By Nick Erickson, Assistant Features Editor
As odd as it may sound, I sometimes dread showering. While I love the feeling of taking one, I loathe the thoughts that can accompany them. When I’m not singing, I’m overthinking. More specifically, I’m over-analyzing my actions and interactions from yesterday and stressing about what tomorrow could bring.
The worst part about these shower thoughts? They’re often things I cannot hide from. The thoughts vary from day to day, sometimes pertaining to the test I failed the day prior and wishing I had studied an extra hour. Some are regrets about writing a text a certain way. I could have potentially avoided miscommunication with someone. For the first time in what seems like forever, my mind has been fixated on loss.
The other morning, I found myself thinking about how as I’ve aged, heartache has taken on various forms. It’s never manifested itself in the same way twice, and I’ve noticed myself reacting differently to situations as a 20-year-old adult as opposed to how I did as a freshman in high school. This isn’t to say it hurts any less; I just express my emotions differently. Though as much as I’d like to think not crying during an upsetting situation means it’s not affecting me as deeply, it seems to be the other way around. As an adult, I tend to bottle up my anxieties and suppress intrusive thoughts.
The past month has been one of the most rigorous and eye-opening of my college career. Without shedding light on personal complications, I will say that I’ve done a lot of introspection. I’ve put those analytical habits of mine to use, but they are usually what keeps me down. In the past month, I’ve been reintroduced to hurt. But for the first time in my life, I believe that I have means to manage it in a healthier manner.
Regardless as to who or what it may be, losing something you’ve been emotionally invested in is painful. As previously stated, I’m guilty of keeping my feelings from others out of fear of how they might react. However, my greatest realization of the past month is that opening up is a vital factor in the healing process. Talking to someone and getting what’s weighing you down off of your chest is the best alleviation. To the friends who have listened to me spill my guts out, I’m eternally appreciative. Getting to say what’s on your mind and confessing what is robbing you of sleep is the start of a rebuilding process. As scary as it seems, there are people who will listen.
Believe me, it’s not easy and will never fit any definition of “easy.” It is important to remember that everyone is dealing with their own adversaries, and everyone deals with hurt. Moving forward, I’m going to make a conscious effort to admit when I’m dealing with these thoughts. I’m going to speak my mind and encourage others to do the same. In admittance, there is solace to be found.
Forgive me for the clichés, but the truth is we cannot change our past. If there is one piece of advice I’ve gathered and can pass along from these pestering shower thoughts, it’s that every single thing that has occurred to us has molded us into who we are. Once we acknowledge that, it’s easier to view the future as a canvas. We will get through the pain and paint a bigger picture.
To those doubting there is anyone to talk to, Murray State has a great counseling service that is free of charge for students. Give them a call at 270-809-6851, or if you’d like to contact them more privately you can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.