I decided this morning that I should write something, so I started.
Actually, I had a mini panic attack this morning because I woke up not feeling a thing.
Just an empty spot that had always been filled with urgency before.
I thought for a moment that it might be comfort and contentment, but, it wasn't—it was just numbness.
So I started writing, because I was pissed. I mean, seriously, is that all there is? No intensity of emotion? No bliss? No gut-wrenching sorrow? Just….nothing?
Many times when I write, if I am using a notebook and a pen, I bring myself to tears. I used to think it was weird, but honestly, there is something so real about dragging a pen across a page and using your hand to create something—it makes you feel it, and it is quite powerful. It is as if you were speaking aloud, to the person in question. Of course you're going to cry. (Well, you're going to cry depending on what it is that you need to say...) Writing is magically cleansing to me in that way. I am not afraid of crying—I'm infinitely more afraid of feeling nothing at all than I am of crying.
So I started writing about that bad, bad thing that we do…when we deny ourselves the tears. When we think that "numb" is better than sorrow. Why is it that when things don't turn out the way we want them to, we're all "No worries! It's Fine! I'm good! I needed the time alone to practice my underwater basket weaving, anyway!" as if replacing sadness with busywork is OK…?
Where do those emotions go, people? They don't just disappear, you know…I think they turn up as ulcers and panic attacks.
Anyway…like I said, feeling Nothing scared the living crap out of me. I pictured myself aging into one of those who's only real emotion is anger because they've stuffed all the other ones, like after somebody looked at them funny for laughing too loud—whatever you do, don't feel THAT kind of joy again! People will look at you! Their days are spent in righteous indignation at all the people who have done them wrong, and they never admit to once feeling hopeful and having that hope dashed—too painful to talk about. They will never see a psychiatrist, because they think counselors are for crazy people (OMG are you kidding? Someone PAID to sit and listen to you vent for 50 minutes? It's the best thing, EVER!!!) They will never admit to wanting someone to love them and having it not work out—they'll just label that other person a jerk and claim they never felt anything at all. They will never dance like no one is watching…they feel the weight of judgmental eyes upon them at all times. They are not free.
This last year has been rather amazing in many regards, and a very big one has been that I've felt an awful lot of pain—it was the kind of deep, ancient pain that had been hiding since I was a child. Of course, I learned early on to stuff that kind of thing and never let if be known that you felt something. Don't fall in love, don't want anything, don't put yourself out there to be harmed. For a long time, I didn't.
Then, all of a sudden, that whole notion of "Protect yourself at all costs!" seemed utterly ridiculous. I did some things that people would consider a bit nuts. I left my husband, for one. Why? There was nothing there, and I felt very bad about holding him in a situation where I was totally absent. Oh, there were other things going on, compounding the fact that there was no emotion, and when asked why I left, I made sure to list only those "other things" (which were insane enough to satisfy even the staunchest of Stay Married advocates) and leave out the part about my heart not being in it. Not too many people would have said "go for it" if I told them that I had to follow my muse, which, in a sense (not a literal one) is exactly what I did.
All this time spent alone has drawn a lot of the past hurts out of protective custody, and I am very glad to let them mingle. I now have memory of these things, where before, I was content to pretend they never happened, or that I never felt anything, or that those people don't exist. I've had so many people from my past re-appear in my life this year that I can't HELP but think about those relationships and what might have happened (at least that which I could have done differently) that may have contributed to their ends. Being alone with your thoughts is quite healing. Even if you cry.
Especially if you cry.
True to form, I had to grab a tissue or two while writing about feeling like I had nothing more to write about. It was sweet relief. I'm not a person who likes to dwell in tears and sadness, but all things considered, I believe it is better to stay there than to feel nothing at all. I hope that I'm able to do my "muse" enough justice by following my inspiration that he doesn't mind hanging around some more. Waking up without him sucked…