This week, I have been discussing emotional numbness with one of my patients. She mentioned to me that recently she felt like she was in “automatic pilot” mode, waking up in the morning and doing the things she has to do, but nothing else. “I am a functional being”, she claimed.
It might sound naive, but I know what I am doing when I say: can it be a statement that lasts forever?... is there such a thing as to be a functional being?”
Feeling emotionally numb might feel like lack of feelings but it doesn’t mean you are not feeling at all. You are just putting a fictive fence between you and the world out there.
It is ok to be a “functional being” some days, but that shouldn't last forever. It is all about the anatomy of connections. We are wired to connect with others, whether we want it or not. That’s the wood- we human beings- are made of. It gives purpose and meaning to our lives. Without it, we experience pain and desolation.
Otherwise there may be happiness, but true joy seems unattainable.
There may be sadness, anger or frustration, fear or anxiety, but it never permeates the heart.
Routine needs to be balanced with escape. We need the latter to stimulate our emotions.
When you ignore your emotions for a long time or have unresolved feelings, trying to understand what your emotions are telling you becomes harder and harder. You lose touch with yourself. You are just living the same predictable experiences of the past and acting them out, in the same way, every time.
Time to go out there, break those fences, explore the world, taste it with all your senses open.
She looks at me, and in her eyes, I can recognize the pain of acknowledging it and that, yes, it was about time step out of her comfort zone and stop living life like Groundhog Day!anxiety Psychology