And what causes them? And can you take control and turn a terrifying low into a dizzying high?
I was talking to one of my oldest friends yesterday and the conversation stuck with me. We met in high school. We sat next to each other in Music Theory and we knew instantly that we were kindred spirits on a very deep level. Sure, we gelled with a lot of music and fashion talk but it was the deeper stuff that connected us. We talked about the earth changing and natural disasters happening in many places and how we’d have to find the safe places to live. We also talked a lot about cute boys and red prom dresses, I assure you. On the outside, we were pretty normal high school kids. But we liked to talk spiritual shop a lot, in the crowded hallways between classes. We talked about power and influence, following your dreams, being “on” and “off.” So I may not have met her as a very young child, like I’ve met some other of my friends, but we have just as heavy a history. We talked then and now about the dizzying highs and the terrifying lows.
I’m sure there are people out there who go through life pretty much on one or two simple and similar speeds. Then there are people like me and my friend who can oscillate from very long “highs” that can last years, to not as long “lows” that can also last awhile. I’m not talking about bipolar depression. Depression and happiness don’t even necessarily factor into these highs and lows. They obviously can make appearances, but it’s not as simple as happy/sad. The dizzying highs are when you feel “on” and powerful and wonderful things keep happening to you, and then multiplying, and then happening some more.
The terrifying lows are pretty much the reverse – a bunch of tragedies and obstacles all seem to be happening at once and multiplying…almost like you do have some influence on it all. My lows happen when so many emotional traumas occur that I lose control of how to take them in, learn from them, and let them go. Let them go. Instead I internalize them and everything that happens after, and I get weighted down and bent over from them. And then I can hardly recognize myself – I’m a shell, a trace, a ghost of all that I am and all that I can be.
I get through these times. Every single time. But often I get close and then get pulled back under and it seems I never will get back to the surface. But I do.
I fear I’m still a bottler, despite years of trying to break that pattern. Take for instance, something that happened the other day. Our lovely neighbor brought over a young dog that needed a home. Now we’re not quite in that place just yet and we’re strictly northern dog people, or at least fluffy dog people, so it wasn’t the right dog at the right time. Knowing this, my husband was at peace and pretty much forgot the whole episode right after it happened. Me…I didn’t. I kept thinking about those huge puppy dog eyes and wondering if the dog would find a good home. I made jokes all day about my husband coming home from work and finding her peering at him from our bed. That night I had a dream that we did adopt her and that she ate our couch and defecated 17 times in our house. 17 times. That’s just how I work.
None of this is new material. My emotional states are a work in progress. I love to talk about them and explore them every chance I can. My friend asked me, “What causes these jumps from highs to lows to highs to lows?” I don’t know. I think it’s caused by extreme sensitivity mixed with intuition mixed with a little OCD mixed with wanting to be self-actualized mixed with a belief in magic, and more. And it’s also about learning to let go and not growing older and less wiser on the emotional traumas that weigh us down and cause us to look at lesser events as traumas.
Cause it’s all ok, it is. I wouldn’t want to change who I am. I’ll take slightly emotional and sensitive and hope for a little more patience, openness and relaxation. How do you teach yourself to let go after a lifetime of holding in? Holding back?