A couple of months ago I was thinking about goals for myself and wasn't really coming up with anything. I'm not sure why I was even sitting there trying to come up with goals when I didn't have anything in particular in mind prompting me to do so. Maybe because it was shortly after the start of the year and it felt like I was supposed to? I have no idea.
A sweet client of mine was processing with me the sudden loss of her husband. As we talked about feelings of loneliness she stated, "It's quiet... a loud quiet, if that makes sense." Oh yes, it makes sense and I bet many of you reading this can identify with what she was describing. You might experience the loud quiet as a result of loss like my client, a hurting marriage, overwhelm as a parent, stress at work, demands from family or even an unsettled past. When we feel emotionally burdened or hurting, the quiet can seem very, very loud.
One common reaction to the loud quiet is to want to get away from it as quickly as possible. It doesn't feel good, it can even feel scary or overwhelming. Of course we wouldn't want to stay there! Who would? We do all kinds of things to get away. We distract ourselves with tasks, we may drink, overwork ourselves, have affairs, gamble, the list goes on and on. We do something... anything... that allows us to not have to experience the loud quiet. What scares us so much about the loud quiet, though? What makes us want to get away from it so quickly?
Of course the answer to this would be different for each of us, depending on our circumstance and how the loud quiet feels to us in the moment. The one thing that would likely be a common thread, though, within our answers is, "It's too big for me." The quiet becomes so loud because of the depth of emotion we're experiencing and the speed of the thoughts swirling around in our mind during those moments. It all feels so big, complicated and impossible. We feel it move toward us and might think, "I can't handle this."
If you take a moment to slow down and plant your feet, I think you would surprise yourself with all that you can actually do. The loud quiet isn't a big, heavy impossible monster to be battled and tamed. It is a lot of thought and emotion that longs to be seen, heard and understood. I help people sort through those challenging spaces, to calm and soften the edges, to find peace and to allow the quiet to not feel so loud anymore.
The amount of time and energy it often takes to sort through these things is so much less than the energy it takes to run from it or escape. Not to mention, much less harmful to you and your family than the options you might be choosing (or thinking about choosing) to use as an escape right now. You don't have to do all of this on your own.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Counseling for Women & Couples
Licensed Professional Counselor
9219 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, TN 37931
I am also a contributing mental health writer at