What has become more and more obvious lately, is that I need time to let things sink in. It doesn't matter what it is, if it's good news, or bad news, or just news in general. I need time to think about it. It's the way my analytical little brain works. I have to have my wisdom teeth removed? I need to process. You're having a baby? Give me a moment. Whitney Houston died? I'm gonna need to let that digest. I'm sure on some levels, it's absolutely ridiculous, there are times when no thought is necessary, but for me, if I can't take the time to process, it all comes back to bite me when I least expect it.
Sometimes, even I am surprised by my initial reaction to things. You could tell me the worst, most unexpected news, and I'll just sit there listening, absorbing, digesting. I don't think it's a bad trait, it just takes me longer to come to peace with some things. More often than not, the place between absorbing any kind of news, and the peace, is a period of contemplation in the form of an emotional roller coaster.
Even when I'm told good news, I struggle with the demons of doubt, and my own insecurities can spin the most spectacular news into a web of worry, envy, or fear. My brain scans through every possibility of what this news "could mean," before I reach the moment of clarity and go back to radical acceptance. The same process is true for the not so good news.
This wasn't how I dealt with things my whole life. It has only been the last few years that I've allowed myself the time to process. Before, I would stuff any reaction I had, as far down as I could, so I wouldn't have to think about it. I would bury anything I felt, by doing things that ultimately made me feel worse. I stopped eating, I isolated, and I hid from my responsibilities. Then it all came back to bite me in the ass.
I've spent enough time in my life, having emotional reactions, that I am familiar with the mental and physical toll it can take. I can't say I have mastered the process of getting to the point of peace, but I have certainly experienced moments of mastery. Moments where I can sit with the relief of radical acceptance, and remind myself that it just takes time to let it all sink in.