Take It Down a Notch

I love the phrase, “all the feels.” It’s silly and terrible grammar and so very, very accurate for me. I’m inclined to “feel all the feels,” sometimes by choice, but most often my body and mind go ahead and do it all on their own. I think I’m just wired that way.

Sometimes, it feels as though my entire body and all my emotions are laid completely bare to the world, and the slightest breeze lights everything up. A switch board suddenly aglow; every nerve buzzing. Everything that is good is wonderful, everything bad is tragic, and my eyes are constantly filled with tears over both. The music I love becomes life, the books I adore need to be constantly open on my lap, and the shows and movies I enjoy need to be watched on repeat. The people I love, my husband, my children, my friends and family, I can’t have enough of them, being apart from them is awful, and if I could somehow put everyone I care about together in one space and we could have some sort of weird Kirsten commune together where I am only ever with them, I would never be unhappy.

And there are the words, and my loud voice, and my hopes and desires and dreams and they all just come pouring out of me and I can’t stop them and I can hear a little voice in the back of my head saying: “You have no chill. Take it down a notch.” But I insist that I do in fact have chill and that I couldn’t possibly take things down a notch. Nope. Not going to happen. This feels too good.

I literally cannot get enough of any of this. I cannot fill myself up with enough of anything, good or bad, to feel sated. I just go and go and go and go until my body and brain unexpectedly thrown down the brakes and I stop and can’t possible move, talk, or enjoy anything. It feels as though I had been sliding down a hill in the winter, hitting every thrilling icy patch before coming to a place where the snow had been worn away, and my bottom painfully grinds against rocky and friction-filled bare ground. And I’ll sit on that bare patch of ground, a rock digging itself into my butt, until I can finally convince myself to move again, in which case I promptly find those icy patches again, and speed forward once again.

There are some wonderful things about moving like this, rapidly, joyfully, inexhaustible. I feel good most of the time and get a lot accomplished, or at least start some pretty great projects. I want to go and do things and live my life well and fully. But, of course, my narcissistic tendencies become a bit  more pronounced. I talk about myself a lot, and I hate that, even as I’m doing it. That same voice that tells me I have no chill will berate me as I speak about myself. “Stop. Talking. About. Yourself.” But I just keep going, because who has time to stop and think about what she’s saying?

And, of course, those are those low points, those friction-y moments where I can’t move and feel lousy in body and mind. I can’t seem to steer around them; they appear and I hit them and get so terribly stuck and deeply depressed. It was, mostly, because of these pockets that I started taking an anti-depressent/anti-anxiety medication. It was also, because of this medication that all those exposed nerves, all that joyousness to the extreme, were numbed. It was as though a layer or two of plastic wrap had been placed over me and everything that touched me was dulled.

How does one choose to live? A life where something other than myself takes me down a notch, puts a few things on mute, and I have no real control over when, if ever, the volume goes back on, or do I do the hard (maybe even impossible) work of learning to rein the hard stuff in while still getting to feel good?

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