimes, emotions just need your attention a little bit—much like a toddler—and then they just along their merry way.
I knew this was one of those instances.
So. I cried. A few nights in a row. Sometimes, kind of hard. I knew I was fine, but it still kind of sucked.
I didn’t get back to “happy” or “content” or “carefree” immediately after it passed.
But I am back there today. Big smiles to people on the street. A really cool conversation with a colleague earlier today that impacted me positively. Giggling at small, little things. Bopping in my desk chair a little bit as I have on a good playlist.
This time last week, I was longing to be here.
And I knew it would return.
But I didn’t force it to return.
I didn’t get stuck in my sadness, but I didn’t avoid it either.
It took practicing in what that balance looks like in my life. But it has been a really great tool. It’s also one I use with:
Reflecting on the movement of my emotions over the years has also helped solidify the understanding and deep knowledge that “this too shall pass.” There are absolutely times that is harder to use as a source of strength or relief or motivation. But it’s always something that can soft the edge of the sharp, intense emotion, even if only a little. “I’ve gotten through this before. I will again.”
What do you think? Does it simplify it too much or is it helpful to you?
No emotion is permanent.
It is as hard, and simple, as that.
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Our Chicago team of therapists offer a wide range of mental health services to help our clients through the different challenges and hurdles in their life. In addition to anxiety, depression, grief, therapy for men, and maternal overwhelm, we are specialized in professional burnout, therapy for breakups, and love partnering with working moms.