I posted a video yesterday with my accompanying favorite quote from it, but I neglected to add any words of my own to the conversation, and I have been thinking about it ever since, so I'm going to do that now.
You can click the link above to see the video, but I'll re-share the part I enjoyed the most here, because it deserves another look:
I should note that immediately after I started writing this post, I had a breakdown of sorts: Toby had just walked in the door from work and found me sitting on the futon in my sweatpants, watching an episode of Weeds and clicking away at my computer. This is the way he has found me every single day for the past two weeks (episode of Weeds included; that shit is addicting). He innocently said, "Hi, how was your day?" and I instantly got defensive and angry and snippy, which devolved into a brief argument, which traveled with us around the apartment as we did various tasks and ended with us laying on the bed, cackling about my neuroses and me saying, "Everything is so hard, I just want to go somewhere else and be someone else and not have to deal with anything any more."
This is my life. Feelings.
I am a heart-on-my-sleeve kinda girl. My heart is stitched onto every sleeve of every shirt I've ever owned, and if I'm in a tank top, then consider it tattooed on my arm. Screw being in a glass case of emotion, I am that glass case of emotion. Toby often tells me that my mood emanates from my body like steam and touches everyone in its vicinity, which is a good thing if I'm ecstatic and an awful thing if I'm angry or in the midst of a shame spiral.
Because that's what my feelings result in most of the time: shame. I spend so much of my precious time wishing that I could be graceful and quiet and eloquent, and yet for all of that wishing, the eloquence eludes me, and I spew out swear words and loud, sarcastic statements and jokes more befitting a drunken, beefy frat boy than a skinny, introverted girl from the Midwest. I ache to find the right words, to calm my mind, to write a coherent sentence...but my brain is such a whir of activity that I find those things to be extremely difficult.
This isn't a passing phase; this is my reality. But when I speak candidly about what my mental life is like, it often comes out sounding like a complaint. How does one go about trying to explain the turmoil, the overwhelming sensitivity to everything going on around oneself, without it sounding like a cry for help or a whiny little girl who just needs to "chill out" or "go see a therapist, already"? Is it truly okay for me to feel this intensely about, well, everything, or is it something that I am right to try to quell, to push back inside of me, for fear of scaring everyone else into thinking I belong in an insane asylum? I desperately want to be able to express myself without someone feeling like they need to fix me, or thinking that there is something wrong with me just because I experience the world in a vastly different manner than they do.
The main point of contrast between myself and Glennon Doyle Melton is that I have never turned to a harmful outlet. Hell, I don't think I've ever turned to any kind of outlet at all. I'm rarely able to force myself to journal, because I cringe at the words that expel from the tip of my pen, embarrassed by the heat of their intensity rising off the page as I try to scribble fast enough to keep up with all of the things my brain wants to push out into the tangible world. I've been doing therapy for the past couple of months (after years and years of putting it off), and it has been helping a little, but we currently don't have enough money for me to go, so that's been put on the back burner for awhile. However, those are the things I am willing to try. Razors, bottles of alcohol and pills, or purposely making myself throw up? Never.
Maybe that is my problem: a lack of an outlet. I'm not saying I want to turn to harmful habits for the sake of making myself feel better, but maybe the intensity would ease if I just allowed myself to be myself. That in itself is an outlet, isn't it? What if I were to truly "accept the fact that sensitive is just how I was made"? I've pondered this before, but it seems like it would be too good to be true. What if I stop hiding myself behind myself, and take off my superhero cape, and just be, and everyone actually did view me as broken? Then what? It would be too late to take any of it back, to say, "Oops, just kidding!", wink, and change the subject.
So I continue to let little snippets out, like this post, or these posts, or deep conversations here and there if I've had enough wine or am feeling particularly comfortable with a certain person. It's not enough, but it's a start, and if I can let the teakettle of my boiling brain whistle loudly for a couple seconds every now and then, maybe it won't explode.
Life is beautiful, and life is brutal. Both the beauty and the brutality affect me deeply, shaking me to my core on a daily basis, but maybe I'm not actually as alone in it as I think. Maybe, like Glennon Doyle Welton, I need to stop assuming that I am special, and instead start wondering if you, whoever you are, are sensitive too. Maybe you don't feel safe talking about it, just like I haven't for all of these years, and maybe me writing this post and others like it will help you out. I know that if there were more messy, truthful posts like this one, I would feel more at ease with letting the real me come out of hiding. What do you think?
I leave you with a song that I love; the lyrics, the melody, the whole shebang (if it sounds familiar, you heard it at the end of an episode of Weeds. Because Weeds is everything.)