Sometimes, something happens to me that I can only describe as intense emotional pain. It’s relatively new – in fact I’ve maybe only noticed it for a month or two. Maybe it’s common and you have felt this too? Maybe it’s a symptom? Maybe it’s something people have experienced and managed their whole lives, and indicative of low distress tolerance on my part? I can’t really ever know, because I can’t feel what you feel, or anyone else feels. The best I can do is to try to describe it, put words to it, and see what reaction (if any) I get.
So.. what does it feel like? It hurts. It hurts and consumes my mind like physical pain would. Really bad physical pain. It feels like it’s somewhere in my chest… a place that doesn’t exist physically… it’s not my heart, it’s not my skin, muscle or bone.. but it’s in there. I can point to it. It burns, is constant (not pulsing, or stabbing).. like my skin has been peeled off & acid poured onto me… or there’s a hot poker lodged beneath my sternum.
I don’t know what causes it. I can’t usually identify a trigger, if there is one at all. It hits me seemingly from nowhere; the only thing that seems to help is other people – irl company or online talks can distract me from it, and it fades, but nothing else seems to ease it. Even when thinking about it (like I am doing to write this post) I can feel the first pangs, and I need to back away from it carefully to avoid an “attack”.
The worst part is the intensity. It hurts so much, my very being aches, that it truly feels unbearable. The only thing I can think about is how to make it stop. Anything, please, anything to make it end, stop the burning, I can’t take another second, I cannot bear it any more. I cry, hold myself.. if it wasn’t so crippling and energy-sapping, I might be frantic. When it eases, I notice. I feel relieved, exhausted, and frightened about next time.