There is a minuscule line between feeling everything all at once and feeling absolutely nothing. Both are terrible, both are dangerous, but one is a double edged sword. Feeling nothing feels, well, wrong, like you’re out of place, out of sync with the rest of the human race, so you do what you can to feel anything, even pain. Especially pain. You want love but the world is grey and so small; you wish for joy, but your head tells you it’s temporary; you yearn for peace, but hope is hard when you’re numb.
So how do we find a balance between everything and nothing? How do we stop using pain to break through the doldrums, and stop allowing all the emotional labor that comes with feeling everything all at once?
Me? I’ve tried everything, programs, reward systems, putting up thick impenetrable walls, stopping art, making more art, making art that’s too personal, changing jobs, cutting out toxic people, drugs, therapy, hospitals. I’m getting better and I think it’s probably all of those or some of those, and maybe other things I didn’t realize I did. I’m happy and hopeful for the first time in a long time. I don’t feel the trauma of the last few years quite so deeply anymore. I can usually toe the line between feeling too much and feeling nothing at all.
I would like to make one thing clear though, all that progress is just that, progress, it is not a finish line. So yes sometimes I will feel too much and yes sometimes the only way through the nothing is pain, this illness is invisible, and being “high functioning” makes my pain even more invisible. I am proud of the progress I have made, even if there are bad days, I am hopeful for a future where there are very few bad days.