The Rock That Doesn’t Feel.

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Is it possible not to feel certain emotions? Maybe I’m just numb. I can’t get too much into detail, but I’ve been a little worried lately.  It’s like I’ve put a filter on certain emotions. Things don’t upset me like they used to. I mean, I shed zero tears during the movie The Fault in Our Stars.” I was called heartless for being the only one with a dry eye in the theater. When someone says something offensive to me, I don’t even care. This isn’t the type of attitude I want to have either. I think it’s healthy to get upset, to speak up, and feel sad but lately I haven’t been. It seems like something incredibly stupid to be concerned about, but it’s preventing me from opening up, and letting people into my life. I was called out on it tonight and have been thinking about it all night. The other person was right. I’ve been acting like an emotionless robot. It’s almost like I got fed up with horrible things happening to me and put myself in some superficial happy hypnosis state. People have been expecting and waiting for me to crack or have a breakdown, and to be honest, so was I. This post isn’t flowing like the normal rants or talks. I’m forcing myself to write and you all know that is not like me. I don’t want this numb behavior to make itself at home or become a habit. I’m hoping this is just a “thing” Im going through. I guess I’m sharing this with you all because I want some reassurance that this is normal and that people go through phases of feeling nothing.  And “feeling nothing” is probably the worst way to put it because I’m happy. I’m happier than ever, smiling all the time, and feeling great, but it’s the lack of deep emotions that concern me. So when people say I drive them crazy from being happy all the time, well believe me, it bothers me too.

Comments

  • Julia

    I’m the exact same, I think it’s my minds way of blocking out all the crappy stuff that has happened in my life. It doesn’t feel healthy but it’s the only way I can get through the day. This isn’t how I am all the time, just when everything gets too much. I’m hoping that made sense haha 🙂

    Reply to Julia
  • Sarah

    My question is are you truly concerned about not feeling much right now or are you concerned about what other people are saying and thinking about you? Determining that will really give you some peace and to have a better idea on how to help yourself. Also, it might just be a defense mechanism. Our bodies can only deal with so much emotional stress. If it persists long term without feeling much (meaning a change in how you used to be) then that is when you might want to seek help (therapist). Your body might be scared to feel emotions, which is also normal. Exploring these ideas might help. Most of all though, just be you right now. Go with how you are feeling. Period. Easier said than done, I know, but guilt tripping yourself into who you think you are suppose to be right now is only making yourself feel bad. Don’t should yourself. You are worth more than that.

    Reply to Sarah
  • Jessica

    I’m so glad I caught up with your blog and saw this post. I don’t think you will have a mental breakdown. And I think that’s okay. Take it as a blessing that you are able to stay strong and not allow yourself to succumb to total darkness. I think that you’ve gone through so much in your life already and everything that led up to this point in your life shaped your character. Just because you are not unhappy doesn’t mean you feel nothing about the situation, you spent years on bettering yourself which ultimately made you stronger.

    Reply to Jessica
  • Josie

    The same thing happened with me. I broke up with my boyfriend of almost 3 years in January after finding out he hadn’t been as loyal as I was. It completely tore me apart, it meant moving out of our home together and me having to figure out what I actually wanted to do.

    Before our relationship I had always been slightly more hardened to things. I think because I hadn’t experienced being in love. That all changed while I was with him and I started feeling emotions I never knew I had. It was really strange. I think of it like a clam, before I was closed and then opened up. But as soon as we broke up, I completely shut up tight again. It stayed like that for a good 3/4 months but then all came tumbling back out… and for the past 3 months I’ve felt utterly crap and it has had a really bad effect on me. I gained back a lot of weight that I had lost and am feeling at an all time low about myself. I’m working on changing that again now because I know I don’t want any of what happened to have any influence over me now.

    I liked the person I was, how sentimental I had become. I think it is good to have those kind of feelings. I just need to learn that they don’t have to be because I feel a certain way about someone. That I can feel emotions for a good reason and stop relating it back to how I felt during our relationship.

    Hopefully you’re feeling better about it now. I really admire how you’re coping with everything. I completely changed my life and moved from London to the Caribbean for a year but as I mentioned, I’m not feeling good in myself which is meaning I don’t feel like I’m making the most of the amazing opportunity I have at the moment.

