Friday, June 18, 2010

I Emote

So I'm off sertraline which I've taken for 12 plus years (I took something else before that but don't remember what and Prozac before that). I've been on some kind of anti-anxiety, mood regulating medication for a couple of decades, and now I feel like Commander Data after his emotion chip was installed.

The anxiety has not returned so far. Sure, I get anxious, but it seems to be the normal response to normal anxiety provoking contexts, and it does not persist after the stimulus is gone. Also, excessive caffeine consumption has the expected results.

What I am having difficulty with is the intensity of the mostly positive emotions I am experiencing. I can't talk about the incredible outpouring of love and support that I have received without shedding tears. I get weepy over moving song lyrics or bathetic moments in movies or books. I cry over starving children and the victims of war in newscasts. I tear up when I feel gratitude. I weep tears of joy when I feel joy. WTF? Shouldn't I have some other mode of emotional expression in my arsenal?

On the other hand, I have been enjoying full on, unreserved laughter like I have not experienced in decades (sometimes, you guessed it, until tears run down my face). I feel love, hope, peace and joy like I have not felt them before.

I want this to wear off to the extent that I don't totally wear out my tear ducts, but I also want to keep on feeling deeply. If I could do it without the waterworks, I'd be better than OK. If I have to keeop the waterworks, I'd rather live with that than go back to numbness.

How do you humans cope with these emotions and control your physical responses?

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