What It Feels Like to Feel Too Much and What to Do When You Do

I am not sure if it is the Christmas season or the fact that I am almost 30, but I am feeling things I have never felt before. I thought, being a very emotional person, that I have gone through a lot and nothing can bring me down anymore. Although, the universe has always had some funny ways to pull my feet back to the ground and I am not laughing.

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At this age, I thought I had already made peace with my emotions. I thought I have learned the rules of life like always looking out for number one, knowing my self-worth, and never letting my guard down. This way, my heart will never break ever again and I will not have to see the dark side of myself. I will never fall too deep and feel lost when someone leaves. I prepared myself to be strong and independent thinking that being self-sustainable was what those words meant. Cutting ties was never an issue because if they do not add value to my life, who cares?

Then, I stumbled upon the term “hyper-independence”. According to Calm Collective, when we view independence as a strength and dependence as a weakness and took it to the extreme, it leads to overcompensation of independence. Even though these “rules of life” have saved me from a ton of breakdowns and analysis paralysis, I failed to realize what life was actually all about. What I thought was my lifesaver is actually a trauma response. The fear of being hurt and crumbling down prevented me to put meaning into my life.

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This month, I achieved a milestone in my life. It was unlike my friends’ engagements, weddings, or pregnancy, but was more of a sole achievement. It was mine, all mine. I did it on my own and no one else to share it with. In other words, I achieved it but in the end, I had no one. It made me feel empty and I started to question my existence. I blamed everyone and pushed them away only to realize that the root of the problem was me all along. It took me a while to accept that it started with me, and learn that it is also me who had to put an end to it.

This is the ugly truth about feeling too much. When we were young, we were taught that feelings are only either happy, sad, or mad. However, to me, it was one hell of a rollercoaster ride. My emotions take over my entire being that I get lost in the moment and scatter my shattered pieces along the way. I was careless with my actions thinking that everything means nothing and there is no point in pushing through with life anyway. I was unable to consider that I am in control of my future, and growing old alone is just one of the many possibilities I could create.

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When you feel too much, you can get lost with all of the negative thoughts in your head. To protect ourselves from feeling anxious, we tend to build a wall around our hearts. From my experience though, surviving alone was not worth it. Nowadays, people say “love yourself” too much that I got high on it. I turned a blind eye to everyone else, only to find out in the end that surviving is not necessarily living. I forgot that the whole point of loving myself was to be able to take care of the people I love. I lost sight of my purpose, and that is why I feel empty inside.

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To whoever is reading this, I hope that when you feel like being pushed to a corner, you will always find the strength to realign your thoughts first. Keep your focus on the big picture. Figure out what is most important to you not just in that moment but in your entire life. Your feelings might be plenty and powerful, but they are also fleeting. If you are rock solid with what you want in life, your emotions will start to feel small compared to your desired results.

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In case you need to get help, here are hotlines you can call:

  • Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF) – (02) 804-HOPE (4673), 0917 558 HOPE (4673) or 2919 (toll-free for GLOBE and TM subscribers)
  • Manila Lifeline Centre (MLC) – (02) 8969191 or 0917 854 9191.
  • In Touch Community Services Crisis Lines – For relationship problems, addiction, abuse, other emotional problems. +632 893 7603, 0917 8001123, 0922 8938944. Email at crisisline@i-manila.com.ph.
  • Living Free Foundation – For addiction, individual and marital counseling. 0917 322 7087. Email at livingfreefoundation@gmail.com.
  • Dial-a-Friend – (02) 5251743 or (02) 5251881.

For a list of mental health resources from support groups to online counseling, click here.