So at some point after writing out the post trying to describe being unable to feel correctly, a friend at work bought me my favorite drink from the store. He brought it in and handed it to me, I was surprised because usually if he gets it, it’s in a small container, this time he hands me a half gallon. Minus the fact its extremely unhealthy for me, I was pretty stoked. I did my best crack addict impersonation and ran off with it laughing.
He then walks up to me and says, “See, that’s called happiness. You’re fine.” I lamented. He wasn’t being mean when he said it, I think he did genuinely want to try and show me some kind of point. I just kind of gave him a look and tried to explain it didn’t work like that.
It can get frustrating sometimes. I’ve never asked for pity, nor have I let it take center stage. Time and time again I attempt to explain it to others, only to find they haven’t really paid attention, or can’t articulate it the same way I try to explain. I assure of you, I’m pretty good at breaking things down based on the individual, it’s a skill. However, with this particular issue, since its so inside of me, its hard to explain to others.
Through some stroke of luck I was talking with my fiancé about something and something pertaining to the situation, and I think I finally stumbled onto the best way to explain it to someone. Now for most people this should be pretty much a cut and dry explanation.
Take a look at that picture. Really take it in. It’s very colorful. You see purple, red, yellow, green and blue. Various shades of each, but basically its all those colors. Everyone has a little variance, but for the most part we can all agree on that. Lets chalk these up to your emotions. Love, hate, fear, happiness, sadness. Again we all have some variation, but they are there.
Now my photoshop skills have gone down a bit since all the new tools they have, but this should help represent the situation. The top picture is so vibrant, clear differences in the colors and when they mix, you can still pretty much pick it out. My sensation of emotion, is like someone slid down the spectrum of saturation. I still have all my emotions, but the whole image is very flat. No spikes in colors or darkness. It’s just hard to distinguish what I’m feeling. I can be happy, I can be sad, anger is something I feel quite regularly.
Not that I’m a big ball of anger or anything. In fact, if you ask anyone who knows me, I bet they’ve never even seen me mad, or can even picture me mad. I’ve walked with anger in my corner so long that its basically melded into me. However I admit its caused some unexpected side effects. Seeing the colors through the red filter doesn’t really make for a great time, but I’m used to it.
Back to the topic at hand though. Imagine trying to explain a color to someone who is color-blind. Its very hard. Its complex yet simple. I have all the colors, just a lot more gray. Sometimes I may feel some emotions loud and clear. While other times, it may be darn near color-less. I don’t know when I lost my range of brightness. It happened so gradually that I just stopped noticing. There was no overwhelming traumatic event that took place that left me scarred. I had barely noticed the colors getting less vibrant.
Now lets say you for whatever reason, just saw the full range of colors for an evening. It would be a like a shock to the heart and mind. I’ve had events like that, I try to figure out what made them different, not always coming to a conclusion. Once you’ve seen full color, going back to dulled colors really is hard on you. “What’s wrong with me?” You ask yourself a thousand times. It can send you into a depression if you aren’t careful.
Its worth mentioning that I know that no one is just flat out crazy happy all the time. I imagine a Richard Simons style character doing lines of coke spiraling out of control when I even try to imagine what it would take. the ups and downs of it are what keep balance. Mines pretty flat-lined. No jumps. Which makes it hard to gauge how I’m feeling. I can know I’m in a good mood, but not feel all that happy. Its strange I guess.
I hope that explains a little bit of what I’ve come to call emotional color-blindness. I’m sure if I were to google it, someones written a very in depth scientific look at it. Leaving me late to the party. I like to find destinations on my own though. I had this thought, I fleshed it out, and shared it with anyone who may benefit from it.