What's the point of feeling miserable?

No one wants to feel miserable, and when we face difficulties it may be a case of getting on with what must be done to limit damage and repair relationships as best we can. At such times of crisis it is unhelpful to be overwhelmed by our feelings – they get in the way of what needs to be done, and many people find they are best able to focus their attention and energy where it is most needed by temporarily setting their feelings aside.

Later, when the smoke has cleared so to speak, they may find it is hard to feel anything much. Having hit the “off button” they now seem numb and life increasingly turns grey and meaningless. Turning off distress can leave us dead to joy.

But what would be the point of re-opening old wounds and connecting with past hurts when nothing can be done to change past events? This seems pointless or perhaps self-indulgent!

Meanwhile that weight of unacknowledged distress, that unexpressed pain, takes a good deal of energy to carry through daily life and although others may not know the cause they do see the impact this has -  they notice the exhaustion, withdrawal and depression, the wakefulness, the anxiety or phobias.

Old fears can make themselves felt in the present and appear irrational because they are disconnected from their original context. So now a new anxiety may be added – “Am I crazy? Why am I like this?”

We all want to lose our fears and sorrows while enhancing our energies and capacity for joy. Our sense of enjoyment keeps us reaching out and embracing life - which is great, but our fears are important too, they keep us safe by motivating us to avoid danger.

Emotions might be pictured as different coloured threads that wind together to make the rope of our life. We may like some colours more than others but we need every part of that rope to enjoy the full richness of life.

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