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  • Writer's pictureDawn Ford

Do You Try and Block Out How You Really Feel?

Updated: Jan 16, 2020

March, 2018

' Remember that it is very common in our society to have been socialised with the idea that we should cover up emotional pain rather than confront it directly. STERBs (Short term energy relieving behaviours) are a perfect example of an indirect and sometimes damaging way of avoiding our true feelings.'

I introduce STERBs in the 2nd session of the Grief Recovery Method programme. It's always an interesting topic to share. For many of us, at some time or other we may have used one or more of the following most common things to rely on for short-term relief:




Shopping ( ironically called retail therapy)

Escapism - Movies/TV







Short-term these 'distractions' enable you to cope, to get up in the morning, to do a day's work. We only run into trouble when we are using them frequently to help us 'numb' or 'forget' the pain we feel inside us. And as we turn to them to try and help 'distract' us from our sadness and heartache we can find ourselves relying on them more and more and in some situations we might even find ourselves becoming totally dependent upon them.

As it states in the opening quote, we are brought up to 'not to talk about it' or 'not to dwell on things', and that can mean we all act OK, we PRETEND or, we say NOTHING. What we all need to do is to talk and share with others exactly how we feel. Being heard is really the most wonderful thing. Finding someone supportive to talk things through with really is the best medicine for all of us; it provides us with an opportunity to get things 'out of our system' and in doing so the need to 'numb' or 'deny' our emotions is greatly reduced or even disappears.

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