I used to think I understood my feelings well. I have very strong feelings, which makes it easy for me to realize when I feel a positive or a negative emotion. My body shows it clearly: I may smile or laugh, run, bounce or rub my hands if I’m happy or excited about something. When I notice I’m doing it (these are actions that I perform without thinking about them) I can tell I’m having a positive feeling. When I have a negative emotion I often rock, look down, and cry.
However, that distinction doesn’t tell different negative emotions apart. I can’t tell whether I’m angry, sad, afraid, or anxious about something. I just know there is an uncomfortable, intense, almost physical sensation that makes me rock, burst into tears and sometimes even lose my temper. Now I’m writing about it because it has been happening a lot to me lately: I am behaving in a very rigid and inflexible way, having needless arguments with family members, losing my temper often, having meltdowns, or just feeling depressed in general.
I think most of it is caused my my unemployment-caused anxiety/depression/whatever. Tomorrow I have an exam, and I haven’t been able to focus in my studies all day because my mind kept reliving my interview with the supported-employment team and wondering if and when they were going to call me again, if I was going to get a job, what it was going to be, if I was going to do well in it… and then I worried that they might not call, that they may not find any job I can do, or that some other candidate might get the job, and I could remain unemployed for the rest of my life, because the longer you are unemployed, the less chances you have of getting a job in the future. And then I would start rocking and crying, and Winnicott’s texts I have to study for tomorrow would lay on the table, all but forgotten about.
I think my anxiety about (not) getting a job might also be affecting the way I interact with my family and my behavior in general. I am desperate for them to call and offer me a job. I know it sounds too needy, cliched and pathetic to say they are my only hope, but right now I feel that they are. I’m literally praying for their call.