Sweaty palms, racing heart, feeling like there’s a whole zoo of animals racing through your stomach, visibly shaking from head to toe, ice running in your veins… Why is this the effect of emotions on us?
We can go from being happy and laughing, to wanting nothing more than to curl up in a ball on the floor and cry until there’s nothing left to cry about.
But there are some people, like me for example, who are very bad at expressing any emotions that isn’t anger. Anger and I, we’ve had a long, stupid, complicated relationship. Most people I meet don’t know anything different from me, and as much as I try and try, I can’t help that.I vaguely remember a quote- “The first thing we think is taught, the second is who we want to be.” Something along those lines.
The way my brain is, the first thing I think when I want to cry or be sad, grateful or elated is “Bad”. Any emotion is bad. But, the second thing I think to myself is- “No, it’s okay, you can do that.”
Sometimes I forget that though. For a very long time; I forget that. I bottle everything up until it all just explodes out of me at the most unexpected moments. All the sorrow, grief, happiness, sentiment, fear, pity, envy, love… Shame. I scream, cry, break things. I put my fist through a window a few years ago… I tried boxing… That lasted a week until I busted all the seems on the bag. But mostly, I cry. Which as one can sort of expect, leaves a persons so drained, so exhausted, that you may as well be a zombie. After everything is done, I don’t want to talk to anyone, I ignore my friends, I turn into a horrible dog parent, and I want nothing more than to sleep.
This is a very destructive behavior. It’s ruined relationships for me- I’ve had break downs so bad that my doctor suggested I see a therapist and a behaviorist, basically everything sort of sending me to the nut house. As a result, that’s why I’m writing these blogs, to try and work through this. So, to the guy who put up with this for a very long time, and then gave up because I couldn’t explain what was happening- Thank you, I really do mean it. I just wish I could find the courage to tell you why I’m like this. Am I angry that it ended the way it did? You bet your god damned ass I am, I am so mad at you.. that you left me. I understand why you did though. I’m mad at myself also, so don’t worry about that. Mind you, this was a lifetime ago, this wound still feels new to me.
When you are the way I am, people will think you’re an awful person, dark humor, sarcasm in almost every sentence you say, to the point where people can’t tell if I’m joking or not. Sometimes I can’t even tell. However…. Despite all this negativity, there is an upside, believe it or not. For as horribly strong as the negative is, the positive is just as strong. It’s definitely not as often as the anger, but it happens. I’m so happy, so bubbly, that my co-works freak out a little bit, asking what happened to me, are you okay? Why are you so happy? It make’s me feel bad, that this is what they say, “Why am I happy?” That they only know me as being the “angry smurf” nickname I live up to.
I try so hard to be happy. People don’t know how hard it is, to fake something like that all the time. To have all this built up inside, have it eating away at me, knowing I’m burning the candle at both ends- trying to contain it while trying to be positive for the benefit of others. The weight of it all mentally, knowing that I’m better then this. Remembering a time in my life where I wasn’t like this.
People will tell you to “just get over it”, “just don’t think like that”, my personal favorite “It’s all in your head, just stop”. Yes, it is in my head… That’s how mental illness works… I can’t just… “Stop”.
To everyone who knows me now and sticks by me.. Thank you so much. You have no idea what it’s like to have friends like that. To have lost so many of the friends I grew up with because they got sick of my crap, it’s disheartening. I try so hard to be a good person, and friend but I know I suck most of the time.
To everyone who has yet to met me- please… just be patient. I’m a tough nut to crack, but… I think I’m worth it…
So, if you’ve skimmed the story to this point, read this if nothing else. If you know a person who sounds like me, please don’t give up on them. Don’t. Even when things are really bad, even when they push you away. Even when the scream and yell at you. Even if they say they hate you and don’t need you… They do. More than they know, they need someone. But… Don’t be pushy about it. Tell them that you’ll always be there no matter what happens, or how long it’s been since you’ve talked or seen them. Tell them that, and give them space. Not an hour, not a day, maybe a week, maybe a month. When they feel that everything is under control again, they’ll reach out if they feel safe around you.