I’ve been emotional lately. I’ve been rocked so hard that I can’t seem to find a way to control myself. Slowly but surely I was starting to lose my mind. I saw a part of myself come forward that I haven’t seen in ages. A part of my self that I was convinced had died long ago. Out of sight and out mind. I was wrong to believe that. It was a lie I told myself to make me feel better. I believed the false truth until I could no longer distract myself from reality. I had to get brutally honest with myself. I had to admit that I wasn’t ready for what I thought I could handle. I had to raise the white flag and give into that which makes me weak. Admitting defeat, graciously bowing out knowing I had failed myself. While those around me watched as I cried many tears, withstood many sleepless nights, and crawled back into a deep depressing hole trying to cope. What I would have given to have had the skills to cope with such an upset. Seemingly far-fetched but highly attainable. Regardless, I made it through. I learned some lessons that have made the truth more clear. From this I will and intend to grow.

I look fondly on this rough period I have just gone through. I did things I have never had the strength or capability to do before. I was able to walk away empowered and confident in my right to choose what is best for me. Although a choice that ultimately hurt to make, I knew in my heart and my soul that it is what I needed to do. All because I let myself feel. I surrendered to my emotions and embraced them in such a way that it physically hurt me and psychologically tortured me.

Palm reflection in the mirror

Before you say I’m crazy for letting this happen, I need to explain. As someone who has throughout their life worked tirelessly to downplay and hide their emotions, allowing myself to feel anything is something I see as a huge win in my personal growth. Sure my entire sobriety process has been contributing to opening myself back up, but there’s just something about this little rough patch that was different. I never once lied about how I was feeling to anyone. I actively sought out the advice and comfort from those I care about for guidance and support. I let myself become so raw that I even overwhelmed myself sometimes. I had showcased a level of vulnerability I didn’t even believe I was capable of.

I can say now that I know what it truly means to feel. Feeling is letting your mind run wild. Feeling is crying because you want to. Feeling is yelling from the top of your lungs into an open space. Feeling is the rush of energy felt from laughter. Feeling is that moment when you have to decide between yourself and others. Is it me against the world or me at the will of the world? To feel is to be vulnerable. To feel is to be honest with yourself. To feel is the act of freeing yourself.


After this ordeal I am standing stronger, refined, and more beautiful than ever before. We are taught that it is ugly and frowned upon to be emotional. We are told that weakness is letting yourself feel. When in fact it is the opposite. The strongest can let their walls down and show their true colors with no inhibitions. The bravest can confess to the world secrets that would never see the light of day. The most powerful can be reduced to a pile of ashes and still resist from being blown away. The most devoted can fall out of love and fight tirelessly to save it, whatever it takes. All these require us to be vulnerable at a level we fear. I do not fear this level of vulnerability. I seek to be this vulnerable because it is here I am at my purest. It is here I am raw, open, and liberated.

The biggest insights I am taking away from this is that you are beautiful when you feel. You are powerful when you feel. You are free when you feel. I have been reminded just how integral expressing myself is to my existence. I am not myself when I cannot express how I feel. So I must continue to be open and present in how I feel. It is in this mindset I can make the best decisions for myself. In this mindset no one else can interfere with what I believe is best for me because through feeling I can come to know it, embody it, and embrace it. When you feel you fight. Fight against what you know and what is right. To feel is to be empowered to be the best version of yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.


Emotionally Stripped:

Tailor James


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