“Healthy” is supposed to feel GOOD, isn’t it?
Healthy bodies glow with increased ability and energy, and are teeming with endorphins, which induce a temporary euphoric state. Making healthy choices, even if not yet in an overall state of health, provides a certain smug satisfaction. That also feels good.
But I’m beginning to think emotional health isn’t QUITE as rewarding to one’s own state of mind. This is a bit ironic, of course.
I’ve always struggled a bit with my logic and emotional balance. For me, that means having kept emotion out of things entirely – ruling with my head and not my heart whenever possible. But you can’t live like that. Occasionally, the lid on the Emotion “Bucket” can’t repress everything any longer, and there’s just a jumble of emotion to deal with – no longer associated with any one particular situation or issue, but needing to be addressed nonetheless.
Over the past year, I’ve been doing a lot of work on this. I’ve been working to engage my emotional centers along with the logical centers of my brain. It has been going well – I haven’t had any major depressive spells and feel generally happy. Which is great.
But recently, further “progress” on this development has been decidedly uncomfortable. I’ve let down my barriers and let someone new fully into my life, my head and my heart. This is progress. My therapist is thrilled. And so was I . . . at first.
Euphoria and vulnerability in combination is a very effective brand of torture. The euphoria leads you to fixation and the vulnerability leads you to fear, so the combination of the two leaves you living in a constant state of heightened emotion. It’s hard to focus on anything else. You find yourself thinking of the other person all the time, and wondering if you’re good enough or clever enough or nice enough or pretty enough . . . or just ENOUGH, period, to make them happy.
Because that’s what you want, ultimately – more than your own happiness, you’re concerned for theirs.
I think I’m having the first flush of puppy love alongside a wisdom that I’d like to think at LEAST matches my ever-advancing years. And let me just tell you – there’s a reason that most people get that out of the way with puberty! The two were never meant to be together. We are supposed to get our young hearts broken before the wisdom kicks in, so the scarring helps shield the very raw, tender pieces of a fresh heart from the jaded realities of adulthood and experience.
The very well-built (and reinforced!) wall that I built around myself when I was younger may have helped me back then, but I think I may be paying for that now. And it’s both lovely and terrible at the same time.
But, whatever the outcome of the whole process, it was worth it!