On Writing Emotions

The first post of each month is going to cover a writing related topic. Last month's writing topic can be read here!

Since this is a medical-O.I. oriented and personal blog it's not surprising that I have often written about my personal thoughts and emotions. At least 80% of those thoughts and emotions I've never really articulated to someone else before, not in real life anyway. On paper (or a blank word document screen) it's easy for a naturally un-emotional person to get emotional. There is no fear of judgment and no particular audience I'm specifically dedicating those emotions or thoughts to -- it's for the general... reader, the public, and whoever might happen on the blog because of a Google search or because they heard about it from a friend.

What do I mean when I say I am un-emotional? I do not cry at movies. Not at Bambi, or during Up!, or even Toy Story 3, or any socially-expected-sappy movie. I do not cry at weddings (and don't understand people who do), I do not 'awww' at babies no matter how much I'd like to hug them because I remember they can projectile spit at me, and nor did I cry at any graduations. I am of the camp that believes emotions complicate the decisions we have to make, they make things more gray than black and white. They test our patience, our sanity, our clarity of mind - more often than not we remember the moments when our emotions make what we 'should do' more of an unknown than fact. Those are the moments we toss and turn in our sleep, we dwell and our mind is consumed with whether we should or should not. We juggle our regrets and our affirmations in our dreams and in our wake while doing mindless chores. I'm not an emotional person and it's not because I don't know how to express it (I mean have you been reading?) but it's because I'd rather not deal with real consequences of dwelling too much on them. I suppose I'm maybe too much of a bore in real life, too focused on getting the next thing on my list done. I'd just rather not deal with it in real life. But if you want me to weigh them I can, I can over analyze right with the best of them! Don't test me!

So it's one thing to not want to 'deal with' the emotions that pop-up in every day living. And then it's another thing to not want to 'deal with' the emotions on a part of your life that you've resisted. For me, this is the case with O.I. and being a person with a disability. But as I've written more about it, and gained the experience of utilizing language to talk about these topics -- it's been more than clear to me that just because I haven't wanted to access my thoughts and feelings on it, doesn't mean they don't exist. Clearly they existed, and if I wanted to quantify them (because sadly that is what makes them most real for me) they have existed in the form of 373 blog posts. And more literally they have existed in the way I've lived my life, whether I've consciously taken the time out of my days to process and let them spout forth.

If you're like me and struggle with putting into words your inner most quirky mushiness, I can suggest this much: do it in a way that feels most natural to you. When it comes to your thoughts and emotions, that is the time to wave your freak flag! It would be an insult to your thoughts and emotions if you expressed them on someone else's terms. And while I know that doing so might make you sound like "a freak" or "a weirdo" in your mind, once you've described something in a way that (you think) only you've processed it -- you'll be surprised to find how many other people have had similar lines of thinking too. I know I have.

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