Lately, I’ve been feeling really “dulled”: my emotions have been dimmer; I don’t know how to react to much any more; I haven’t been feeling things as strongly and can’t express that. It took a walk on Saturday to figure that out and I remember just feeling numbed and blank as I walked through the park with my dad and then scared because of that.
Yesterday, I took a 2 hour walk in the same park, with my dad again. I’d gone home the previous day and just felt like I was floating around – the emotions I’ve been feeling for months finally able to be realised, felt and analysed. It’s not like it’s been constant: I’ve had a lot of times when I’ve felt perfectly fine, laughing and feeling and being happier than ever. This is like when I go to blind camp, when I meet bloggers especially and on days with my friends. When I’m at home, surrounded by people I don’t know, just thinking, existing or not doing much, I don’t feel as “with it” as I used to.
On yesterday’s walk, something changed. In an abstract way beforehand, I’d thought that I needed to really do something about my lack of expression – my quietness and how I’d withdrawn into myself. We went around the pond, walked into a garden in the park, strode along paths and grass; I was exhausted afterwards but it was more than worth it.
It was a beautiful day: the sun was shining, birds were screeching and children laughed. Dogs barked, I could hear my feet on the ground and the air didn’t feel heavy on my skin. Usually, I get guided by my dad and I hold his arm; yesterday, I walked mostly by myself, except when I was approaching a large group of people or when I nearly walked into a stream. It was freeing: I felt so bloody alive. Being surrounded by nature – trees, little waterfalls, bridges over lakes – put shit in perspective.
It was the simplicity of it: too often my head gets so crowded that it can’t process the thoughts and so it just, well, gives up; I’ve never been good at thinking in words but when the sensations that you think themselves aren’t as bright as they once were, everything can get hazy. Imagine nature as having had cleared a little of that fog. I felt calmed: not utterly, as the conversations with my dad were making me feel the appropriate sorts of emotions, but connected with the world enough to properly take in what was happening around me and what he was saying.
After we’d had an icecream and went home, I did some work. The key difference between yesterday and the day before was that I could do my work without my thoughts becoming blurry; I could think about it and not want to throw my computer across the room with frustration. One chapter and a half of Jane Eyre was fully analysed and I got a little inspiration to do some casual psychology revision. It’s remarkable what getting me away from the sometimes stagnant atmosphere of the indoors, the usual, can do to my health.
In the evening for dinner, I went round the house of Rose and Poppy and their family. I’ve known them all my life and I’ve never had to make an effort to keep up conversation with them: I love them like sisters; they put up with me and my stupid younger self. If they can deal with that, they can pretty much deal with any weirdness I display now. I sang with them, laughing with them and insulted them: the usual things we do. It was nothing out of the ordinary but that’s why I liked it.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I really haven’t been feeling emotions like you’d expect me to. It took Saturday and yesterday – the realisations versus feeling truly alive again – for me to notice that my attitude, my thoughts, have been so… Quiet. So out of place and silenced, shall we say.
It took those two days to know that I could do something about that. Put me in the midst of nature, happiness or somewhere where I feel utterly comfortable and where I love my surroundings and you have yourself a properly connected and self-aware Elm. I think that I need to start finding ways to remember what things feel like without paranoia and worry, like I did in the park.
For me, this is positive. I know how to mend what’s happening, having only come to the conclusion that it was happening recently. However, the fact that I so quickly did something about it – perhaps not intentionally but it was still done – shows me that deep down, I’m not just an empty shell.
From Elm 🙂