That's Not Heartburn, Those are Feelings: How to Stop Running and Start Being Okay With NOT Being Okay

I always knew I was meant to be a runner from a young age because over the years I have become a pro at sprinting away from any emotion that did not feel “good”. Anger, resentment, sadness, disappointment… all emotions that I could never comprehend enough to deal with in a healthy adult way.

No that is not heartburn Cassie, that is something called all of the feelings that don’t fall under the category of happy, fun, or right.

And to make matters worse, little did I realize that every time I ran away, every time I buried away raw emotions, I created an idea about what was acceptable to feel. I forced myself into the habit of avoiding communicating emotions for the sole fact that it may disrupt the image that I was balanced, that I may look crazy, that it could seem as though I gave a f*#k about anything. And when asked, when I really wanted to chip away at the layers of times that I deeply felt something, I hid it behind any of the responses listed below:

I’m fine

I’m okay

I’m good

I’m just tired

I’m just on my period

I’m just being hormonal

These very responses are why true friends take your phone away when you’re drunk to prevent you from unloading your unfelt emotions on various people in your phone book. It’s because they know that people like you and I, people that pride themselves on remaining or better yet appearing balanced, are the very people that need saving. In the end, the truth of the matter is that no one is balanced always. Very few people (shoutout to the psychopaths reading this) don’t feel hurt, disappointment, or regret. No amount of yoga, meditation, or chanting while floating down a freaking lily pad in India can take away the fact that the feelings you have arise for a reason. You can run a marathon, drown it out in holy water, or wait for the liquor to make it acceptable for you expose it but in the words of Iyanla Vanzant, “feelings buried alive don’t die.”

Eventually things demand to be felt. Unexpressed emotions don’t deteriorate but manifest in uglier ways later on. So, whether it is now or later, everything you run away from, bury, diminish, or try to forget finds you. Therefore, give a voice to your hurt, your sadness, and your unhappy emotions when they arise. Unbury the things that have not died but have been covered by the “I’m okays”. Lose your facade of being balanced and unaffected in order to understand and communicate the source of your angst. Begin the journey of honoring how you feel and you’ll never have to run another marathon.