"What is your substance, whereof are you made"

I'm generally quite good at writing about my thoughts and feeling, but actually talking about them: not so much! It's not something I'm proud of, at all, and it's something that I'm dealing with, right now. If I get angry, I don't explode, I implode. Quietly. I will completely shut down for days and withdraw into my own anger, taking shit out on myself, whatever it is. It's extremely lonely, very intense and completely wrong. I used to shut down for weeks, so believe it or not, a couple of days in my own personal hell is actually progress.

I think some of it has to do with our culture here in Norway, as we are a rather introverted and independent bunch of people in general - but a lot of it is definitely because I've always been told that I'm "too sensitive". "Too this" and "too that". Always in a bad way. So as a child, I quickly discovered that shutting up and shutting down was the only way I could deal with my emotions and I never really learned the "appropriate" way to react or talk about anything. Even at 30 years old, I still don't know shit. How to react, what to say, how to say things or even just show that I care. How much anger is too much anger? Or sadness, or joy? Is a full blown expression of joy a burst of laughter or a burst of tears? Both? Am I just completely crazy?

My reactions, or sometimes lack thereof, has been a big source of frustration for me and everyone in my life. I myself often feel like I'm too invested in people and things, but they can't tell, because I'm incapable of showing it. Other times, I feel like I'm not showing my affection enough, and I will over compensate in a hundred different ways, completely draining myself in the process. I can't seem to find a balance. It's like someone gave me the wrong tools to do a very simple job, and now I'm forced to use this cheap ass plastic fork to fry my eggs. It's a mess.

A little blue flower growing silently in a ditch can bring me immense joy, but a conversation with a loved one can give me debilitating anxiety. This confuses me, because intellectually I know that these are both very good things. Not the anxiety part, the flower and conversation part. Talking to the people you love will bring you closer to the poeple you love, so me being unable to open my mouth and actually voice my opinion or share my emotions is an incredible challenging thing to deal with. It's like someone has forcefully driven an ax half way through my throat, and the words that are suppose to be formed with the air from my lungs are just slamming against the metal stuck in my trachea. It leaves me mouthing my words and choking on untold feelings. It's sort of like emotional mute-ism. It's not that I can't be happy or sad, I really can be all of the emotions times a hundred, it's just that when I desperately need to be able to talk about my feelings, I physically feel like I can't.

Why is this? Is it a weird defense mechanism? Is it "simply" because I was mocked growing up for being "emotional", and therefore I think emotions are bad? Because I know they are not, I do, on an intellectual level, at least. How do I change this? How do I rewire my brain? How do I unlearn? What am I so scared of? Is it some kind of abandonment issue? Do I think people will leave if they know my thoughts and feelings? Will they not accept me for me? Is this all because of fear? Is that it?

Having yoga in my life truly is helping me figure things out, and I'm generally feeling more balanced than ever - but this past week I've just completely collapsed into my darkest emotions. I fell face down into a deep hole, and it felt like I was drowning in a pool of tears and snot. The sorrow felt so endless, so deep, so complete. And all I did was cry and sleep. In silence. I couldn't even do my regular yoga practice.

A combination of stress, illness, arguments and traveling brought me to the hole this time, but I'm climbing back up now. I'm trying to be better, to understand my triggers and learn from it. I guess this is what yogis refer to as Svadhyaya, which is a Sanskrit term literally meaning "to study one's self". And I really am, studying my self. My ego, my thought patterns, my actions. Trying to figure things out. It's rather painful at times, and very draining. The ego does not like me digging into it, so this whole process of getting to know myself on an almost cellular level is hard work. But, I don't want to be a crazy hermit-thinker living inside my own head all my life. Some balance would be really nice, so I'll be working on that from now on.

I am not only my thoughts - or my actions and reactions. I am more than my worries, my experiences and my feelings. I am all of these, combined. I just never wanted to know or understand why I am the way I am. But by diving deep-deep down into myself, and observing: exploring the why's and how's: questioning why I am the way I am - I'm learning. And learning is good. Learning will lead to growth, and growth is needed to evolve.

On good days, there is unity. On bad days, there is complete chaos. It's a work in progress.


Title quote by Shakespeare.

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