Anger is felt in the pit of the stomach. Anger is felt often these days. Anger clenches the lower abdominal muscles and causes your insides to rumble and rage until your whole body starts to feel the effects. Your head may start to pound, fists clench, eventually your whole body shakes and if you do not control yourself you will either go off on someone or throw/hit something, but it always originates in the pit of your stomach.
Things that may trigger anger: having your life ripped out from under you and you not being able to do anything but sit back and watch, college, feeling trapped, watching someone else drive YOUR car when you can’t, being uncertain of how you are going to make it through the year, thinking at all about your current situation, etc.
Sadness is a weight in the chest and it’s a constant companion. Sometimes it is dandelion fluff floating through your lungs, brushing the walls of your chest, and planting itself in your chest… some of the seeds will never blossom, others will become a field of sadness. Other times sadness is a thousand bricks against your ribs, threatening to break each one. In those moments, there is no room for your heart or your lungs to function, so they stop working altogether. There is no science for how you survive these times.
Things that may trigger sadness: Being broken, grief, feeling trapped, thinking at all. Currently, though, the biggest trigger for sadness is nothing. Sadness just exists and no rhyme or reason can really explain why it is here.
Anxiety is felt in the hands. Anxiety is always there, but sometimes it demands attention. Symptoms of anxiety include clenching and shaking hands that cling to tightly or let go too soon. The bones inside creak and crack with every movement and the muscles cramp until you think your hand might fall off. Anxiety can also be felt inside the mind: causing you to think intrusive and irrational thoughts, which tend to be hard to distinguish from reality.
Things that may trigger anxiety: Anything, literally anything. And sometimes nothing. Sometimes nothing happens and still anxiety attacks.
Happiness is in the spine. It is a rare guest that only visits for short times, but when it does visit it trails down the spine like a shiver and the feeling echoes through the spinal chord until all the nerves vibrate with the sensation.
Things that may trigger happiness: perfect rainstorms, filterless conversations, road trips, sunsets, the stars/ the moon, and art.
Numbness starts in the toes- always the toes– and it creeps up your legs, wrapping around the base of your spine and twisting into the pit of your stomach. The numb curls around your spine and into your skull, locking your jaw shut and weeding its way into your brain. The stem that twisted its way into your stomach wraps up and around your ribs, into your lungs, and cacoons your heart. Soon you are a shell of a person. A robot: run completely on auto-pilot.
Things that may trigger numbness: Being completely overwhelmed with other emotions that one does not know how to handle them or gives up trying to handle them.
Everything in me wants to dismiss all of what I feel and say “hey, I’m struggling right now, but don’t worry I’m fine. I’ll be fine.” But I’ll be honest, I’m not really convinced of that. Can anyone really look me in the eye and say with a 100% guarantee that everything is going to be okay in six months?
Life is a tightwire and right now I am teetering. I might even fall.
I might fall and shatter into a million pieces… it won’t be the first time. The question is will I be able to be put back together this time? Or is this the time that finally does me in? How many times do I have to fall before I get to sit on a shelf?
You know God, I don’t know if you have noticed, but I have balance issues and I could use a nice shelf rather than this tightwire.
Does saying things like that make me a bad Christian? I’m supposed to be all happy and cheerful all the time, right? That’s why I feel like I’m not allowed to feel anything negative about what happens in my life for more than like a day or two. I’m supposed to just accept it and move on. That’s what being a good Christian is. A complacent ragdoll, who never gets angry or sad, in the hands of God.
- If that’s what being a Christian is, I think I’ll pass.
- If that’s what makes a good Christian then David was a bad Christian too. (Just read Psalms)
So. Here is a moment of blatant honesty:
I am angry. I’m angry that I can’t drive and that I have to watch someone else drive my car that I was so excited to have this semester. I’m angry that I’m having seizures and that my summer didn’t go as planned and that I feel so helpless and broken. And I’m angry that I have to get a minor that I don’t want and that it feels like my major is being treated like a joke. But most of all, I’m angry because I’m trying my best and something always seems to come and rip away my hard work and it all seems to be for nothing.
I am sad. Incredibly sad. Because people have died and people are dying. Because life is hard and I am tired.
I am a torrent of emotions and my toes are numb.
Anyone who says I am not allowed to feel this way… may be right. But right now, I don’t can’t help it. I don’t know how to not.
And whether I am “allowed” to or not, that has to be okay for right now.
Oh, one more emotion…
Love runs through the bloodstream. It is the warmth of the sun and mist from the ocean. Love is a hot drink on a chilly morning. Love is random texts and spending all day in bed with your best friend, watching TV. Love is the feeling of being alive.
And on these days when I am filled with sadness and anger and a whole torrent of emotion. On these days when my toes are numb, I have one silent plea in the back of my mind…
“Love, please don’t leave me.”