Mental health, Mental Health & Wellbeing

I Am, I Feel

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” ~ Emily Post

For the last three weeks I’ve been feeling what I’ve been tentatively describing as better. As in, like, actually better. In the head.

Up until now when I’ve realised that I’ve felt better it’s always just been better in relation to how poorly I’ve been. Still agonisingly, demoralisingly far away from actually being well again.

This time I really think I’m getting back to something approaching ‘normal’.

And it seems to have happened over night.

One minute I was hiding out in my flat, flipping out every time the postman came to the door, only venturing out in the dark of night. The next I found myself making a conscious effort to try to reconnect with people, organising lunch dates, making trips to the cinema, and doing my grocery shopping in the middle of the day.

It’s taken me a little by surprise – and it’s still too new for me to start feeling confident that it’s not just a temporary respite – but it’s a point that even as recently as a month ago I thought I’d never reach.

Now this is all, of course, pretty great. But something kind of strange is also happening.

You see, while I’ve been sick, and depressed, and traumatised, I haven’t really been feeling much of anything. I’ve been numb to near enough every feeling besides worry and despair.

But in the last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling lots of things.

Lots of normal things, I think – hunger, boredom, contentment, anticipation, enjoyment, impatience, amusement – that sort of thing.

The problem is that I’m having quite a bit of trouble identifying them individually. And how it is that each particular feeling has arisen. I’ve become so alienated from my feelings, through having been unable to experience them for so long, that I’m having a hard time recognising what they are when I feel them.

Okay, hunger I’m probably okay with.

But otherwise I’m feeling somewhat confused – okay, so I’m good on confusion as well, but for the rest of them I’m at a loss – by my feelings quite a lot of the time.

It doesn’t help that I think I’m experiencing a slightly delayed reaction to things. Presumably because I’m so out of practice at reacting to anything in any way besides excessive panicking. So that something could happen on, say, Sunday, and my emotional reaction to it might not kick in until Thursday.

Which is less than helpful for identification purposes.

I’m hoping that it’s like running, something that you get better and quicker at with practice, and that it’s all just a matter of time before I’m back up to speed.

Although, if I’m being completely honest, acknowledging and processing my feelings has never been something that I’ve been amazingly good. Which I suppose is one of the reasons I’ve been having so much trouble in the first place.

I’ll keep working on it.

In the meantime I now can’t get this song out of my head.



7 thoughts on “I Am, I Feel”

  1. This is good news! I can only assume that these developments will feel more natural and come easier with time. Till then, just take it one day at a time – it’s all anyone can do. 🙂


  2. Hey, MU&M — I am happy to read that you are feeling more comfortable in your daily tasks. May I add, when I first went through the confusion of feelings you describe, I felt the same concern. But, I think now that the confusion is part of feeling normal. Pure, unsullied feelings strike me as a little suspect, at least for myself — life is complicated, as you know. 😎 Remember to be gentle with yourself.


  3. Enjoy what ever little bit you get. The more bits you collect and enjoy, the easier it will get. Don’t be disappointed if you back-slide now and again. You won’t fall as far back, and it will be easier to “recover” from them as you have more good bits piled up behind you. Does that makes sense?


  4. you know what? I was trying to write a post last night on this same subject – i am alot better than i have been and these positive feelings are so alien to me i’m wondering if this is what happy feels like as i can’t remember.
    I binned my post as it was badly written, but THIS post is a delight to read. I’m so glad you are getting out and about, and good luck for monday xx


  5. This is really good news! Keep going and things will keep improving. I think when you start feeling better you don’t recognise some feelings because you haven’t felt them in such a long time, but in time you will get used to them. 🙂 xxx


  6. I think your running analogy is a good analogy for moving past anything, as the more you work at it, the easier it will become. With that said, there are certainly some circumstances that are more difficult to overcome than others. Hadn’t heard the song before, though I really like it.


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