Blog 7. How It All Starts: Roller Coaster Emotions Don’t Just Come From Nowhere.
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Many of us have experienced times of unhappiness as life can throw us terrible punches.
Life changing experiences for example – the loss of a loved one, retirement, being retrenched from work, divorce, bankruptcy, can have devestating effects. As a result we may feel anger, grief, resentment, alienation, a lack of confidence, shock and even paralysis.
We may also have experienced feeling sad one moment and happy the next and we’ve probably all experienced mood swings from time to time.
However there is a vast difference between experiencing emotions that relate to daily knocks compared to debilitating emotions that are not clearly linked to each situation. These emotions can be felt for great lengths of time. These are feelings that come from nowhere and are felt like they don’t belong to a situation or what a situation requires. They are emotions that take over your life and stop you from pursuing your goals. They may be experienced as extreme roller coaster mood swings – from elation right though to paralyzing depression.
If this is the case it might be worth looking at why this happens.
As I’ve written in previous blogs, what we experience in childhood is taken with us into adulthood. Early experiences, if not addressed, are often the root of feelings that emerge in adulthood. They are like memories that haunt us in adulthood. How we have learnt to deal with childhood experiences becomes our emotional blueprint in adulthood. If we have for whatever reasons suppressed emotions in childhood they may suddenly rear their ugly heads in adulthood. Also if experiences in adulthood have not been dealt with they can emerge much later on too.
Usually our feelings come from immediate situations and are dealt with accordingly. However some situations can trigger emotions from the past that have remained buried. More often than not we don’t even understand why we feel like we do. The feelings just emerge from nowhere and become overwhelming. But it’s not from nowhere. And because we don’t often have the time to stop and understand their roots, these feelings can worsen over time.
I am referring to what has become a huge problem in society. Depression or massive elation or both known as Bi-Polar Disorder. We have probably all felt this to some extent sometime in our lives. None of us have a flat line happy feeling all the time. We all dip from time to time. We all can feel elation. However if this has become a constant – constantly feeling of depression or elation or both, then this is what I refer to as an Emotional Roller Coaster Ride.
Travelling up a roller coaster may feel exhilarating and thrilling as we creep higher and higher, up and up the roller coaster. Except that we all know that as we approach the highest point that we’re about to experience an adrenaline rush as we speed downwards to be taken right back up again. Each time we dip into the hollow this is when the lows are felt. We can be taken right back onto a high and so on. Or we can remain in either the high or low position for long periods. And creeping out of the depressed dip or rock bottom takes a lot of emotional energy. It also takes a lot of energy to remain on a high lest we dip back into that depressed hollow.
If you take the time, you may realize that these up and down feelings happen daily. Unexpected things happen all the time. We also call this stress – and stress up to a point, is good for us. Sometimes the telephone rings and we get good news which makes us feel great or we get an e-mail and suddenly our good mood changes to fury.
We can swing from feeling fantastic and this can last for days or we can suddenly swing into deep depression.
If these feelings happen consistently and you often sink into a total depression with these feelings going on for days with no end, with you feeling either a huge elation or sunk in a deep hole of paralysis, feeling lonely, sad, anxious, worthless, betrayed and panicked and out of control, then the foundations of these feelings may be rooted somewhere in your childhood.
Here it is worth noting that depression and anger often go hand in hand:
Depression, which is not always a feeling leading to suicide has also been described as ‘frozen anger’. It’s anger that has been frozen in time resulting from memories that have been buried. Anger can come from experiencing a trauma and because society doesn’t often understand anger, it may get suppressed or de-pressed. This can linger on for years especially if there is no understanding with regards it’s root. It can manifest in all sorts of ways especially through de-pression.
Unfortunately even if our feelings are suppressed, they have a strange way of emerging – often when we least expect them to.
Feelings of anger or depression can emerge in the most simplist of situations or when past memory is triggered. Or they can emerge when you feel criticised, blamed or when you feel worthless.
We all at some time have probably experienced these emotional highs and lows even to some extent at least. However, you may have always felt this way. You may have felt depressed since childhood and just accepted this feeling as normal. Often this comes from a trauma that has been left hidden and not addressed. You may have felt abandoned or you may have experienced some sort of loss or isolation as a child.
By not understanding where your emotions come from and then suddenly experiencing anger and rage or on the other hand depression or repressed emotions can take its toll on your body. It takes a huge amount of energy to suppress or even express these emotions. If these emotions do indeed erupt it’s often through some angry explosion leaving the body utterly exhausted. Feelings of guilt and shame for erupting so viciously even violently can lead to depression and self-criticism experienced either during or after the event. Emotions that have been buried can lie deep in our unconscious. This is why we’re often surprised when they just suddenly pop up.
The unconscious mind stores everything you’ve come across. The best way to understand behaviour is to understand your past and where the roots of your emotions come from. When emotions seem to come from nowhere that’s when you need to stop. They do come from somewhere you just have to look.
You don’t even have had to have a terrible childhood to experience lows and highs. However if they are getting in the way, find out where they come from. Understanding why you have certain emotions so you can begin your new journey. It just takes a bit of hard work and truthful self-analysis.
Unfortunately these emotional roller coaster feelings often get given labels. However a label is like putting a bandage on the problem. If the problem isn’t understood, it won’t just go away. In fact it may even get worse.
Carl Jung once said “There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened without making the dark conscious”.
So please do take the time to uncover your past if indeed it is getting in the way of your moving forward.
Note: © 2014 Information Copyright Deidré Wallace
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