How to Identify and Manage Emotional Rollercoasters

I am back and writing about what I am currently going through! I really wanted to write about the topic of emotional rollercoasters, how they sneak up, and how difficult they are to manage and mitigate them. What is most frustrating about these is that no matter how hard you try and reflect on yourself, some emotions have to be processed by your subconscious to be ready to fully leave your system. Please note that I am in no way an expert, or even formally educated in the field, or making any scientific claims. These are just the experiences I have had and seen patterns. 

Anyways. This past week has been insane for me emotionally. While I used to feel severe anxiety when trying/doing new things, I did not feel anxious this week, so I assumed that the emotional highs and lows I felt would not affect me. On Thursday, I met Colin Jost at the Homecoming Headliner show (my idol omg!!!). On Friday, I had to cancel a DC trip with a dear friend and had to visit the dentist. Saturday was fine, but on Sunday, my ex called and showed more of his toxicity, whose trauma from last year I am still healing from. Last night, he texted me the same trauma-inducing messages. 

Meeting Colin Jost was amazing! He was very kind and down to earth in real life, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet him. However, I was so excited, having been a huge fan for years now, that I could not really process what had happened at all, how hard I tried. I came home, sat on my bed, and forced myself to recall my experience, but I essentially had forgotten it. Upset that I essentially forgot such an exciting experience, and exhausted from the day, I went to sleep. WELL. Little did I know that my mind decided to process this whole insane experience in my sleep, and I felt it the next morning. I really cannot describe it, except that I felt uncomfortable in my skin. I think that my subconscious, as I was sleeping, had processed the anxiety masked as excitement. I honestly also think that the excitement had worn me out emotionally, and my body was just processing it. Regardless, I would describe the meet and greet, and the days leading up to it as an emotional high, and the day after as a weird limbo. 

Because of this weird headspace, the next day’s emotions were heightened. What was basically rescheduling a trip to DC felt like betraying a friend, and the routine trip to the dentist was scary, as I was afraid to be told I had cavities. These were emotional lows, especially the feeling of betraying a friend, which has layers of emotions like guilt and trauma buried within it. 

Sunday night, the same thing as Thursday night happened: details of the harrowing FaceTime call aside, after hanging up, I was too tired to process anything, and my conscience was not either. Exhausted, I fell asleep and woke up the next morning extremely sad, and felt as if I had been overthinking all night; my subconscious had done it for me. Before I even knew it or knew that I wanted to, I started bawling. A very severe emotional low. 

The day of Monday treated me better, and while busy with work, I slowly got over the problem. However, everything was brought up again with him texting me again, especially past trauma that was triggered by it. So, I had to deal with new feelings, and resolve traumas that I was slowly working on. While this whole roller coaster was stressful, I have dealt with them in the past by reflecting and sorting my thoughts out. It was never difficult, but manageable. 

What really got me this time, though, was the fact that I had no control over these thoughts marinating in my subconscious leaving my conscience to deal with the results of overthinking. I tend to overthink, but when I do, I am there when it happens. It is like following a path; I know how I got there, and what places I can revisit to resolve certain feelings. But with your subconscious doing the thinking for you, you are essentially abandoned somewhere, having to figure out how you got there with absolutely no clues. It is scary, and more importantly, very, very confusing. It also instills a sense of not knowing who you are or a sense of unfamiliarity with these thoughts. All of these factors culminated in me being very uncomfortable and nervous.

So. What do we take away from this? Try and reflect, and feel, even if it is awful feelings, with your conscience. Of course, be mindful of your mental health and slow down when needed. But it is very important to be present when your emotional experiences are being sorted through. And I know, sometimes you just cannot process or even recollect the experience. So, if possible, try to distract yourself a bit then return to it. If possible, try not to sleep on it!

Again, these are from personal experience and might not work for everyone, but here is just some insight on how to reduce emotional roller coasters that you could not help in the first place.