Step One: Even if you’re right smack in the middle of an emotional low, you will pay zero attention to your feelings. You will ignore them. This is because you believe that feelings are weak and dramatic and exaggerated. You will then convince yourself that you are not hurt, because to show that you are in pain is to show that you are made of less stern stuff than the rest. To feel pain is to lack resilience. So instead, you will rationalize. You will try to understand what really happened and why it happened.
Step Two: In your attempt to look back on what really happened and why things took place the way they did, you will come to the following conclusions: the reason why you didn’t succeed is because you didn’t try hard enough. The reason why you had your heart broken was because you were stupid enough to keep going when all the signs told you to walk away. The reason why you failed and you were rejected is because you’re not good enough.
There could possibly be no logical, rational explanation for all of your failures and mistakes and set backs other than your inadequacies. This to you, is the truth.
Step Three: You will start to think to yourself that you don’t know what the truth is anymore. You want to believe that you are fully capable, but you feel inadequate. You want to believe that you are strong, but you feel small. You want to believe that you are sure of yourself, but you feel insecure. You want to believe that you’re okay, but you feel completely miserable.
Step 4: Now finding yourself at a whole new level of an emotional low, repeat steps 1 through 3.
This is what it’s like for us.
And honestly, this cycle isn’t a choice.
It’s our reality. It’s our default setting.
Like a fish caught on a hook, we’re always trying our hardest to swim away, even to swim upstream, but we almost always get pulled back in an instant.
I’ve found that it helps to be around people (but not too many people, as feelings of aloneness and lack of connection are likely to ensue (I know, complicated stuff) ). Knowing that it is only I who keep on bringing this emotional load upon myself, I need to counter that by not being alone with myself. On those days that I don’t feel quite well I make it a point to be with people with whom I feel understood. I make it a point to talk to my fellow individualists, and even enthusiasts too, for empathy and a different (un-judging) perspective.
And for the rest who happen to live with an individualist, or be married to one, or just be around one often, sometimes the best thing that you can do is to just be there.