When you go through a rough breakup or mourn the death of a loved one or lose your lifelong career, you might wish you were numb. You might wish you could turn your emotions off like a faucet so the tears and the stomachaches would disappear for good. So you could finally feel okay again.
But anyone who has actually experienced numbness before will tell you that feeling nothing is just as horrible as feeling too much.
When you are numb, everything seems pointless. You don’t have a reason to wake up in the morning. You will force yourself to show up at work and talk to friends and shower, but none of it will feel worth it. You will feel like you’re in a haze, mechanically doing things because you have to, because it’s expected of you, not because it’s what you actually want to do.
When you are numb, every week will feel exactly the same. You will feel like you aren’t getting any closer to your destination, because you won’t be looking forward to anything. Of course, you won’t be dreading anything either. You’ll just be there. Existing.
When you are numb, you will do anything to feel again. You might take drastic measures, ones your family won’t understand. You might drink until you black out. You might dabble with drugs. You might cut yourself. You might throw yourself into a toxic relationship because you would rather scream and fight and cry all night long than spend your free hours in bed, staring at the ghost white ceiling.
When you are numb, you want to feel human again and there’s nothing more human than fucking up your entire world. That is why you do such stupid things. That is why you choose self-destruction over self-love.
It’s hard to love yourself when you’re questioning whether you have a heart at all.
It’s hard to love yourself when you have stopped loving everything, even the things you used to be excited about.
When you are numb, you will spend most of your time wondering whether you will ever feel again, and the answer is yes. You will.
You will feel happy again. You will smile without forcing it. You will laugh without effort. You will be excited about your future. You will be angry and disappointed and jealous and joyful and hopeful and proud.
One day, not too long from now, you will feel again. But hurting yourself isn’t going to thaw your numbness. Your answers aren’t at the bottom of a bottle or on the edge of a razor blade.
If you want to help yourself, the best thing you can do is talk to your loved ones. Visit a therapist your insurance covers. Join a free support group on Facebook. Call a hotline. Text a friend.
Do something different, something productive, because the self-destructive acts you’ve been practicing up until now haven’t been helping.
Even though you’re doubtful right now, you won’t feel numb forever. This feeling will go away eventually, but you might as well help it along. You might as well make an effort to save yourself.