Feel It All | Jessica Hancock

Some of us cry in cars to cope, others punch walls, some sleep – me, I like to lie on a cold bathroom floor.
 
I’m not really sure my reasoning for this besides the fact that I am a hot natured person, and when I get emotional, I become about ten times as hot as I am naturally, and that’s not fun for anyone within five feet of me. When I lay down on that floor, something about the cold washes a calm over me, and helps settle my troubled heart. I just thought at 24 – I wouldn’t still be hugging bathroom floors.
 
I remember a particular day where I was just feeling it all. I was crying, hives began to light up on my chest and quickly crawling up my neck. So I floated to the bathroom – plopping myself on the cold linoleum floor, and I took a big, shuttering breath. The coolness kissed my cheek and I felt the chills wash over me. As I took a breath, my tense body began to relax, and the emotions began to quiet. I opened my eyes to see dust and dog hair discoloring the floor, and I began to ask myself “Why is this so freaking hard?!”
 
I am the kind of person that likes to be forewarned how things are going to go in life, from the small things like how a shot feels, to big things like what to expect when moving away from home for the first time. Anybody else feeling my control freak vibes? So I don’t do very well with the “feeling it all” type of moments, because no one can really prepare you for them.
 
I categorize “feeling it all” experiences into two types – expected and unexpected. We experience the angst of middle school, the nostalgia of senior year, and the sheer panic that is college. We also experience our first love, our first heartbreak, our first death. All of these things we can somewhat expect. We watch movies about them, and people attempt to prepare us for them all throughout childhood. My over prepared self can survey all the things I will maybe, possibly feel throughout somaybe just I can feel more prepared to deal with thesesituations? Besides – everyone has to go through it once right? I hear family member’s words echoing in my head now: As a girl or boy in whatever life phase, it’s just normal, you get through it.” Sound familiar? These moments certainly take us by surprise but they don’t blindside us by any means, so as functioning humans we deal with it in our own ways and keep going.
 
What about the second category of the “feel it all” type of moments? The lonely, unjust, have- to-be-abnormal, knock the wind right out of you moments? These are a different type of beast. I’m talking about your friend dying unexpectedly, your struggle with addiction, a surprising medical diagnosis, deceit, self hate – you understand what I mean. These are the moments our loved ones could never prepare us for, and yet in the thick of it we ask “but how could they not tell us life came with these nasty surprises?! Next thing you know we are hugging our bathroom floor because we are not sure we can survive in a world like this.
 
I have good news and bad news friends. The good news is that the hugging the bathroom floor moments come for us all – whether 5 or 35, the experiences provide that same distinct gut punch feeling. You’re not alone in your struggle – and you’re not the only one face planting it on some questionable linoleum. The bad news is life is tricky in the sense that experiences are true to their name – they are meant to be experienced. I’m sorry that no one can prepare you for the bad news, the heartbreak, orthe life altering job switch. We hear the one liners from grandpa and old country songs written about how life isn’t always going to be easy – and yet we truly can’t appreciate some pieces of advice until we are on the other side of it.
 
There’s beauty in in all this mess though. In the midst of overwhelming, hard-to-understand-why FEEL IT ALL type of moments, something new and beautiful begins to grow in us. We start budding flowers of wisdom, hope, and sobering clarity in our hearts. Suddenly we appreciate the advice we looked over long ago because although it couldn’t prevent our pain, it validated it on the other side.
 
Friend, I don’t say any of this to scare you – for the longest time I was worried about the pain life was going to bring me (again control freak) I wondered when, why, and how – now I wish I could look at that lil girl and tell her to relax!! She can’t control it anyway. Yes, you will hug your bathroom floor a few times in this life, and I know these words are meeting many of you right in the thick of it. I’m so sorry, but listen to me, it will not always be this way. You will go on, the pain will pass and you will realize how much more beautiful and strong you feel after making it through. To my friends who have made it through what felt like a very dark time, it’s your turn to step up – take the hand of a family member, a friend, or a stranger, and help pick them up off the bathroom floor. I once heard that a person who suffers is a person to be listened to – it’s hard earned. Your words and stories matter to others, use them to change things.
 
I hope these words meet you right where they needed to today. You are seen, you are understood, you are loved wherever you are, whatever you are in the middle of right now. Praying peace over you today.
 

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