When You’re Not Feeling A Healthy Range Of Emotions

Life should be celebrated, right? We always hear that stats that the chance that we were born as “us” is like 1 in 400 trillion. Lots of “swimmers” competing against us 😂.

 

This pic is from the last day I took a trip w one of my best friends, Andrew, to Croatia a # or yrs ago. We’d just had an incredible week+ traveling arnd a beautiful country…& I was leaving early in the morning for a flight (after going out the whole night before). Andrew captured the celebratory moment in this old European square, as I left at 4am for the airport, reflecting on the great adventure we’d just had. This was a # of yrs before my crash.

 

While life unfortunately isn’t always filled vacations, adventures, & time w best friends…there are little things we can appreciate for the small miracles they are, that can bring us similar joy.

 

This came to me as I was walking down 8th Avenue last night, passing by bars & restaurants where live music was playing, the performers were smiling as they sang, & those inside were dancing & throwing their bodies arnd like they didn’t have a care in the world. In life we need these moments…these respites. We don’t get to go on European vacations, weekly.

 

But I’ve been pretty open that my recent move to NY has come w some adjustments. Tho a “good” move, one that comes w change of routine. In a brain/system that’s already working hard to build up & use energy more efficiently than it has in previous yrs, that “work” can drain you, & so as I walked down 8th, I’d describe what I was feeling as a phase of mini depression that often comes to those of us who have trauma/PTSD pasts we are still trying to get in front of.

 

So what’s this feel like…when you can’t enjoy the mini-celebrations that are part of the human experience? I drew a chart of it on the last slide (dulled emotions vs feeling the beautiful highs & event lows of life)…but it feels like a blunting or a numbness of our emotions. The world makes less sense. You watch ppl sing, or dance as I did…or couples hold hands or kiss in the streets…or fans cheer passionately for their teams & you ask yourself – why do these things bring so much joy to those ppl? It’s as if those reactions seem foreign to you. They’re things that don’t resonate. Things that don’t make sense. You don’t find the joy in thinking about putting yourself in their shoes.

 

But here’s the thing…I’m a big believer in “getting reps.” We can’t sit in our houses or apts & act like woe is me bc these things don’t register (I recognize that some are physically bed-bound & I’ve been there)…but if you have an ounce of energy to get up & walk around the block, do it. Doing “reps,” remind yourself how you HAVE felt towards these small miracles in the past when you COULD feel them.

 

You’re training those emotional pathways to awaken…to be able to stretch an grab them from the shelves they’ve been on. These feelings are like muscle memory & we CAN get them back. The more reps we do – going through the motions & reminding ourself of the joy they once brought us (w/o getting angry they’re not currently resonating), the quicker the flickers of them will come back. And here’s the beautiful thing: after experiencing the “low numbness,” you don’t even need to get back to the exact same high levels of the past, to recognize these feelings that come back as the miracles they are. Perspective is a beautiful thing!

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