I have intense feelings and I don’t have any choice but to share them. That’s just the way I’m wired. I love powerfully. I hurt deeply. I experience joy with open exuberance.
I don’t hide my feelings well. If you’re paying any attention at all, you know where you stand with me, because I wear my heart on my sleeve.
But there are times — very rare times — when everything feels numb. When that happens, it means that some part of me — maybe a little part or maybe a big part — has finally died after an extended period of intense pain. It happens without warning, although it’s always predictable in retrospect.
I went numb today. It feels like walking in a driving rainstorm without an umbrella — and not caring what anybody else thinks.
This sort of numb calm feels dangerous to me. It feels foreign. It feels wrong. But when the intensity of my emotions has burned so brightly for so long — without relief — the powerful emotional generator inside finally breathes its last and it dies.
If you know me well and I’m angry with you — or hurt with you — it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to withdraw. It doesn’t mean I’m finished with you. As long as I’m still engaging with you — even if the emotions are scary — it means I haven’t given up on you.
But if I ever go completely silent and completely numb, it means something has pushed past a breaking point. It means I’ve given up.
I don’t know why this happened today. I know what it’s about — who it’s about — but nothing specific happened lately related to this person. It was me who changed.
There’s no warning when a light bulb dies. This is like that. A light bulb burns brightly. There’s rarely a reason to suspect anything is wrong. You come to expect its light and you take it for granted. But in an instant, the filament breaks — and you’re left with darkness.
I feel as though something broke. I feel as though I simply stopped in my tracks and sat down. The light dimmed. The internal soundtrack died. There’s silence inside that feels eerie.
I’ll get up from here at some point. Another bulb will take the place of this one that burned out. The internal music will return.
But for now, there’s nothing but numbness. And darkness and silence. Because something died — and I will grieve that when I’m able to feel again.