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The benefits for crying in train stations

I wanted to talk a little bit today about the benefits of feeling your feelings. That quite often when you hear the phrase feeling your feelings, it can sound very much like hippie stuff. That is all very well and good when you have the time for a bit of, you know, like, deep thought work, introspection. And I wanted to tell you a little story that happened to me yesterday about the practical uses of feeling your feelings and how when we get our heads into this space of entwining our emotional well being into our everyday life, the benefits of it. So yesterday I had an appointment at the optician, and my eyesight has changed a lot since my first bout of COVID and now I've had COVID four times. My eyesight has changed considerably, and I'm struggling with my balance and my spatial awareness, and I'm very aware that I needed to get this looked into. So I made an appointment with the optician, optician I've been with for 20 years, and it is near my old workplace.

So it's my old journey into work. It's a journey that I've done hundreds, if not thousands of times. And because of the nature of what my body is up to at the moment, I don't leave the house very much at the moment. I spend a lot of time at home, and I very rarely go into town, so it leaves me with a huge amount of fatigue and a huge amount of. It sort of sets off all of my symptoms when I get very tired. So I went into town to go to the optician. I arrived at the train station. It's the City of London, very busy rush hour.

I'm already feeling quite tired. Walking with a mobility aid in a busy environment where lots of people sort of barge into you. When you live in a larger body, people do that anyway. They think that you can get through the same amount of space that they can and don't really sort of have that awareness of other people around them. So I'm the only person wearing a mask because of my health and for the sake of other people. And I find myself in this kind of hubbub of sort of like a film scene of lots of very elegant people, all in their office attire, and me feeling a little bit out of breath and exhausted and big and taking up a lot of room, and everyone's dashing around me, and I suddenly realise I don't know where the optician is anymore. And I don't mean I don't know where it is anymore. I don't know how to get there.

I don't know where I am. I know I'm meant to be going to this appointment, and my brain has just deleted that information. It's somewhere I have been so many times, and it was really distressing. It was distressing to know that I knew that I was sort of two streets in theory, away from somewhere. I didn't even know which direction to face. I got myself really confused. And the more that I thought I should know this, the more my brain started to spiral. On other instances I've had recently of information that I should know, people that I love, their names have gone out of my head when I'm staring at them.

And it isn't a sort of tip of your tongue. Oh, I should know that. It's a vital piece of information. I lose my cognition and the ability to form words, and it's a very distressing thing. And what I could have chosen to do in this situation, and lots of many previous Mes would have chosen to do, is to get really panicky and think about all of the dire consequences of me. I'm going to use. I'm using air quotes. You can't see them.

But the fear of losing my mind and losing my way, quite literally, of not having the information and the cognitive function to be able to keep me safe in what suddenly felt like a very unsafe environment. And I could have just sort of spiralled off on there and done a whole load of very unhelpful things. I think probably former me would have exhausted myself more like determining that I was going to walk in any direction. I was going to, well, find it, but I don't have the mobility to do that anymore. Or maybe I would have decided that I couldn't do it and it wasn't safe and gone home, or maybe I would have. It's hard to imagine what old me in a new situation I've never faced before. But what I realised was going on for me was that I was frightened and what I checked in with myself. What I needed was just to acknowledge quite how sad this all is.

And I'm out there trying to get on with my life in this new body and the new narrative that it gives me. And actually, I just, for a moment, needed to stop and acknowledge that this is hard. This is not an easy scenario to be navigating. And so in the middle of all of this hubbub, I just stood and cried. And I cried for a whole, probably 90 seconds. And in allowing myself the feelings that I was feeling in that moment, it came and it passed. And when it was passed. I was able to go, I could just look at a map.

There was something in my head that felt like I wasn't able to look at a map because that was failing and I should be able to retrieve this information. I was sort of trying to retrieve it from my brain in brute force, like looking at a map was cheating or failing, admitting failure. And actually, once I allowed the feeling of sadness, of just going, this is really hard. What I was able to also access was, I probably need some compassion in this circumstance, and I was able to, with my soggy little face, just look at a map and go, oh, yeah, it's over there. I do know that. And so off I padded with my little shuffle that I do, and I was able to get to the appointment, and I don't know whether I would have been able to do that had I not just allowed myself to acknowledge that this is hard, this is difficult. And I think sometimes we can think of this idea of sort of feeling our emotions as being quite an abstract concept that isn't necessarily relatable to everyday life. But actually, when we try and resist the emotions that are coming up for us, our brains think that there is an emergency because something is going on, it's trying to alert us to it, and we're not listening.

And if we're not listening, it must be a real emergency. So it makes the emotion a lot louder, a lot bigger, and keeps repeating it over and over on a loop until we listen. And what I was able to do by just acknowledging that these were the feelings that I had in that particular moment, was I was able to allow them into my body, allow them into my brain, and by not resisting them, they passed. It's like some of the people who were running, rushing past me on their lunch break, they just passed so quickly, and I was able to find a solution. So I hope that this little anecdote, it's not the style that I've been doing these podcasts in, but I hope that it gives you some sort of practical idea of how you can apply these tools into your everyday life and why they're so important, because it gives us just an extra little bit of added resilience to dealing with the outside world. And I don't want your self care tips to be something that are reserved for when you're out there meditating, dressing in orange, sat on a mountain, like in isolation. I want you to be able to have self care tools that are for situations where you find yourself panicking in the middle of a train station. In the middle of London.

This is what I hope these podcasts have been giving you. I hope it's been useful this week. If you have two minutes to spare and you would like to leave me a review on iTunes, that would be super useful because that means that more people will be able to be pointed towards the website, and iTunes will kind of acknowledge that it's a thing that's useful for people and it will start showing it to more people

. So if you find this useful, maybe pass it on to somebody who, you know, who might find it useful. And thank you for listening this week. I really do appreciate the time that you share with me, and I hope to speak to you soon.


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