Teach Me How To Feel
Abby Norman

Abby — I too was on Zoloft for about 5 years. While it put a blanket on much of my anxiety, muffling its most strident urgings it also left me in a state of feeling little if anything.

I slowly weaned myself off of it over a period of three months (halving the daily dose each month) without the side effects or withdrawal that so many other encounter (usually because they made the unfortunate choice of going cold-turkey — not recommended). This was over four years ago and I never thought of going back.

Now I feel *everything* — some of it sublime, some of it like I wish I’d just acquire a more virulent cancer (I have two already) and have it just take me. And, I wouldn’t trade my life now with any other time — despite those swings in feelings and all the uncertainty. Because I now *know* I am truly alive. And I believe the only way we can be fully, completely and gloriously alive is through the willingness to *feel* everything.

Sure, there are times I have to talk myself down from some of the more intense feelings. But I’ve realized, that is all they are — just feelings. There is no physical threat, yet it is so easy to collapse what we feel deeply with something that is truly life-threatening.

You want to really, really feel — and most of the time feel good, even great? Try giving to others selflessly — at least some part of the day or week. My pro-bono work in speaking to other cancer survivors about regaining intimacy in the face of cancer is the most fulfilling, wonderful-feeling producing thing I do. And, it takes my mind off of *me* — which has been the problem all along.

I truly hope this finds its mark within you. You are clearly very talented and have much to offer the world — there is no need to *ever* throw it away when you can give it away, make a difference in others lives, and really feel again — in a good way.

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