A few weeks ago I broke my brain in therapy. I was explaining to Jillian, Therapist to the Stars, that my life has become a series of increasing noticeable polarities… I am up - I am down. I am happy – I am sad. I am strong – I am scared. I am passionate – I am ambivalent. I am excited – I am hesitant. And, by the way, I have been all these things in the past 24 hours. The highs and lows are wild. I feel like a swirling tornado at times.
“What if you have dulled your feelings for you entire life and you are now allowing yourself to actually feel for the first time? What if it you always feel with this kind of force from now on? What if this is the new normal?” Jillian asked.
“It would be okay,” I answered. “All these things are me. I am all these things.” And then I had an epiphany. “It’s beautiful,” I said.
And I felt it… felt it in my bones. For once I understood the pure joy of allowing myself to be all the things I am – the seeming dichotomies make me complete, whole, complicated, not easily defined, unique and yet so exactly like everyone else.
And then, Zing! my brain broke. Like, literally broke. Something snapped and I started to see in tunnel vision and became disoriented. I had to search for words and couldn’t come back into the present.
“What’s going on?” Jillian asked. “Come back to the room.”
I explained the physical symptoms to her and she explained that I was, indeed, breaking my brain. Allowing myself to feel - as opposed to my normal modus operandi of dissociation, escapism, avoidance, (name your favorite coping mechanism here) - was forcing my brain to reroute neural pathways. In essence, I was short-circuiting my brain.
Therapy is a fascinating thing, my gentle snowflakes.
Continue to Lessons Learned: Adventure #1 (Part 2)