Flat Lines And Failures

All our lives, people have told us that if we lose our tempers just once, there’s something wrong with us. So should we have to live our lives with just a flatline of emotion?

Failure might have a definition but it still cant stop us from achieving our goals in life.

Photo Courtesy of Ryan Deitchman

Failure might have a definition but it still can’t stop us from achieving our goals in life.

Selina Fluty, Columnist

Ever since we were little, we were told not to feel or else – the horrible time-out corner. As we got older, this started becoming more and more common. “Don’t cry, Daniel,” “Lauren, don’t use that tone with your mother,” “My gosh, Kathrin, stop freaking out,” “Stop. Yelling.”

Now, as we develop from ten-year-olds who had not a care in the world to teenagers with things to do and people to crush on and struggles to fight, the ever-constant “don’t you dare feel a thing” starts turning into a reason to start hating yourself.

There’s such a constant pressure on kids to keep their cool in any situation. I constantly feel like I can’t yell at someone I’m mad at and I can’t cry because someone said cruel things.  If I did any of this, people would start to look at me differently. They’d consider me weak. Unworthy of something. A failure.

Even parents get shocked when their kid starts to cry or yell. Oh no, your child is capable of becoming so overwhelmed with emotion that there has to be some outward reaction! I know when I turn to my parents for help, they appear so shocked that I can feel something more than just silent struggling and brushing things off, I feel a little alienated. I think that maybe I wasn’t supposed to reveal anything. Maybe I should just keep quiet and survive this battle by myself.

When you cry, or yell, someone thinks something’s wrong with you. Misdiagnoses abound in today’s society. ADHD, ADD, depression, anger issues, OCD, to name a few. As soon as you start to reveal that you are a person with real emotions and feelings and that you aren’t a rock with a flat line of emotion, they throw meds at you and tell you you have a mental disorder.

Just stop this. Teenagers, children, adults, everyone feels things and it’s not abnormal to break down every once in a while. You are not a failure for feeling something. You do not have a mental disorder if you start to cry or yell or anything at all.

I used to be afraid to show emotion. I used to be scared to reveal myself, to drop my guard, to cry, to yell, to scream and just feel things. I have learned, thanks to social media, music, and the beautiful people who associate with both, that it is okay to feel something. I am still unlearning the belief that I am a failure or weak for breaking down every once in a while. And, although recently I have had a setback, I have resolved to not being afraid to show emotion and am working to help myself reach that goal and to help everyone else achieve the same goal.

Don’t let the world tell you that you need to keep it in. You are human. Humans feel. You are not a rock.