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I Can Just Feel Something Else...

I am not sure how I ended up here.  Living the entirety of my life with this idea that my feelings are something that can just be changed.  But this is what I believe:

If I am happy, I can get happier

If I am sad, I can fucking change that

If I am hurt, I can just become unhurt

If my heart is broken, I can do a WHOLE bunch of activity and morph heartbreak into something else

If I am angry, well, I haven’t always been too good at changing this - I have kind of liked the high angry provided - although I like it less and less today

If I am depressed, I can change that

If I am feeling lonely, which I couldn’t really even admit until yesterday, I can find company and change that

If I am any of the above and I don’t like it, I also have all these behaviors to back stop myself and immediately change how I feel.

I can shop.

I can eat sugar.

I can work out.

I can sleep.

I can online date.

I can go for walk.

I can call someone to talk about how I feel or just shoot the shit.

I can go to the beach.


And with what I have just written above, I can see that this is who I have always been.  Someone at war with her feelings, who has had to adopt some pretty intense coping strategies to make life livable.

And forever there was no other way, this was just how I was built and to a large degree I could see no other way.  I just went from one uncomfortable emotion to another and then, depending on the emotion, I deployed one of the adaptive strategies that would immediately change how I felt.

And this was the way I lived my life.

Until recently...

When my last relationship ended, over a period of months, months that I didn’t know it was actually ending (I thought we were working together to work it out - I can see that this was really just a long process of detaching, likely for both of us). I made a commitment to myself that I would not DO something to mitigate my feelings of heartbreak, sadness, loss, loneliness and the like.  I made a commitment to feel the actual feelings and not try to fling them away per usual.

And the last six months has been hard.  I am not even really sure when the relationship ended...was it July?  Was it August?  Was it October?  The physical relationship stopped in June.  But the emotional entanglement went on for longer.  So I am not sure how long I have been grieving this, but I am pretty sure it goes back even further than this...the trouble really started over a year ago.

I am so mired in this loss and what it says about me and him and my choices and his choices.  I have had such a hard time figuring out what was mine and what was not.  I still love this person and want him to be well and happy.  Which only confuses me more.

I am sad.  I am heartbroken.  I am confused about the good times and if they were real or if they were just part of his maladaptive strategies for avoiding feeling uncomfortable things.  I really don’t know.  Or was that me, and not him at all?

Was it love?  Or one of love’s uglier offsprings:  need, want, compulsion.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter what it was.  Perhaps it only matters that we both survived it.  Perhaps he was the lesson I needed to learn at that time and perhaps I was the lesson for him.  Makes love sound so awful when reduced to lesson learning.

I mean I do see life as one giant fucking classroom, but really do not enjoy when this is matched up against love and all the lovely sentiments and emotions that are conjured there.

But what I am getting, very fucking slowly, and quite painfully is that one cannot really make yourself feel something else just because you do not want to feel that thing.  There is always a cost associated.  ALWAYS.  You can pay now or you can pay later.  And I realize that I have like 50 years of living with this whole deferred emotional payment situation and now I feel like I have this giant fucking mess of emotional debris to clear out.  And that is made more difficult by my own stubborn refusal to stop deploying all this action to obviate me feeling any of the hard stuff in the first place.

I do see that I have been on the emotional avoidance Merry-go-Round.  It goes like this...

I feel something that I don’t like, so I get on the Merry-Go-Round.  Sure that this time it will be different.  I pick a different horse to sit on and swear the view will change.  Completely missing that it is a fucking Marry-Go-Round and it never moves out of that particular spot.  It literally goes around and around and around.  Transfixed in place and time and location.  Not ever altered or moved.

Then I get off said Merry-Go-Round, thinking, “Whew!  Glad that is over!  Things are totally going to be different this time!”  And then I wander around through life, not really sure of what I am doing, or feeling or why, and somehow I always seem to circle back to that fucking Merry-Go-Round...except that it is rarely merry and keeps me stuck in an endless loop of my own personal hell.

But fuck if that carousel isn’t seductive.  And fun.  At least until it makes me want to throw up.

So I am going to admit, right here, right now, that I cannot successfully just feel something else.  There is always a backlash, a debt that is created that I will have to pay someday. And this admission sucks.  It makes me feel sad and empty and lost.  But here I am.

I am sitting with the feelings that I do not want to feel and pledging to myself to NOT get back on that fucking carousel.  Please, I really do not want to go another round.

So I won’t...and pray that the changed behavior of this time will be enough to alter my habitual course.  And that maybe, I can just feel the hard stuff that is landing in my body, mind and chest and allow that to just be right here.  And to know that life has a way of moving things forward...always.  Again. Still.

But, and it is a very large but, I have to become willing to stop thinking that Merry-Go-Rounds are ever going to be viable modes of transportation...

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1 Comment

Jan 27

But fuck if that carousel isn’t seductive.  And fun.  At least until it makes me want to throw up.”

“Snort!”….nailed it!

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