For some, the ability to experience intense emotions is a blessing, a type of trophy that they can hoist to show the world how mature, compassionate, and advanced they are; but, for me, it’s always been more of a curse.
I still recall throwing tantrums as a kid, and all of the times when I felt rejected; I remember the nights I spent crying by myself because I believed that others didn’t want anything to do with me. And all of this because of how easily hurt I was, by almost anything. A relationship with someone who overreacts is difficult, to say the least; and, looking back, I don’t blame the people who’ve left me. For, how could it have been otherwise?
Some call it over-excitability; others over-emotionality: whatever it is, I often wonder what life would be like without it. People who struggle with Social Anxiety Disorder and Avoidant Personality Disorder are usually deep-feelers, whose fear is encompassed by a mix of their inability to value themselves with pessimistic thinking. The resultant downside is an unwillingness to take risks and experience the world. So, they lock themselves up, terrified of all of the sorrow and heartache that the frigid world would surely impose on them if they dared to step into it.
The deep-feelers are our poets and our artists; they’re also our thinkers and creators. Their connections to the world are indirect, as writing replaces speaking and creating substitutes for attaching. Behind each of their masks lies a deep-yearning for intimacy that’s veiled by their timidity. They long for connection while predicting failure; they dream of human-warmth, while terrified of its touch. The flame of life is negated by the scourge of existential terror, an intrenched truth which whispers that they are not enough.
So, they turn their sights to their ambition, aching to prove their worth, but thus further alienating themselves from the possibility of being lovable. The deep-feelers block their feelings with reason, believing intellect to solely be the answer. And, like most of the others, I’ve spent the majority of my adult life cultivating it at the expense of my emotional side, as reason was my savior, or so I thought.
I still don’t know if emotional-depth is worth its price, but I know now that pure reason and individualistic pursuits will never make me happy by themselves. At some point, I’ll have to take the plunge and decide that love is worth pursuing, no matter the possibility of pain. For, how else can life ever be worth living?