Everyone has their own way of dealing with emotional trauma. I was talking to a friend tonight and she was telling me that she starts off by having a long ugly cry with her mom, then watches the six hour version of Pride and Prejudice, eats any and every potato chip available, and mails it in with school/work until she feels like she can see the sunlight again.
For me, I lose my appetite and I just don't sleep. Usually I want to be around other people. I'll talk out my feelings until I feel like I've exhausted my friends with the subject, and then I'll just take every opportunity I can to be around other people. If that can't happen, then TV and movies get me through the day. That becomes my way of numbing myself. The last several years exercise has become another outlet for me.
Another friend was over at my place tonight and she was talking about how people will use disorders/addictions as their own coping mechanisms. People naturally need to process emotions, but when they can't, they resort to other dysfunctional behaviors as a way of staving off the emotions that they're facing.
The best way, I think, to cope comes through relationships. We learn to rely on those around us for succor, whether it be family or friends. People need people, and then, most importantly, people need to learn to foster their relationship with God.
I think I've covered the spectrum in searching for my coping mechanisms. My reaction to my worst breakup was watching tons of TV, not sleeping, and not eating. It got to the point where I was just feeling lethargic and kind of sick all of the time so I went and saw a doctor. She told me that I was anemic, and then asked me if I was going through anything at that time. When my mom had her difficulties, I learned to rely on my brother and the Reids very heavily. Dave has always been my greatest resource in this manner.
Anyway, so tonight I've been dealing. I said some prayers, talked with a few friends, but mostly just laid in my bed for the last 5 hours thinking about how things have arrived at this point. These are my conclusions for what's in store this weekend - there will be some movie watching, lots of running, lots of talking, and lots of calling on the powers of heaven to help me figure this out. At 5:30 in the AM, I think I'm just starting to get a grasp of how to move next. And it's nice to finally feel like there are some ways to assert myself and not feel completely powerless.