Nothing More Than Feelings

I am having too many feelings.

Maybe this is my normal level of feeling-ness but the difference is that I am actually feeling them. Like deep, a gut-punch of feeling. I blame therapy entirely.

I suppose this is the purpose of therapy (it is) and that I should feel some level of gratitude (I do) and yet I’m not sure how to BE. Does that make sense? I’ve lived my life at the precipice of certain feelings and now I’m in them. It’s all a bit much, frankly.

It’s probably odd to people who know me that I’m just now getting in touch with feeling my feelings. Especially because I spend 90% of my blog going on and on about my emotions. (Would we call that irony?) I’m entirely more comfortable talking about other people’s feelings than my own. Let’s talk about you! Let me take care of  you! I have lots of advice (that most of the time I won’t take for myself) (AHEM). I’ve used this blog (and before that, countless paper journals) to express in written form what is often hard for me to articulate out loud. I’m a process-y kind of person. I delve into the muck of my mind. What can I say, I relish in organization in all its forms.

It’s just that now instead of being in my head all the time, I’m in my feelings.

So when I am sitting on my therapist’s couch -the couple’s counselor, the one who has me do direct eye contact for upwards of 45 minutes at a time (hello! INTENSE!) and I’m talking and looking at her and she’s just there, just listening, just supporting, just staring straight at me. . . I am unnerved and yet, it opens me. It opens me to a place that is unfamiliar and scary and yet I want to dive deeper into it. I feel things acutely and if I look away, attempt to shift focus, lamely try to divert her attention, she sees.

It’s a powerful thing, being seen.

In my last session I felt like I had a positive revelation about myself. I walked out of the office feeling that I had a grip on who I am and, no small feat, I felt really good about that person. Even though when I talked about myself to her I was emphatic in my explanation of Who I Am as a person. I’m a good person. I am strong and intuitive and sensitive and funny and kind. I’m very loved.  I said all this with strong gestures, almost making fists and pounding the arm rest. Uh, who are you trying to convince? Oh right- me. I even was considering how to shift my blog and my persona of being this “neurotic is the new normal” type of girl. Because that person? I’m outgrowing her. I don’t want to play into that small version of myself. I’m tired of writing that story.

All this is to say that I’m making progress. Even when I write posts like yesterday where I admit to falling into a pit of despair and negativity. Even when I have a bad day. Especially when I let myself feel the feelings without distracting myself or worse, completely disconnecting to the point of numbing out. I’m rather adept at that.  You might never have noticed because I’ve been practicing my cover up techniques for many years. Or maybe you did? It’s well documented that I am a terrible liar.It’s quite possible I could have been deluding myself all this time.

Regardless of all that, the point is that I am getting somewhere. I’m not sure where. I’m not sure when. I’m not 100% enjoying it but it feels like the right path.

IT FEELS.

Yeah.

That.

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12 thoughts on “Nothing More Than Feelings

  1. You really are the worst liar. Worst as in Not Good At It. You are also, indeed, a very process-y girl.

    Feelings are icky, but they also are ephemeral and impermanent. And you, my dear, are amazing, and eventually, even you will come to accept it. And then maybe I can get a Taser.

  2. Ah, friend. YES. I’ve been there and for sure still am there. Learning to value yourself and to not play small or into old beliefs is hard. It’s easy to devalue yourself or think that all you’ll ever do or be is _________________. It’s painful to let go of those old thoughts but when they’re gone, you’re so much more unstoppable. I’m so rooting for you. Especially since I admire the shit out of you (in general) but especially for sitting through 45 minutes of eye contact. Jebus, dude. INTENSE. So much love.

  3. This is so brave Sizz, you are truly a warrior woman, brave as they come. If only half of the people out there went to therapy to find out who they are and deal with it in a positive way. If only.

  4. I think I’d have no problem with the direct eye contact therapy. I always worry that I look at people too much when talking. I think I make them feel uncomfortable. It’s not intentional. Well, not always anyway.

    I hope you figure out the BEing part.

  5. Almost every post of yours has within it a sentence that hits me in the face (in an awesome way). Something that stands out to me or makes me nod my head or verbally utter, “Yes!” at my computer, thus cementing my reputation as “The girl in the office who talks to herself.” In this post it was this line: “It’s a powerful thing, being seen.”

    All of that to say: You are a lovely person, inside and out, and I’m so proud of you for sitting with your feelings. It’s so hard sometimes. Just to sit with them. Just to FEEL them. But it’s oh so worth it.

    After everything unraveled with Chris I had to make a conscious effort every single day for a very long time to sit with my feelings and just figure out WHAT, exactly, I was feeling. Was I lonely? Missing him? Missing me? Missing nothing? What was hurting? Why was it hurting? The moments I took to sit with my feelings were ultimately the moments that healed me. That reminded me of who I was, and where I had been, and where I was going.

    Also: I now have “More Than a Feeling” by Boston in my head.) (And I hereby apologize if now you do, too. Heh.)

    Also: There is no way I can’t think of Michael and Gob and:
    “You know, that feeling that you’re feeling is what many of us call…a ‘feeling.'” “It’s not like envy, or even hungry.”

  6. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? I remember being mired in that mess and feeling like WHOA there’s a lot of crap to sort through here. Like when you finally dump out the box of internal doo dads and then you have to go through all of them to clean them up. Therapy really does break you open. I love that you’re IN it. In the trenches. That you’re being seen. This is all such amazing, transformative stuff.

    I think that the emotional peaks and valleys are totally normal, too. I remember leaving counseling on a high every time and then a few days later I’d be so raw with all the emotions. But I also think that as you go through the ups and downs you get closer and closer to a mid-point. And that’s the best place to be, right? There in the middle of contentment and acceptance.

  7. Eye contact is a huge thing for me, too. I have to really think about it, make a point to do it. It’s one of the things that makes me feel my feelings, for sure. And when I catch myself not doing it (which is far too often) I not only then feel awkward, but on top of that feel bad for the person/people I’m talking to. It’s no wonder I have no problem speaking in front of large crowds– you don’t have to look anyone in the eye then.
    Anyway, I think you should be so proud of the things you know about yourself, and for letting yourself feel feelings, and get through without pushing it away. Too often people think we shouldn’t feel weird or bad or awkward feelings, but that is life. It would be silly to deny it.

  8. LOVE IT! Hello, feelings. Long time no feel.

    Give them a hug, my friend. You will soon be spooning them at night and they will make you feel complete.

  9. Yay for feelings! They can be scary, for sure, but we’ve been friends for years now and you never fail to inspire me with your constant pushing forward so that you can grow.

  10. You and I have chatted a little about my desire to try therapy, and I have to say, what you just described, the really FEELING feelings part, is what scares me the most. Sometimes I think it’s just easier to push those real and raw feelings away to deal with another day, but I can’t imagine that’s healthy, and not going to bite me in the ass some day when I least expect it.

    I’m happy, though, that you’re making this kind of emotional progress. You ARE a wonderful person. You ARE loved. And you deserve to FEEL those things about yourself.

    Big hugs to you. (See you in a few hours. I am up with insomnia post toddler wake-up at 2. Zumba is going to be real fun. Heh.)

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