|Just your typical day for "feelers" like me!|
In addition to those experiences that evoke a physical reaction, I also can feel overwhelming emotion in life's everyday moments. The daily news or a walk down the street can trigger heartache. The beauty of nature can hit me like a ton of bricks. Even my rare bouts with being content or peaceful are acute, nearly palpable.
Sometimes I think I possess some strange genetic disposition that causes me to observe and absorb more from the world than most people. Except I guess it's not genetic, because I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in my family built this way. My sister tries to avoid unpleasant feelings at all cost, and Abby seems immune to emotional distress. She may be the only person in America who didn't cry at The Fault in Our Stars, though she did confess that her eyes welled up a couple of times. I'm not going to see that movie, at least not in the theaters. Don't want to drown out the audio with my sobbing.
Given my tendency toward free-flowing tears or raucous laughter, one might think that I'd avoid situations that are likely to result in a total breakdown or complete hysteria. But here's the thing: I kind of like the depth of emotions that I experience. While I often will pass on books or movies that I know will cause me distress, when I stumble upon something that touches me, I embrace it rather than fight it. I don't see my emotions as a curse, but rather as a blessing. What a wonderful gift to be so alive and in touch with the world around me!
Having said all that, I should add that the level of emotion of which I speak, even when it's sadness, should not be confused with clinical depression, with which I also have plenty of experience. Perhaps those of us who struggle with this disease also tend to feel things more deeply than others, but they are not one in the same. Depression is a weight that drags you down, making your heart feel heavy regardless of the book you're reading, the movie you're watching or the evening news. In fact, one of the most frustrating things about it is how it settles in regardless of the reality of our lives. When you're suffering with depression, there's nothing worse than hearing "you have nothing to be unhappy about." Be assured that I know my life is nearly perfect, and I already feel badly about feeling bad for no logical reason.
Personally, I'm in a pretty good place these days. I'm lucky to have found a combination of things that work for me, including medication, exercise,