A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.

5 Mar

I was sad the other day.

I had written this post, and was still feeling conflicted, and more than a little delicate about it. These are thoughts I have difficulty expressing due to the immediacy of the response from others, the firmness of opinions. I feared exploring outloud, but did so anyway.

But it still made me sad, the thought of not being there 24/7 for my kids, giving up my house, looking for my place in the world.

So I was sad, and cranky, and out of sorts. I fell into a rough sleep, woke up just as sad and cranky as before. I spent the morning pokey and cranky.

Until I decided I didn’t want to be that way.

So I fought with myself, to remember what I do have, to remember that change is good, and sometimes refreshing. I laughed at jokes, listened to non emo whiny music, beat at the driveway with a shovel until the anger and general pissiness exited my body, like a fever you burn off.

I stood up in the wind, the strengthing sun falling behind my neighbour’s house as night came. And thought, Wow.

The right to be angry. The right to be sad. And the right to make myself feel better.

What a concept.

***

The problem with being told once that you’re crazy, and believing it, is that you believe it. You start thinking you’re broken. You function in an environment that tells you that to be “normal”, you need a pill. You need to talk more. You need to be made different.

So you take the pills. You take more pills. Maybe the pills don’t work, maybe they do. You wonder if you’ll ever be better. You’ll wonder if you’ll ever be normal. They tell you that working harder is the secret, or maybe something is wrong with your brain, or it’s all because someone didn’t love you enough, or those girls who were mean to you in high school…

Regardless, it all ends the same. You aren’t supposed to feel.

Don’t be sad. We have a pill for that. Don’t be TOO happy. We have a pill for that. Don’t be angry, especially if you’re a woman. There is most definitely a pill for that.

They told me I was bipolar. I believed it. One doctor tried to reach me, tried to tell me it sounded like my relationship was the problem. But no, I said, that couldn’t possibly be that case.

That would be my fault. That would have meant that I chose wrong, that I caused my own problems, that my circumstance was causing my distress. Self Sabotage.

I didn’t believe it then. 4 Years or so later, I believe it now.

I know there are people who are truly brain sick, and who need the pills like I need water.

I do not believe that I should know more people on those drugs than not.

How are we so removed from feeling? When did the earth shift and make emotion something we tether and control. Where once we had poetry to accompany heartache, we now have tricyclic anti-depressants. Where once we had anger over death or divorce and poverty, we have Risperodal. Where once we had joy…do we have joy anymore? Do we have private joy that we can feel, unconnected from the things we buy, the clothes we wear, the places we go?

Are we allowed?

It all links together-the overprotectiveness of my children by others, the increasing feeling that something is missing in our lives, the trouble in connecting with others in life, the wonder if this is really all there is.

Is it all we have left, this beige world where sadness or joy cannot be visited without suspicion? Is all we have left a place where something is wrong with us if the circumstances of our lives make us miserable? Is all we have is the ability to drug ourselves into submission so we don’t have to feel it after all?

Is it worth it?
***

They told me I was broken. I believed them. I believed happiness was a struggle, something difficult to attain, a bliss I could never follow.

What do we do if they were wrong, all of them?

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4 Responses to “A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”

  1. Bon March 6, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    what happens? i don’t know. we find a new lens to view it all through, i suppose.

    i like emotions. or at least they feel…real to me.

  2. Marcy March 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    I have a great fear of being wrong — either in my own ideas, or in who I choose to believe about one thing or another. I have become mostly convinced that the key thing is to live — to go forth, to try something, to risk confidence, not without reflection and reevaluation, but without the paralysis of too much what if. To trust that I will not be destroyed by being wrong — I may suffer, I may hurt others, but I will not be destroyed, and there will always be hope of redemption, of getting healing, getting out of trouble, whatever. Whatever happens, I am still me and always will be. Now ask if I live like I believe.

    • had enough March 6, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

      Bon. Ive been totally and utterly inspired by your post. Written so beautifully with so much passion. As i read it I was thinking, Jeez, can someone possibly feel the very same way as I do? Obviously Yes! I just could never have put it in such beautiful context as you have done. U Rock x

  3. Brainie March 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    I love this piece of writing. I am concerned over the way anti-depressants are being pushed on anyone feeling emotions due to the normal fluctuations of life. Sometimes we have problems that we need to solve, or a grief we need to go through.

    When my friend’s husband died and her job evaporated, her doctor pushed her to take anti-depressants, despite her insistence, “I’m not depressed, I’m sad.” After a year or two of the pills, she weaned herself away from them. She started to dream vividly again, after not dreaming at all while taking the drug. Her sadness was still there, but this time, she embraced some friends and her sorrow, and allowed herself the healing luxury of tears.

    Weirdly, in this time, I think we all need to fight for the right to be human beings with feelings.

    Brainie from Stubblejumpers Cafe

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