Tag Archives: because I have self harmed after five years of being sober

Hotter Than The Sun

Looking back, the one thing I have noticed for certain is that my emotions respond very strongly to external situations. Left to my own devices, I was always capable of finding some rudimentary way to entertain myself, to occupy myself, to make myself happier.

Putting myself back into the headspace that I had back when I was a child, I can almost remember how happiness and bliss feels like. While the memories of my past, my childhood especially so, has large gaps, I do still remember that back when I was in kindergarden, I had learned how much words can hurt me so greatly. I remember, how being shamed feels like, unintential as it may be. I remember how being put into a confined dark place feels like, though intential in this case.

Yet growing up, I do not remember ever being bitter. I have always seen the world with such infinite hope. Always naive and oblivious to the darkness and evils of the people around me. My memory has never been my strong suite and as such, it was easy to forget about the things that hurt me so in the world. I was a blissful idiot.

Over the years though, I noticed that while I am very much capable of feeling emotions, I feel everything almost excessively. Too often, I find myself not being annoyed but in rage; not being sad but in despair. And yet I find the more myself experiencing the excessive versions of positive emotions much less. Whether it does not work with positive emotions or that I simply have too little instances of them to have enough a sample size is something I will never know.

At some point during that time it occurred to me that since emotions are the cause of negative feelings, the lack of emotions would be a lack of negative feelings. And so I embarked upon the journey of muting out everything that I could possibly feel. While this did in fact work, it then occurred to me that I have muted out positive emotions as well, which would make life a little bland. As such, I decided that it is perhaps a wiser decision not to mute out emotions after all.

Now I’m sure many of you would think that considering I am capable of muting out emotions at all, why not simply mute out only the negative ones? Believe me when I say I’ve tried. But it seems my skills relies more on tuning out everything as a whole instead of functioning individually. I seem to be capable of controlling how much apathy I would like to experience.

Of course I am not an actual psychopath, so I still feel everything as I would normally. The only difference when controlling how apathetic I would be is that I can somehow ignore what I feel to some extent with no ill effect as far as I can tell. However, if I were to recall a situation without being apathetic, I can most certainly recall the emotions I felt at the time, since I actually DID feel them, tuned out as they may be.

Until the past two years, I noticed that my level of apathy is somewhat high. Most of the time when I am among others, it just seems so convenient to mute the agitation caused by the endless rambling of society. I still feel anger and resentment towards many things, but being as quiet as they were, everything was extremely bearable. I did this for close to five years when I noticed I could, simply because the extremes of what I feel was pushing me too hard for me to handle.

But two years ago, it seems I have almost forgotten how it would feel like to be happy without the restaint I place on myself. And so I undo what I did. It took some time to be as apathetic as I was back then. And it took time as well, to undo the level of apathy that I was in. But in a few months, I was back to feeling everything on full tilt.

In the beginning this was an almost painful process. I felt wrath like I have never experienced in my life. I was angry at everything. I was sad about everything. But a few months after this, I was feeling happiness marginally more than I can remember.

I thought perhaps it was like an atrophied muscle. I just had to keep working on it, perhaps eventually I’d feel happiness like never before. But as time went on, nothing changed. My negative emotions are on a magnitude that is almost unbearable most of the time. Yet the happiness that I seem to be capable of feeling has no improvement beyond the initial increase in margin.

Now two years after I have made such a decision, I have felt anger enough to almost make me spontaneously combust. I have felt despair enough to make me seriously consider suicide on multiple occasions. This has had me wondering, considering the limited pros and the terrible cons, have I made the correct decision? Is it not better to just simply re-invoke a strong sense of apathy if it means that the emotions I feel are much less potent?

Yes, there are many other coping mechanisms out there. But from my experience thus far, there is nothing else that works that is not damaging and/or illegal. Considering my other options of coping, it seems to me that short of getting a lobotomy, being apathetic is the only long term solution that I can think of.