Learning to Feel Again
Words by Lauren Frontiera
I thought I had lost my words. It was one of the emptiest, most terrifying feelings, and I could feel the weight of it on my heart. I thought I had lost my words, and I didn’t know where to find them.
The truth, though, is that I never lost them. I was just terrified of them. I’ve been terrified to sit down and write this article. That’s why I procrastinated until the very last day. I’ve been terrified that I would sit down and the words wouldn’t come, like they haven’t in months. I was terrified that I would have to fill this space with empty words that carried more pieces of fluff than pieces of my broken heart.
The last time I sat and wrote .. like really wrote .. was several years ago. I can remember the evening like it was yesterday. When I sat down at my computer that night, I hadn’t written in months. But the words felt like they were suffocating me, and I had to get them out. I poured my heart’s deepest fear out on that keyboard.
I felt numb. And I was terrified that I would never feel anything ever again. I was terrified I’d never again feel the full weight of sadness as I lay on my floor crying from a broken heart. You know, the really good tears you cry while listening to a sad song. I was terrified I’d never again laugh from that guttural place of sheer joy. You know, the laughter and joy that makes you come alive again.
I hit the lowest point of my life three years ago. I was curled up, hidden in the corner beside our couch, crying. I could feel the deep darkness of hurt like I’d never felt before. The weeks that followed were scary and empty and full of the worst anxiety I’ve ever experienced. My internal world was crumbling and I was losing myself in the rubble.
After several months of therapy and learning the sweet nectar of boundaries, I found my way out. But after that, I stopped writing. I stopped feeling. I was terrified to lose myself to that deep, dark place of anxiety again. So, instead I became numb. The happy moments weren’t all that happy and the sad moments weren’t all that sad. It was the only way I knew to stay safe. To not feel. So, I stopped writing. I didn’t want the feelings to somehow spill out of me through the words. The only way to keep myself safe was to not go to that place within my heart where all of the words lived. So, I stayed away.
The words scare me. They still do. I don’t write that often. At least, not like I used to. I don’t etch the scars of my heart on the pages of my journal anymore. And I’m scared as hell to start working through those feelings, because I know that starting means I won’t be able to stop. And I’m terrified that once I start, those dark, sad emotions will somehow find their way back in. So, I choked back the tears in therapy last week. And I promised to journal, even though it terrifies me. And even now, as the tears force their way out while I’m writing, I can’t help but wonder … what if the only way I can find freedom is by moving through the words?
And maybe, after all, the words aren’t what terrifies me. Maybe it’s really the freedom .. the freedom to really feel again.
Lauren is the dreamer behind and host of The Grit and Glitter Podcast. She sits down with female entrepreneurs every week to dive into the real, raw, hard parts of their life and business journeys. When she’s not heart-deep in a soul chat, you can find her at a local coffee shop, cooking, or adventuring with her pup and hubby.