When I was younger, I had heard on the news that a man had been stabbed, and subsequently, bled to death. I had never head that expression before: "bled to death"... so what did it mean? I knew that guns and knives = death, the end, but how could you bleed to death?
This is when my mother provided me with an analogy that I have continued to use and develop to this day.
Instead of explaining what it meant, my mother knowing me well, gave me a visual representation (don't worry - no one was harmed in this process!).
My mother took me to the kitchen and took out a ziplock back and a knife. She turned on the tap and placed the bag under a steady flow of water, letting it fill halfway. She explained that the tap represented the human heart (essentially constantly creating new "blood"/water). She then proceeded to "stab" a hole in the bag, allowing some of the water to begin pouring out slowly. The leak was not large and the water coming in from the tap was able to sustain the small hole she had created. She explained that when we bleed from minor injuries, our body is able to keep up with the loss of blood because it's always creating new blood; the body is able to function as long as it has enough. She then began to process of poking more holes in the bag and I watched, wide-eyed, as the tap became unable to keep the bag full. It was from this that I understood; it was from this that I was able to create my own analogy years later...
Now for me, this analogy became most applicable in a recent relationship, but I believe it applies to any sort personal qualms.
We can't become the plastic bag. It is true (and common) that we patch the holes created... and for a while, they will hold. But eventually another hole will be created and a new patch required (see where I'm going with this?). There becomes a point where we're so patched that the water begins to soak through the patches and spill out.
And regardless of how many times we put the smiley-faced patch on the leaky bag, it's still going to have a hole and it's eventually going to start leaking again (a.k.a. just because you pretend everything is OK, doesn't mean that it is because you're not actually resolving anything). This process of patching will eventually burst in your face... you'll be patching and patching and patching, but there will still be that water coming in and holes created.
This may be gruesome (and I've received many the odd look from this specific advice) but you need to be able to rip off those patches, pull out the "bullet" and stitch yourself back up. Let it heal.
Yes, you are going to have a scar, and trust me, it won't be nearly as pretty as that little patch that you would have worn over the hole, but eventually it will fade and all you'll have is a faint pink mark where that hole used to be.
It's not easy and it's not pretty, but hey, wouldn't you rather survive?
This isn't a poem in any sense... but it's something that's been plaguing my mind lately...