“Emotions are messy.” ― Ottilie Weber
Alright I’m going to be upfront with all y’all. Here’s the thing. Emotions just plain suck! And I don’t mean in a good way.
They’re messy. They never stick around when you need them. And when they do? Well, they tend to linger around longer than your in-laws at Christmas!
And let’s not forget how they tend to make you act worse than that time in when you got drunk, passed out getting a tattoo of Tinkerbell laughing at your privates!
What? You think I’m way off base and sounding worse than an old man with his depends too tight and a flat on his Hoveround?
Really!?!? You honestly think I’m wrong?
Fine! I’ll prove it to you!!
We’ll do a lil test and just see what’s up with all these emotions. And by the end of it I’m pretty sure we’ll both come to terms and agree on one thing!
Emotions are the one thing in life that is ours and ours alone!
“But feelings can’t be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem.” ― Anne Frank
First, some ground rules. We’re here to discuss only four emotions:
Secondly, we’re only going to try and describe how each of these emotions makes us feel. What are the physical sensations that they cause. Does our pulse increase? Do we clinch our butt cheeks so tight we could crack walnuts? Or maybe we tap our feet faster than 2012’s Texting champion Austin Wierschke can text LOL.
Ready? Alright, here we go!
“Whoa, who peed in your Cheerios?” ― Becca Fitzpatrick
First up is probably the easiest one for us to identify with, Anger.
When I get angry the first thing I notice is how my breathing changes. Instead of breathing in a steady rhythm I’ve started to hold my breath. And when I take a breath, it feels more deliberate and forced. Almost like each breath could be my last.
All this time my heart is pounding a million times a minute.
Next I notice that my hands are clinched or if I’m holding something griping it tighter. About the only way I can describe it is likening it to a wolf or lion sizing up his prey.
I also feel restless. I have this driving need to do something. To pace, hit something, scream.
At this point I’m rapidly approaching an invisible line between “pissed off” and “F*#$%@ PISSED!”
It’s rare that I ever reach this point. But if I do, it means I’ve lost the ability to think rationally. No longer am I just pacing and shouting. I’m now enraged and have little care about the consequences my actions may incur.
On interesting point though, unless someone tries to restrict my movement, grab me, or Heaven forbid strike me. I won’t intentionally harm anyone. Instead, I’ll begin hurting myself. I’ll hit walls, doors, dumpsters anything that I can hit and not harm others.
I don’t know why, but for some reason these inanimate objects become the target of all my violence. There have been many times I have broken my fingers, knuckles, hands and wrists in some anger fueled rage thinking I could slay the dreaded telephone pole!
Many times I’ve been asked, “What were you thinking?” And that’s just it. When I get that angry I don’t think. I just act.
“Happiness is a warm puppy.” ― Charles M. Schulz
Whew! Heavy stuff! Let’s change the topic to something a little lighter. How about we now talk about Happiness?
Being happy is probably the rarest and most cherished emotion in existence. Its brief existence in our lives is quickly forgotten and ends up being replaced by its less friendly cousin, Fear.
And let’s be honest for a moment, a single ounce of happiness can erase a thousand pounds of sadness. The only trouble can be finding it.
But this isn’t about the search of happiness, but how we feel when we are happy.
Let me see… How can I explain the feeling of being happy?
I notice as with anger I tend to hold my breath. But instead of feeling a sense of dread or impending danger, I feel an eager anticipation.
As the emotion envelopes me, I feel myself panting and becoming lightheaded and a bit dizzy. I think it was best explained by Margaret Houlihan in MASH when she said, “Champagne tickles my nose.”
But as I said earlier, if I’m not careful that feeling of happiness drift away and allow all of its negative cousins take its place.
For example, let’s look at the birth of both of my children. It’s the one day that every father should look back and instantly feel joy beyond explanation. But for me it was a day that brought mixed feelings.
Both of my children had something wrong with them at birth. My son had an infection caused by fluids on his lungs and my daughter didn’t come out screaming and had to be pricked and warmed. And then she didn’t scream but sang with the voice of an angel.
