emotion deregulation

     I have learned to detect my own emotion deregulation.  I used to think that it was just “getting upset.”  I would cry, feel really angry or sorry for myself, sometimes feel unstable or almost dizzy, and sometimes I would just go lie in bed in pain.  Eventually, the feelings would wear off; they would get replaced by other feelings.  Then I was regulated and functioned “normally” again.
     But now I recognize it: “Oh!  I am emotionally deregulated!”  I  see it as a weakness, something to improve.  But it is VERY, VERY hard to know how to improve it.  When I am in it, it is almost impossible to pull myself out of.  It is like a drug: almost intoxicating.  it just has to wear off on its own, since will power will not put a dent in it.
     In Oct., I deregulated.  Someone made a comment that triggered it.  I held it together until I was alone, and then I fell into my bed and wailed.  I cried and cried and sobbed and sobbed.  I was in so much pain, I thought it might kill me.  I could not talk with or even see my children, and this tantrum of sorts needed to just play itself out.  This happens once or twice a year, and while it is not common for me, it was still familiar, and I knew to just let it pass.
    But after the one in Oct., I gave it some thought.  “Why did I do that?  What was I trying to accomplish by getting so upset?”  After some deliberation, I had a revelation: it was a PROTEST!  I was protesting, in private, what the person had said.
    Ah, this word “protest” was the key that opened up a world of healing for me.  Yes, it was a protest.  But how weak a protest!  It was silent!  The person will never be changed for the better, be encouraged in growth, or spurred to heal through this private deregulation.  It was the most violent and yet most ineffective mode of protest imaginable.  I thought to myself, “Why not use WORDS?  Kind, loving WORDS?”  That seemed to me a more viable option with a greater chance of improving the situation!
     So now, when I deregulate, it may take me hours or even a day or two.  But I now catch myself, and say, “What am I protesting?”  Once I can say it in words in my own mind, I can then think about alternative forms of protest, whether that might be words or prayers or actions.  That sends me into a more constructive mode, a problem solving mode, and the emotion deregulation is rendered obsolete.
     Thank goodness! 🙂