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26 Jan 2022 , by Caroline

Your story is your story

Can you remember a time when you just didn’t feel OK? I can remember times feeling like that and then wanting to open up and talk about it. Sometimes it felt easy, and other times it took a lot of courage to be open and say “I don’t feel OK today”. I would then share part of my story, but this part is vulnerable, as it is just not OK right now.

Many times I would talk to a loved one, but for whatever reason, I would be dismissed.

“Oh, you’re over reacting.”
“I think that’s a bit over the top, don’t you?”
“Now come on, it’s not as bad as all that.”
“What have you got to complain about? Other people have it a lot worse.”

Can you relate?

You are then left with the rest of that day feeling dismissed, and your feelings and thoughts invalidated. So you come away feeling even worse than you did when you started. You feel alone, isolated, not listened to, not acknowledged.

Sometimes added feelings appear of – it must be me. It must be all in my head. I must be the one in the wrong because they didn’t take me seriously. My feelings were so easily dismissed I must be wrong?

Next: Guilt. Guilt that I bothered someone and interrupted their day over something so trivial as me. Then shame because how can I make such a fuss when so many others have it worse than me. And finally self criticism. How dare I be so ungrateful for moaning.

This is our story

Personally, I have lost count how many times I have felt like this. And I wish, I really do, that someone could have come to me and told me the following.

So to anyone who has ever felt like this, I just want to say:

There is nothing to feel ashamed of.
There is nothing to feel guilty about.
You are not ungrateful.
All feelings matter.
All feelings are valid and all feelings should be acknowledged.
This is us. This is our story. We are the author. Nobody else can tell us what we should and should not feel. Feelings are a huge part of everyone’s own story.

Everyone’s story is valid. And we all have a right to have our story, our feelings and our thoughts respected.

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