Giving this all more thought I think happiness is the one emotion that I just can’t do justice. Maybe that’s my curse, I just can’t experience happiness. Maybe by me not being able to really experience joy, taste liquid gold and let the bubbles tickle my nose allows someone else live a life without heartache and pain.
“Fear cuts deeper than swords.” ― George R.R. Martin
Ever noticed how much we disrespect fear? We mock it with horror films. We tease and torment those who experience it. We tell our children that it’s time to grow up and be big boys and girls when they come to our beds afraid of the dark.
We basically do everything possible to discount and dismiss fear. We try to diminish its hold by conquering and corralling it, hoping we can tame it.
But the reality is Fear is a monster. I can literally kill us. It possesses us, causing us to become confused, dizzy, frozen but wanting to run away and hide.
Fear can control us. Hold us hostage by creating its own reality and forcing us to live there.
The maddening part is no one can truly understand another’s fear unless they have experienced its demonic hold.
Fear is the nastiest of emotions. It is the only one that can make us believe it has passed, while at the same time making us look over our shoulder fearing the day it will return.
Of course we all have the same physiological experiences to fear. Our heart rate increases. Our adrenal glands pump adrenaline through our bodies. It causes our sense of sight, hearing and touch to become even more acute.
All of these sensations alert, vigilant because we know beyond any shadow of a doubt that we are in mortal danger.
We may not know. But we are sure as the sun will rise, if we turn our backs and dismiss it, that will be the moment it grasps our hearts and cease its beating.
“My insides feel like they are crumbling like a towering JENGA game. I lose.” ― Steph Campbell
Sadness is the emotional equivalent of water boarding.
It suffocates and chokes us. While at the same time causing us to sob, weep, and heave deep breaths uncontrollably. Its ability to cause pain without leaving a mark must have been learned from the CIA or some other clandestine organization.
Sadness is often described as a dark cloud following us around. But that doesn’t do it justice.
It’s not a cloud, nor is it a fog. It’s not some ethereal mist, but is instead a wicked emotion that can cause the biggest of giants to weep and become babes wishing to be suckled.
This wicked emotion is a cousin to Fear. And like its cousin it has the ability to linger, hanging around, reminding us of its existence only when it deems appropriate. But unlike fear we can’t guard our souls and mind from it. It slithers into the deepest, darkest parts of our minds. Patiently waiting to strike and shove that one memory that will cause anyone to grab their stomach and fall to their knees crying.
Admit it, who hasn’t been in the car happily singing to the radio only to suddenly feel the dagger of sadness stabbing deep into your heart when “THAT” song comes on?
Another thing I don’t like about Sadness is its ability to bring all of its relatives along creating an emotional pity party.
Sadness seems to enjoy partying with Loneliness, Worthless, and Helpless. Eventually all of these emotions seem to use up every ounce of emotion you have. Until it decides to leave you, numb, without the ability to feel anything.
Joy no longer exists. Fear and Anger sit on the wayside laughing at how pathetic you have become.
It is at this point that you’ve become completely numb. No longer are you able to feel anything because Sadness has managed to turn your thoughts and emotions into some kind of sloppy goo.
At this point Sadness will poke at you, taunting and teasing you to make sure there is nothing left. That your mind and body is nothing more than an emotionless husk. It’s at this point Sadness will convince you that the only way to escape and feel something, anything, is to hurt or worse kill yourself.
“Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.” ― Jean Racine
There you have it. This is why I honestly feel emotions suck. Oh sure, happiness is awesome when you have it. But it’s so small, fragile and weak that it can be easily consumed by the others without a thought.
Then again, maybe I’m alone in this thought. Maybe I’m just too warped and wrapped up in my own Depression and Anxiety to see the roses that I should smell.
What about you? What’s your view on emotions and how they make you feel?
Do you agree with me or do you think I’m totally off my rocker? I’d love to hear from you.