Facts Over Feelings

My session this week in therapy started like this. “I cannot do this anymore! I want to be away from anyone and anything!” The reason why I said this comment to my therapist was that I had an incident during a work Zoom meeting.

Here’s the story: We have been working from home for six weeks. Each Tuesday, we have a group meeting to discuss how we were handling working from home and how our clients are doing. I have been so anxious since we started these meetings, so it is safe to say I am over this conversation. As my co-workers were going around saying positive words and tips, they are giving their clients, I set with this look of agitation. Yes, I forgot that people could see my face. I did not care. I am at the point of screaming. So, after an awkward exchanged I had with one of my co-workers about how children can in fact sit longer than 5 minutes, it was time to wrap up our meeting. One of the managers asked this question that really got under my skin. The question was, “what is one word could use to describe what kind of support you need right now?” Why this question? Can you actually support me? With the mess I have going on in my head, you really think you can SUPPORT ME? Everyone went around stating their word that would describe the support they need, as I sat there with the same look of agitation.

When my manager asked me about my word, I said, “I do not have a word.” Everyone began to look at the camera like I was on trial. My manager softly asked, “There is nothing we can do to support you, Ari?” “No,” I said with remorse. Now I feel like a B-word. I feel worse now, because everyone is probably wondering what is wrong with me, and why I am so dismissive. When the video called ended, I closed my laptop down and began to weep. “Ariel, why would you say that?” “Everyone was looking at you.” But it was too late to think about that; the damage was done.

When I told my therapist the story, she asked me a question that I would never think of asking myself. She asked, “With all the things that you mention in this song, what were facts and what was just your feelings?’ I instantly drew a blank. “Did you answer the question?” My therapist asked. “Yes,” I said, wiping tears off my face. “Well, that is a fact.” She said smiling at me. “You cannot let your feelings get in the way of the facts, Ariel.” She is right. I could dwell on how my co-workers were looking at me or worry about them talking about me to each other, but what is the fact? I do not know if anyone will have something to say about me, but what I do know is that I answered the question in the best way I could do.

We all have been in a situation where we focus on what others could be feeling about us. We lose sight of what is going on at that moment. We cannot control anyone’s feelings, but we can control how we manage our emotions during a stressful situation. We should try to think about the facts before jumping into our feelings. With sticking to the facts, we know how to proceed on our journey through life.

#AriSpeaksOut

Worst battle. What I know vs. What I feel.

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