You see others laughing but you don't join in. You see the smiley face but see nothing to smile at. You watch friends, family or total strangers tee-heeing their heads off at some comic's banter or an actor on television or at the movies, and wonder why you feel nothing. That's right, absolutely nothing. While they're practically rolling in the aisles, tears streaming down their cheeks. Having a riotous time.
There's a physical pain in your chest somewhere. You're hard-pressed to say exactly where although you tried once when you complained to the doctor. The doctor may have reassured you nothing was wrong or perhaps sent you for tests, all of which came back normal. The doctor just does not understand, you think. The hell with him - or her.
Something simmers in your abdomen, a nasty sort of something that makes you want to stomp around and throw things. Or hit somebody. Or injure yourself in some way. Then the doctor will notice; see how much you hurt.
Then another pain in your lower belly kicks in. Makes you feel sick, hot, cold ... And it just goes on...and on...and on. Maybe it's better after all to stay numb.
But hey, what's this? Numb? You pinch yourself. Ouch. That hurt. When you get to a certain point it's time to start the NAME GAME. Name those basic feelings because only by naming them can you decide what you really want to do with them instead of acting out blindly. The basic feelings are: SAD / GLAD / MAD. No, I haven't forgotten terror and fear, those pesky demons . . .
Start with the basics:
Sad lives in the chest and may cause pain until you allow yourself to cry.
Glad lives in your heart and may make you break into a smile or laugh.
Mad lives in the belly and lower back, glows like a hot coal and may make you do, say, or act out in all sorts of ways.
There are two rules about rage/anger: No hurting yourself. No hurting others.
More next time . . .