Coping vs. Suppressing


As I dive back into continuing my healing journey, I’ve learned so much about myself. I hadn’t undergone therapy since escaping the foster care system. I realized that the child who went through therapy then, was not the same as the adult who’d recognized help was still needed.

I continued to grow “past” pain, past rejection, and past trauma in what I thought was a healthy way. Here I am at 32 years old, married with four amazing children, a part of the working world, a new author, minister, and so much more. And yet, I came to a point of feeling so overwhelmed; so…unstable.

It was even more frustrating to not know where the emotions and anxiety were resonating from. I couldn’t pinpoint any specific stressors. But I was literally bypassing my feelings and not dealing with them head-on.

I came to a conclusion after praying, and after some self-inventory (which wasn’t easy, but necessary). Here’s what I realized:

Instead of coping with these issues in a healthy way, I was suppressing what I didn’t want to deal with!

It wasn’t even about the minor issues I was currently facing. It was years of built up suppression! The current issues just sent the suppressed ones into a complete avalanche.

Let’s look at the definition of both coping and suppressing. 

Coping is defined as dealing effectively with something difficult; having the capacity to deal successfully with.

Suppression is defined as stoppage or reduction; the canceling of an effect.

Being able to cope is necessary as you heal. It allows for you to process your emotions, decisions, and thought pattern in a healthy manner. When left untamed, those are often unstable and aren’t for the best.

May I suggest many of us are so overloaded with the ever changing ways of life, that we simply have not had the capacity to deal with emotions successfully? Our capacity is and has been on overload!

“Capacity overload causes cluttered chaos!” – Litaspeaks

We tend to undertake so much, and don’t know how to articulate when something has become too much. Women, in particular, have such issues with knowing when to hang up the super woman cape! Men have the same issue, especially when its been instilled in them to work, work, work!

However, we have to begin to ask ourselves, “When do we have time to tend to ourselves?”

Making sure you are taken care of is just as important as taking care of others. Being overloaded doesn’t leave any space for dealing with negativity successfully. Even when you enter an elevator, it has a posted weight limit it can carry! We need to start setting a “weight” limit that we can carry! Work on not allowing others to overload you as well as not overloading yourself.

Have you ever tried to complete an activity you’d normally enjoy, while frustrated? Think of all the range of emotions and thoughts you have. We normally still push through to complete the activity at hand. We hide how we are truly feeling for the satisfaction of others around us. We don those masks that serve as a cover up and may even pep talk ourselves into believing we’re OK.

This is unhealthy and it is suppression at its best! Remember, suppression is defined as stoppage or reduction. It’s said to cancel any effects one may feel. We do this for protection, not realizing it creates walls of separation.

Life tries to make us feel defeated in so many ways. It attempts to attach titles to us such as: failure, weak, angry, damsel, unsuccessful, etc. You, my friend, are none of those titles.

Nothing about you is in “cancellation” status! Don’t feel like a failure because you are seeking healing. You aren’t weak because you haven’t quite gotten over “that.” You aren’t unsuccessful because that “issue” keeps arising.

Suppression is in essence, a numb state. You can not function without feeling. It will cause more damage than healing. Numbing is only effective during the surgery/cutting phase. The patient (person) can cause unknown harm when experiencing no feeling.

“Feel so you can heal.” – Litaspeaks

Today, I encourage you to perform self-inventory on where you are currently in your emotions, mind, heart, and life! Write it down and see what negatives appear. When you get a negative, seek how you can replace it with a positive. Don’t be afraid to share with a trusted voice in your life if you can’t do it on your own.

Healing is a journey and no journey looks the same. The best thing you can do is heal and not suppress. This way you can completely move forward, healthy and whole!

How do you cope with difficult issues? What has worked for you?

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"Write it Out to Get It Out!" is this vibrant young woman' s motto. Charlita Bowman is a 31 year old woman who resides in the northeast. Living life with her high school sweetheart and husband, Jacob, and their 4 wonderful children, Te'Asia (13), Israel (8)  Landen (4) and Khloe (6 months) has been amazing (although chaotic at times). Charlita currently works with SCDHHS, and holds an AA in Medical Assisting. Reading, spending time with family, writing, music, God and nature are just some of the things that bring her joy. You can find her actively involved as a minister at her church, volunteering as a sexual trauma advocate and using her creative platform , Litaspeaks to blog, write poetry and offer creative services. Charlita has newly launched her Litaspeaks T-shirt line " Lita-Ology!" and will be debuting her first book later this year! Above all else, Charlita cherishes her role of being a mom and a wife!


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