Storks, Bleeding Hands, and Articulating and Sharing emotions

Drawing of three storks and a stork nest
A drawing of storks by me. See more at:

Last week we were out for a walk and saw storks - the birds which bring babies in some countries :D. They look like north western fashionistas to me - wearing black and white furry feathers, with just an accent of color here and there.

During the walk, one of our fellow walkers got injured. A guide was helping her across a bridge and when the guide clasped her hand, the pressure of the grasp made the skin of the lady's hand split and start to bleed. It was shocking for me to see the skin in her hand torn open, just from a pull. The guides gave her first aid and later drove her to the hospital.

I felt so frazzled by this sight that I couldn't bring myself to talk to her and comfort her. She was in shock and pain, and I was afraid that I may say the wrong thing and get rebuffed or rejected.

Her need for comfort was bigger than my concerns of embarrassment, and yet there I was, feeling all worked up inside and saying nothing. All I could manage was to ask my husband to tell her that we could drive her to the hospital, and he told her.

Articulating and sharing our emotions

A few years ago, I would have just tried to forget the incident and not know what to do with the whirl of feelings and emotional energy within me. But that day I drew, and wrote about and reflected on my reaction - which seemed disproportionately strong to me.

And I understood that I hesitate from helping someone because of the fear that I will be rebuffed or rejected or because I don't know what is the best thing to do. And it makes me feel inadequate and embarrassed and angry because I do want to help.

When we share and articulate our feelings, it also gives others the vocabulary to talk about their inner world and relate better to themselves and others. And it makes it acceptable to be "real" with each other.

A few years ago I would have found it unthinkable to write to someone about such feelings, especially feelings of inadequacy and incompetence. I used to think that being too emotional is being too unpleasantly dramatic and the same as whining :D.

But I am writing them here today because

  • I am learning to see that life is bigger than my need to feel safe and unashamed/unembarrassed.
  • I see that when others share and articulate their feelings, it also gives me the vocabulary to talk about my inner world and relate better to myself and others. So I want to pass on this gift of honesty and vulnerability to someone else who might need it.

This emotional expression is a learned skill, I have learned it in the past 3-4 years. I have had therapy, read books and done exercises from books, taken courses, etc., and additionally, the two things below have been super helpful:

  • Joining a 12-step support group. 12-step programs started with a support group called Alcoholics Anonymous and now there are 12-step programs for all kinds of life challenges - addictions, eating disorders, emotional, abuse, dysfunctional families, divorce, grief, etc. There's also a program for recovering from any life challenge. These are free to join and can be online meetings or face-to-face meetings, and you can search for these on Google. In case there are no meetings in your country, you can look in other countries in related timezones.

  • And the second thing has been Feldenkrais functional integration sessions - I went there for therapy for muscle pain but instead experienced the emotions stored in my body during the sessions and they ended up being pretty dramatic sessions :D.

I am sharing these resources to say that if you are undergoing any life challenges, it is very good and wise to seek help, in whatever form works for you. If you want any recommendations on books, etc., or anything else, feel free to write to me and I will try to help as much as I can.

Thank you!