Roll With Us

I stood as tall as I could with my fist clenched telling myself that if I go down, I am going down fighting.  The opportunity to run was long gone as goons wearing red, blue, black, and yellow had me completely boxed in.  No one said a word but their intentions to do harm were clear and I had a deep feeling in my gut that this could be it.  One man wearing all red stepped forward and said…

“You have shut my crew and I out ever since you were a young kid.  I don’t know exactly when you decided to stop rolling with us but it was around the time your Father’s addiction forced your Mother to stop rolling with him.   We have missed a lot of time together and you will find your life will be better if you hang out with us”.  

A disheveled women wearing all blue appeared next to him and reached for my hand.  Her hands were freezing cold and I immediately felt a chill and tightness go through my entire body as her fingers grasped my hand.  I pulled away to see the frosty condensation come from her mouth before she said…

 “You will spend a little time with each of us, and we will come and go as we please.   It will be uncomfortable spending time with some of us and there will be others that you will never want to leave but please, please, don’t get attached to any of us.  One may stay for a week, the next for a day, and the next for an hour but none of us will stay permanently.   My name is Sorrow and I’m going to be with you for a while. Despair will be up next, followed by this guy in the red, Anger.  Just remember we come and go like the wind and Joy will have her turn one of these mornings too………..   

This is exactly how I felt the moment I could no longer fight off the emotions that came with my mother’s battle with cancer.  The avoidance techniques I learned growing up in a house with a drug addict were no longer working and I was left with no choice but to spend some time with sorrow, despair, grief, anger and all the other emotions I had eluded for years.    My time with them was uncomfortable, painful, miserable and yet very, very necessary.    

Necessary, because I have found that my life is better if I “roll with all my emotions” and quit trying to hold onto the so called pleasant emotions. I am realizing that emotions like Happiness and Joy come to visit more often if they don’t think I am going to try and lock them in.  They are more willing to spend time with me if they see I am willing to regularly spend time with their friends grief and sadness. I’m learning it’s a package deal and life has a way of providing you plenty of reasons to experience them all.  

My first instinct is still to run and hide from sorrow, despair, grief, anger, and loneliness when they come to visit.  The time spent with them is still uncomfortable, painful and usually miserable. However, I try and remember to let all my emotions come and go like the wind.  I try to remember that any effort to avoid certain ones and hold on to others is futile. I try to remember as the Psalmist said “weeping may endure for a night but Joy will come in the morning.”

6 thoughts on “Roll With Us

  1. Thanks for sharing Allyn. Definitely a good reminder. Sometimes I try to suppress and ignore emotions and I know it definitely doesn’t work – they will find their way out one way or another. Keep on writing!

  2. Wow! I have also discovered the necessity of fully feeling your emotions & avoid suppressing them. Although I still struggle with this after growing up with heroin addicted parents, I got really good at going “numb” in the emotions department. It was a defense mechanism as a child but it’s not healthy in my adult life. Now I make the conscious decision to fully feel them and let them flow through like a river. Fighting & resisting them only causes more suffering. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. We learn unhealthy ways to adapt as children that don’t serve us as adults. I’m working to let them flow like a river too but sometime it can feel like rushing rapids! Thanks for reading and sharing your experiences.

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