Feelings are weird.
I’m just beginning to get used to having them again.
For years while I was on the antidepressant/anti-anxiety drug Lexapro, I felt my feelings began to gradually deaden until I had none. I was a useless lump of just existing. If emotions are experienced on a scale from 0 being basically a stone with some brain function to 10 being OMGWTFBBQ, I hovered between a 0-2 for years. Except for when I had extreme bouts of feelings of self-punishment (stay tuned for a post on that…) or catapulted into a panic attack freak-out session, I was relatively devoid of any emotions.
I’ve been on Wellbutrin since last July now, and it’s only been over the past couple months that we’ve really gotten the dosage right. Thankfully, it’s also working for my kickass anxiety issues too…sometimes it can make it worse for people.
So now, I’m rediscovering what feeling all the feels is like. I forgot what it’s like to well up with tears while watching every single episode of Parenthood. I forgot what it’s like to get really excited about things. I forgot what it’s like to feel empathy.
And I forgot what it’s like to feel the dull ache of your run-of-the-mill melancholy.
I forgot what it’s like when a scab I thought was healing gets peeled off again, revealing my tender pink core.
It’s happened far too often lately.
Feeling the feels, man. It’s rough.
There was the time I discovered photos of myself with The Guy I Thought I Was Going To Marry on my computer. We were so happy, both so young and hot, so ridiculously in love and just crazy about each other. But I really dodged a bullet there. I fully acknowledge it. He ended up being an alcoholic who cheated on his next girlfriend with our mutual friend, but they got engaged anyway. He went into AA and they postponed the marriage. They got married, and were divorced within a year. But I still mourned what we had, at one point, when things were good.
Awww, just look how happy I was with The Guy I Thought I Was Going To Marry
There was the time I made the mistake of looking at my ex-wife’s Instagram accounts and I realized there was one post in which she discussed last July (when we were still theoretically together) that she felt she should take her wedding ring off, and her new anonymous friends encouraged it in the comments.
There was the time I got a message from my best friend from college after four years of silence, because she had difficulty with the fact that I started dating a woman. After much pain, I had buried the friendship, and now I don’t know what to do.
There are still times in which I have flashbacks to my emotionally abusive college boyfriend who is legally banned from my undergrad, due to a series of really traumatic events. And even though it has been ten years, there are still times in which he tries to contact me, my sister…even try to Facebook friend request me through his cat’s profile. He refuses to leave us unburied, no matter how hard I fight to push it down and smother it.
There was this time I smelled my first boyfriend’s cologne and was instantly transported back to my insecure, goody-two-shoes, naive 17 year old self, so judgmental towards him and so incredibly hard on myself.
Ah, the smell of senior year of high school. (via)
There was this time I realized that the best boyfriend I ever had decided to break up with me because he had his own emotional demons to fight, and didn’t want to drag me through it with him. I still view it as the ultimate act of mercy, setting me free against my protests.
There are times in which a song can transport me back to a moment with a person, a reminder of the good times and the bad.
There are the times I’m reminded that my only living grandparent, my grandmother, was thrilled to hear about my divorce because she hated that I was married to a woman. That she rejoiced in my pain for her own reasons. This wound is especially fresh, and the forgiveness is not coming easily.
And there was the time, this afternoon, in which I saw a damn pair of Superman socks at the dollar store and almost started crying. Superheroes are now inextricably linked with my ex wife, and every time I see them, I get a little punch in the gut. Even though I’m moving on. Even though I acknowledge our divorce was for the best, those silly superheroes play with my newfound emotions.
Seriously, who am I in that these could cause me such emotional turmoil?
I was talking with a friend recently about how to confront the past and how to move on into the future with the least amount of baggage possible. He said that he realized that his life doesn’t work smoothly unless he’s in harmony with everyone in which he’s ever had any investment.
Wow. If that’s the case, my life is still scattered in unresolved pieces all over this country. I have left discord in my wake. And I don’t know if it’s worth re-addressing them. There are some things that, unburied, would open up my body completely and turn it inside out, raw and vulnerable flesh that could never heal.
Are some things better left buried?
That’s the only way I’ve found I can move on. Sometimes, I just can’t do any more.
Perhaps those memories and feelings still come knocking every once in a while, but, as they begin to become hazy in the far distance of time, I look upon them and remember what I’ve learned. The insight I’ve gained. The people I have helped, because I have been able to share my experiences with them and they realize they’re not alone.
All of these experiences have fashioned me into who I am, my scars, my triumphs, my loves and my losses. And I am strangely grateful for them. I have no regrets.
Only plans to do better in the future. Be wiser. Cup my past in my hands and study it as it slowly trickles out, becoming a vague memory of who I was and what I have done.