Friday, April 17, 2015

Please tell me sweating is an emotion.

This is just a quick post to tide you over as I'm working on a series about addiction, Satan, The Walking Dead and fish again for some reason. I was going to post the first installment today, but then figured that I'm long overdue on an update about the mindfulness class I'm taking and am not supposed to talk about, so I figured I'd fill you in on that first.

It's actually surprisingly useful. I've learned a bunch of stuff I'll probably write about later as I figure out how to apply it better in daily life, along with some surprising facts about myself, the latest of which is that I've been feeling my emotions wrong my entire life and am probably a robot.
Yes. It came as quite a shock to me, too.

The way I figured this out is that, for a while now, as we've been talking about emotions during class, people keep asking me "Where do you feel this in your body?" and every time I'm perplexed, because while I'm perfectly aware of what I'm feeling, apparently I never feel anything anywhere.
I don't know how to answer this question.
Meanwhile people around me are describing bodily sensations with the lyrical proficiency of 19th century poets.

Our homework for this week is to fill in this roster every time something happens that makes us feel something, and trying to do this is making me feel, um, like whatever it must feel like to suddenly discover that you're color blind. It's not something you feel in your body. It's something you sort of just know, okay?

WHAT ARE YOU FEELING?
Well, I'm pissed off.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
I'm thinking people are assholes.

WHERE DO YOU FEEL THIS IN YOUR BODY?
... Uh... in my brain?

Okay, let's try another one:

WHAT ARE YOU FEELING?
Easy: I'm bored.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
I'm thinking this is boring.

WHERE DO YOU FEEL THIS IN YOUR BODY?
... You're kidding me, right?

The worst of it is that I can't just write this off as being some stupid hippie crap, because every time I bring this up with friends and other normal people, they're all like: "Of course you feel your feelings in your body, dummy! You get sort of tight in your chest, or in your throat, or you get a knot in your stomach."

...

But those are metaphors, right? Are you telling me that everyone is continually experiencing what I always thought was just a literary device? Wait... you mean there are actually people who sometimes literally feel like there are butterflies in their stomachs? How freaking upsetting must that be? I'm fairly certain I'd call an ambulance.

All this is pointing to only one logical conclusion, which is that, yes, I am a robot, because what I've come to know as 'feeling emotions' is apparently just receiving information, and on top of that I'm calibrated awfully badly, because the only emotion my body seems to know how to do is "chased by invisible bears", which is probably why it likes to show this off at random intervals during the day.

Oh, and crying. Crying is an emotion, right?

10 comments:

  1. I thought things like tightness in your chest or, well, it doesn't actually feel like butterflies, it feels like your stomach itself is wiggling, were reactions to emotions, not actual emotions themselves. Of course the emotions themselves are only in our brains, right? And a lot of emotions don't cause any physical response at all. Or if they do then I'm a cyborg.



    If you are a robot, though, then I'm certain at some point you'll take over the world, and I, for one, welcome our new robot masters.

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  2. Does the 'location' of a feeling even matter? It's not like you can remove sadness by surgically removing a toe... :/

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  3. I don't know though. Taking over the world sounds like a lot of work.

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  4. Well we've been learning a bunch of cool stuff like pain meditation, so I imagine you could kind of soften the feeling if you figure out what to focus on. Or that might be the idea anyway. It does seem to help a bit with the panic attacks, which is groovy.

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  5. Linda McNamara4/21/15, 12:31 PM

    I am checking in because I miss you on NF! And to say I love your writing. You're touching on interesting stuff here. I think I might be a robot too. Be nice if "they" could deinstall the depression programme...

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  6. Aww, I was wondering where I knew that name from :)
    I'm respawning as we speak, will catch up soon! (and thanks for reading!)

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  7. You're not going to end up on one of those HBO shows where the people are all naked talking about their feelings and eating organic food, are you?? I'm more of a wysiwyg kind of person. I'm horrible at interrupting poetry and catching symbolism in literature and film. I prefer everything straight up.

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  8. Lol! Dear lord, no. I did make a choice though when I decided to not take any more meds, which means I'm committing to everything else that might help. And there's all kinds of scienc-y brain scan-y stuff to back this stuff up. (Granted: the stuff about meditating - talking about feelings... not so much :p)
    I suck at understanding poetry, too, yet I'm often touched by how poetic badly translated spam can be ;-)

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  9. I feel stuff in my stomach and in my jaws, mostly. When I'm freaking out my jaws are clenched.

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  10. Oh, that's a good one to watch for :)

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