Emotions are Hard

Hello.  My protein shake tastes weird and, aside from half a weird tasting pizza and a salad, I’ve eaten nothing but junk food and I can really feel that affecting my emotional and mental state.  I should not be eating so much junk food.  Ever.

I’m having a hard time getting going today.  I almost feel like I’m not all there, even though I am.  Sort of like a dissociation thing.  Except it’s not.  I don’t know how to describe it.  I bought my nephew a dinosaur picture book and Okaasan said we can ship it out when we ship things out to various people for holiday stuff.  Okaasan also says that she doesn’t know what to get me for Christmas but anytime I say something I want, she shuts me down.  Or is it shoots me down?  I’m not good at idioms.

Something that upset me the other day is figuring out that other people can name the emotions that they are currently feeling.  Charon had mentioned in group that sometimes you have to ‘sit in your sadness’.  I don’t know what that means.  How can you sit in sadness?  She made it sound like it was a physical thing.  Anyway, it confused me.

I’m able to look back and say what emotions I’ve felt throughout the day.  I can tell you I was excited earlier because I got a new Batman Hot Wheels car.  I’ve gotten totally awesome at being able to put names to things I’ve felt.

But to the things I’m actively feeling, it seems impossible.  I have to go through a sort of mental flow-chart to figure it out.  It’s a process of elimination.  Charon said that she’s had other clients who have issues with emotions, people with Alexithymia, and they’ve eventually managed to deal with the emotion naming and expressing issue.

I think a huge part of it is that I’m not really that good at verbalizing physical stuff.  I mean to say, my physical body is not really something that I’m good at paying attention to.  I’ve spent a long time trying to teach myself to know when I need to pee without having a 5-10 minutes window to get to the bathroom.  I can now wait 30 minutes tops, but that’s only in an emergency.

The same with feeling hungry.  I have to stop and ask myself if I’m hungry every hour.  I have to see if I have that weird light feeling in my stomach and then I have to figure out it’s hunger or if I have gas.  I can’t tell you exactly what the pain feels like when I have pain, only that I have pain in this general area.  I have to sit and figure out what words I would use to describe it.

But, in regards to emotions again, Charon said that the physical self is linked to the emotional and mental self.  That’s why they teach the half-smile and willing hands.  If you force your body to be more open and less hostile, you will feel more open and less hostile.  Or something like that.  I don’t get any relief from the half-smile because of my facial tics.  Willing hands bothers me because I like to do stuff with my hands all the time, be it flapping, tapping, clicking, rubbing, hitting, scratching, pulling, or playing with Chaz the Spaz or Rakka the Drop Bear (I renamed my koala finger puppet).  So, I would say that the Willing Hands exercise makes me feel a bit more nervous and anxious and unable to calm down.  Or concentrate.  Or do anything.

I don’t know.  I feel like emotions are this huge Unknown Mystery that will never be fully understood by me.  Or understood beyond the “I feel sad, mad, upset, glad, excited, tired, or like I’m heading for a shutdown or meltdown” bit.  I feel like it’s a hopeless endeavor.

-The Sarcastic Autist

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