today i am starting, officially or unofficially, my new writing experience. i just finished printing another final final final final final revision of the novel i have been working on for the last, gulp, six years. gosh maybe seven years? i don’t have the balls to confirm the exact date i started but ….a long ass time ago. this other project has been brewing in my head for the last year or so and i am excited to get started.
i am the guinea pig for this experiment, and the topic is emotions. i want to track and investigate my feelings with the overarching hypothesis that they aren’t really MY feelings at all. my theory is that we’re wrong about ourselves . . . human beings, in the west, in the U.S, on the east coast, in NJ. The we of me. I am wrong about myself. And i mean, COMPLETELY WRONG. about who i am, and what i am stuck with in terms of being me. that’s my thesis. a working thesis. i am trying to figure something out here. something important. charles darwin important. i am my own barnacle.
the first step is to feel feelings. so i quit coffee today. i have been trying to quit coffee for 22 years but hey, i can always try again. i decided i am actually going to attend a support group for it. it’s called cafaa. worth a try, right?
even one cup of black coffee kills my feelings for hours and hours on the days i drink it. i can’t possibly conduct this experiment while drinking coffee. also, i don’t drink alcohol or eat cannabis gummy bears or ingest any other mood changing or mood altering or mood stabilizing chemicals. no meds. this part is easy …. living med/chem free…because i’ve been off that stuff for a long time. more on that in another post maybe.
the goal is to track some of my dominant feelings on a daily basis for a while. just to get started. by dominant i mean strong enough to make me either comfortable or uncomfortable enough that the feeling “registers.”
Monday April 26.
1-woke up in a “bad” feeling. THIS OFTEN HAPPENS.
quotations on the “bad” because i think our words for feelings are fucked up, and our judgments of feelings are misguided and extremely counterproductive even destructive
the feeling was… to use the best word i have for it at the moment…SAD
sad about friendship, feeling “left out” LEFT OUT is a frequent flyer for me. how about you?
i saw a friend on saturday night who i used to consider my “best friend” in some ways. we don’t hang out anymore (why, i don’t know. this is also a common feeling for me. CONFUSION about relationships.) so i woke up feeling “sad,” and it quickly blended in with “confused.” i call that part of me “relater debater” because I have a habit of debating myself about the value or status of this or that relationship. however, i am rethinking this concept that a feeling is a part of me. maybe it’s not? maybe a feeling comes down onto me — attacks me?– from the atmosphere.
could i potentially protect myself from feelings without numbing myself? offense as opposed to defense? are you with me?
back to saturday night, i saw this friend of mine, let’s call her Anita, with another of her friends, and they seemed close to each other and i felt alone and apart. not exactly lonely… was it lonely? lonely is a serious emotion, one of the TITANS, one of the GODS of the emotional cosmos. Is loneliness a monster? i think i have been lonely the last couple of years “doing” COVID, after my divorce. that would be understandable, right? i was with my husband for over twenty years and then we broke up. a year later the world went into Covid Isolation. Loneliness would be normal under these conditions.
I would never admit to being lonely EVER
maybe i admitted it to the unavailable person who broke my heart during that same time period
but only to stop him from doing it and it didn’t work
broken heart. yeah, that’s a feeling. maybe a subset of GRIEF
I am interested in the way certain people avoid specific feelings
and the fact that we don’t like to cop to having some (or all) feelings
and what the hell is a feeling anyway???
this all sounds exhausting doesn’t it. this is also important. that it can be exhausting to “have” feelings.
are you interested in this? i am fucking fascinated which is why i am embarking on this project
i can’t even get to the end of my first post
Back to Saturday night, haha
2- I made up a story about how these two women like each other much more than they like me, and that they look after each other and absolutely no one cares about me. so, that feeling, it’s a familiar one, i have been dancing with this feeling since childhood. let’s call it call it “i think i’ll go eat worms.” Perhaps it’s a subset of lonely. it edges into the “ABJECT,” an area we will be exploring
i made a phone call before i even got out of bed. i expressed my feelings to someone in one of my support groups (won’t go into that yet). she helped me get a better perspective. after that i got out of bed and moved on to a feeling of, it’s monday morning and i don’t want to do the things i need to do. this is definitely a category. i am a person who has avoided the 9-to-5 life. i try to keep my days of the week equal. i work a little every day and don’t take weekends “off” or let my weekdays become abusive. but my ex-husband was super affected by the monday morning thing. i will call this feeling what he called it. “the demons.”
for me, today, the demons didn’t last long because my teenaged daughter offered to accompany me to the grocery store. then i was happy. what kind of happy? i think i need to be specific. i was happy to spend time with someone i love. happy to have company on a task i usually do alone. happy that i can go to the grocery store because i was locked inside for two weeks recently when my son had covid. happy that i can afford groceries and also i was hungry so i was happy to be getting food…. i think this is maybe gratitude?
will revisit the “shades of happy”
3- beneath these feelings i was also having an emotional hangover from watching the elton john biopic last night. Rocketman. Celebrity biopics are a part of the emotional programming that controls many of us. the elton john biopic really plays into the “don’t you wish you were fabulous and rich and famous and talented like me? even if i was an addict now i am not?.. it all worked out for me now i am rich and fabulous AND happy.” signed, Elton
i’m never gonna be a rockstar. so why do i have envy? is it maybe remorse? that i wasn’t born to become elton john? do i wish i were elton john? this lingering envy often infects me through a vector like a hollywood biopic. my daughter eats this stuff all the time and it’s designed to make us feel like losers. i think i would call this feeling “MY LIFE SUCKS.” i recognize i need to work this out a little more.
i have a LONG history with the MY LIFE SUCKS feeling. it runs parallel to the social-media, self-hatred super highway. we don’t want to go there just yet
that’s already a lot and it’ s only noon. i want a cup of coffee.
4-as i was writing this i got an email from my ex-husband. it made me ANGRY.
with him, i have very strict rules in place about expressing my feelings. i don’t.
in fact i am working on learning how to not have these feelings. because he seems to feed off them. (see above, offense vs. defense)
here’s the video i made about this project in september. not sure it’s even valid anymore but i never posted it.