Especially in these times, feeling overwhelmed is expected. But what can you do to alleviate some of the stress? It begins and ends with using love to combat the numbness that attempts to evade our everyday lives.
As humans, we feel. Our feelings are what separates us from every other living being. So what do we feel, as humans? Well, everything. Happy, sad, mad, neutral, content, blessed, strong, delighted, doubtful, perplexed, grateful, optimistic, pessimistic, despair, resentful, invigorated, and everything in between. The list of emotions we feel goes on and on and appears never-ending. Feelings drastically alter the way we live our everyday lives. If you’re feeling pleasant and energetic, you may go out to a park and enjoy the scenery. On the contrary, if you’re feeling down and lethargic, you may stay inside and sleep the day away.
As with anything in life, emotions aren’t guaranteed, and let me tell you something, a life without emotion and feeling is a life you want no part of at all. Some years back, that was me. Withdrawn, dejected, and numb, I reached a point of what I thought was no return, no return to feeling, that is. I’d gone through so many soul-crushing hardships that eventually, my mind figured it would remove any feeling altogether. That way, I couldn’t hurt anymore. In this sense, my mind was using a defense mechanism to protect itself.
So how did this look? Well, I felt nothing. For years, I went through life, never fully present. In moments that were supposed to be filled with bliss, I felt nothing. In others, where anger and bitterness should’ve taken over my being, I felt nothing. It was a level of depression I’d never reached before. I remember it like it was yesterday. Negative outcome after negative outcome kept occurring in my life, and I became so overwhelmed, I believe this was my body, mind, and spirit’s way of saying, no more. If all you’re going to feel is pain, then you’ll feel nothing at all. By far, this was the worst period I’d gone through in my life. If anyone ever tells you they’d rather feel nothing at all than to be upset or angry, they haven’t experienced numbness. Once you do, you realize it’s the worst thing on this planet. Because although you don’t fully grasp the difficult times, that way they don’t hurt as much, you don’t relish in the wonderful times, either, and that is no way to live life.
One of the areas that affected me the most in dealing with numbness was my thought process. Growing up, I’d always prided myself on deep thinking, the ability to break down complex theories in my head, and learning and understanding the world around us. It was something I enjoyed doing, and I had gratitude for it. I felt blessed to have the mind for it, and at a point throughout being numb, it all shattered in the blink of an eye. No more profound and in-depth thoughts, conceptual ideas, or inspirations. Just a blank thought process, void of any actual thoughts. It was one aspect of numbness that hurt me the most. As someone who loved to learn and think, I wasn’t myself. I unwillingly retracted myself into a shell, and for a long time, I thought the old me would never be heard from again. That is until God and love came along.
Part of the human experience is feeling emotion. Without it, we run the risk of being so emotionally removed; we don’t care what happens to ourselves or those around us, which is a level of depression I hope no one ever has to experience. Yet, for those who have, I want you to know there’s hope. You can get back to where you were before; I am living proof of that. Through much reflection, conviction, and guidance, I was able to see the light of day again. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I repeat, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
It reminds me of a piece of scripture in the bible, which reads, “these three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.” Faith and hope are so indispensable to life, but anything is possible through love, including regaining your feelings and thought process. I overcame my depression and anxiety, and you can do it too. We may have had different experiences, some shared, but the next time you feel overwhelmed, just remember, love conquers all.