Life is Full of OK’s and Alright’s

Jared, I do think it might be a little more you than you think. I’ve been listening to a podcast (I know, I know, but only when I’m driving to doctor’s appointments) called Invisibilia. They have had a 2-part series on Emotions that isn’t easy to listen to but that I think could be helpful.

Those Emotions chapters really made me think about how I have/use my emotions vs. the people I am closest to- my husband, who I joke was “raised in a Skinner box.” We are slowly working to the point that he can express his anger or frustration or sadness without turning them inside on himself. My brother (who lives with us), who was always sensitive as a child but also a little closed off, and has always been more closed off- until the death of my mother last year, when he had some trouble dealing with his emotions. My father, who, while a loving and caring man- and certainly the most cuddly of hiw Army rank I have ever known- was never a terribly emotive guy. He is what I’d call an Irish-American emotive who can tear up if he laughs hard enough or during “Climb Every Mountain” in The Sound of Music. He wore his grief at losing my mother on his face, not in a tissue. My other brother, who traded his feelings for addictions.

And then me. I cry at the drop of a hat. I’ve always been very emotional. I empathize with others’ pain, much less my own- just like my mother did. I had wave of grief at her loss; they would come from nowhere, sometimes leaving quickly and sometimes becoming paralyzing. It’s been better. But I have always, like I said, sensed others emotions to the point where I would actually get uncomfortable. I also have a tongue that can cut a person if needed- I don’t like to use it but I am unafraid to in defense of my family or my principles (which are always researched & backed up.)

BUT. I see beautiful and amazing colors. I have the perfect love of the softest, sweetest dog (even if she does bark her head off at strangers). My husband is kind and loving and hilarious, even though he has to deal with my health issues. My father is still alive and doing well and even though he can drive me crazy sometimes I’m always happy to see him. I have another brother who i worried about for many years but he seems to be ok now, or at least stabilized. I saw the Statue of Liberty by taking the Staten Island Ferry and I thought it was amazing! I think the Niagara Falls are overwhelmingly beautiful, especially on the Canadian side. Nature makes the most amazing things! I was not impressed with Stonehenge, I will admit- but across the road was an undulating sea of sheep, as far as the eye could see! It was so awesome and amazing! I love every dog I see, especially a mutt, especially a big mutt, especially one missing an eye or leg or something. If it also has a pit bull look I’m trying to get kisses. I was taught to look at things differently, to pick out and possibly enjoy the thing that was not like the other. To take chances from time to time. My mother always loved an underdog- and she passed it on to all her children..

So, Jared, I suggest that you do soldier on. But maybe that you, every day, pick out something unusual that comes into your line of vision and find a way to marvel at it. Whether it is its’ construction, origin, use, color, etc. After a while try to add another item to the agenda. You need different emotions Jared. and to access them differently. But we learned in that podcast that you can change them and how you approach them- even the most deeply-held ones. I know it sounds silly but I think it’s just so easy it might work!

P.S.- sometimes some of us need help with these feelings. I am unashamed to admit I am one of them. Therapy has been a great way for me to talk out my concerns and attempt to find ways to move forward. I hope you found all of this helpful and not preachy.

PPS- since you mentioned intelligence- I think it can often work against us because we think we can solve our own problems. I have a relatively High IQ, and I always said my brother was the smartest person I knew until I met my husband; not ripping on my brother but my husband is some kinda wonderboy. He has also had the disappointment issues you’ve mentioned.