But for me, right now, sharing my feelings is much more complicated than examining how I feel. Because to examine how I feel, I would have to feel something. Which right now I don’t.
The magical switch:
People don’t believe me when I tell them I have the ability to shut off my emotions. They think I’m exaggerating or being Facetious.
It’s as if when my heart switch is “on” I can feel everything, but there is a switch to my heart. When things get rough with my health, I flip that switch, turning things “off.” This ability can be incredibly useful when dealing with a disease. It helps me take it all in stride and deal with things analytically. It means that bad news doesn’t hurt and hard days are tough, but doable.
Doesn’t this seem great? But there is a downside to this ability…
…the downside, is that I don’t know how to turn it back on. Sometime I go for weeks without feeling and other times its month. I have no idea when my emotions will come back on or what will trigger them to come back on. It can really suck the joy out of life.
Someone the other day asked me how I felt about having to go to the hospital. I told them it was no big deal. They didn’t believe me.
Now this is what is tricky. Because I know I didn’t like going to the hospital, and it sucked, and I don’t want to do it again any time soon. But the truth is, I felt nothing.
It’s Just the Unfortunate Truth
Just like the person I was talking to about the hospital. Most people don’t think it’s possible to shut off emotions. But it definitely is possible and at times very helpful. It’s surprising how many people with Chronic Illnesses develop this coping mechanism. It’s something that both makes life easier and makes life harder, but sometimes it’s necessary in order to deal with my not so normal life.