“We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”
That pretty much says it all, really.
I think this is partly why it’s so easy to get stuck in the cycle of numbing – because we never feel good enough to stop doing it.
I think alcohol and sugar turned my emotional spectrum into a kind of sludgy brown blur with one red flare for anger, impatience and the corresponding guilt and regret.
Now, all the colours are back. I haven’t lost the anger or impatience but they happen less frequently, I recover from them faster and they worry me less because they’re just one part of my experience. There is also joy, patience, calm and contentment.
It’s true, when you stop numbing, the negative stuff comes back online first – which makes sense, considering that stuff’s been banging at the door of our minds the whole time in the first place.
It took quite a lot of determination to stay still and let all that come out at the beginning but now that it’s all out – and all the positive stuff followed behind it, there’s a lot more to work with and a lot more to feel good about.