Feeling emotions whole-heartedly is necessary to move forward.
To any first-time readers or new members of the organization, welcome. It is humbling and heartwarming for the core members of Kait’s Angels to have your attention on our monthly newsletter.
As many of you may know, Kaitlyn Doorhy is my older sister. She tragically passed away when I was just sixteen years old. The following years of her passing, my junior and senior year of high school, were my foggy years. What I mean by that is, I sit here now at twenty-two years old, thinking back to what some girls described as the best years of their lives, and can’t come to remember the details of my friends, my classmates, volleyball games, teachers I built relationships with… barely anything. I was numb in my head and in my thoughts. I wasn’t living like most were from sixteen to twenty years old. In fact, I don’t remember caring a single bit about what happened around me. I was just going through motions, trying to graduate and get into college so I could start fresh and escape the fog.
The problem with that mindset is that it was extremely irrational. Was I ever going to be able to wipe the slate clean and start completely over? No, that’s not realistic, not for anyone or any situation. Shutting out the things that bring us down is a trap. It set me up for making disappointing decisions that did not reflect a slither of the person I am today or the person my parents raised me to become. These very emotions and events that we block out WILL creep back…but a lot more aggressive than the first time. So, what is my advice? Face the struggle face-to-face, not back-to-back. Face the struggle face-to-face, not back-to-back.
How do we do this? “It’s so much easier to act like it’s not bothering me and keep on going. Maybe if I distract myself with other things, I will forget about it all.” The struggle lies in the fog itself. You must not turn your back on it. What would happen if we turned our back in a boxing ring? The other opponent would take advantage of you and pin you down, maybe even knock you out. If you turn your back on the fog, it’s going to circumnavigate itself around you no matter what you do to try to avoid it. I turned my back on the fog and I eventually had to deal with my emotions, consequently wasting the time I had to grow mentally and win the match.
There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t think about my sister; what could have been, where we would be today, and how different my life would be now. The difference is in the way I think about her. I used to hear her name and automatically feel a sense of sorrow, some guilt, sadness and heartbreak. You may think of your struggles with the same emotions, whether it be the death of someone close to you, a break up with someone you loved or are still in love with, or maybe you have been disappointed by someone you love. The average person will tend to think of these situations in a negative light for days, months, years, or maybe even an entire lifetime. Whether we spend ten days, ten months, or ten years hashing out these feelings in our head, the event will always remain.
Are we wrong for feeling what we feel? Absolutely not. These are the emotions we are programmed to feel. Our bodies and brains are wired to feel any which way we need to feel for extensive periods of time. We will even place the blame on ourselves to make it easier to comprehend and digest. “What if this happened instead” or “maybe if I said this differently.” Thinking about ways in which it could have been different rather than reflecting on what is, is a sign you are still in the fog. We break through the fog by moving forward; excited for the future, thankful for the present, and endlessly aware of our past.
The question I ask is, do you feel at peace from what you have gone through or do you feel trapped in the fog?
To dwell is to remain. To accept and reflect is to move forward. You must be able to accept what is, be thankful for what you had, remember the laughs you shared, and the person they have helped you to become.