    Also jealous of the tiny puppy cuddles you’re having at the moment with Enzo!!! I miss my dogs a lot!!

    Reply to Josie
  • Crystal

    Sometimes when we go through a difficult situation, we put walls up because we don’t want the world to see our pain. We still feel, it just takes time to let the walls fall where everyone else can see.

    Reply to Crystal
  • Fernanda

    I’ve been reading your blog for about 2-3 years now, and I’ve never left a comment, but I felt like this post needed me to. Every once in a while I’ve felt this, and I’ve noticed that as I grow older I’m more acutely aware of it. Where I used to just think, wow I’m so strong and happy right now, now I realize its more of a neutral state than a truly happy one. This being said, there’s nothing wrong with it (at least I hope so). I’d be worried if we were a constantly swinging pendulum, at some point it stops until something hits it again whether in one direction or another. Stay strong and stay true to you and who you are. Don’t try to force emotions if they’re not there, just be aware of how you’re feeling and understand that its ok.

    Much love <3

    Reply to Fernanda
  • E

    I have generalized anxiety disorder and when big things happen — I go blank. It’s because if you don’t place your anxiety or acknowledge it — you will try to displace it. Then you just feel unsettled at all times. When I get like this — I find seeing a therapist super helpful. Sometimes, we don’t realize how we feel until someone works us through it. Don’t associate it with the stigmas it gets — just think of it as a soul clearing. Good luck!

    Reply to E
  • Kelsey

    Hey Girl. I’ve been reading your blog because I love your recipes especially the smoothies! Your eating and workout style reminds me a lot of myself. I’ve been meaning to write you about something totally unrelated to this post so I’ll get to that next ;).
    This post threw me for a loop because I am the exacttt same way! Not sure when it started or what triggered it but I was in a 6 year relationship and we broke up a little over a year ago. We ended on good terms but during the whole ‘breakup process’ I could not feel emotion. My boyfriend of 6 years was crying and I could not shed a tear if I tried. I’m in a new, great relationship now and happier than ever but I am still that way. I don’t cry about things that I normally would have. My boyfriend always gives me crap about not showing emotion. Most of the time its no big deal but he has told me that when I say “I love you” or talk nice to him, he doesnt feel emotion from me behind it. I think that is TERRIBLE and I feel awful that I’m like this. Anyways… Just wanted to share that. Not sure if that will make you feel better or not haha. All I know is what you’re going through is fresh and TRUST me, it will get so much better. You’re young and please just enjoy your 20’s! Best years ever in my opinion! (Ok, I’m 26 so I can’t speak from experience on that one).

    Anyways! Back to what I’ve been meaning to write you about. Like i said, I feel like you eat the same things I do so I enjoy reading your blog. Typically for breakfast I eat egg whites, greek yogurt, parfaits, etc. Lately however I have been getting a heartburny/ acidy feeling along with a stomach ache after I eat those things. I asked my Physician about it and he said it sounds like lactose intolerance or acid reflex. Of course I could take a prescription med for it but I’m not going to do that. Since I notice you eat quite a bit of these foods, any suggestions for something to supplement them? I am reallyyy missing my greek yogurt especially 🙁 . I’ve been eating chia seed pudding instead (chia seeds and almond milk). But it’s just not the same. Neither are liquid eggs.
    Any suggestions or tips to ‘fill the void’??? Thanks!

    PS. Best of luck on your new endeavors! Charlotte looks beautiful and will be a blast for you!

    Reply to Kelsey
  • Mallory

    Trust me girl, your feeling something every second of everyday. Did you think of another approach? Like maybe you’re just content? Plus feelings are nothing more of an image we have in our mind. Are they necessarily true all the time, no because we are constantly growing. I don’t think you’re heartless and I think you’re just beginning a new chapter in your life and have no idea what to expect…and that’s ok!!! Just be satisfied with being who you are NOW. Love yourself for who you are now, and the changes and growth will come. Stop judging yourself and your emotions 🙂

    Reply to Mallory
  • Gwen

    You go through phases it’s completely normal just don’t worry about it and keep doing you. People laugh at me for being happy all the time too, like they don’t think I’m genuinely happy. But last summer a bunch of crazy and terrible stuff happened to me and I felt like I should cry and I wanted to cry, I just honestly couldn’t. Months later, when things started looking up, I suddenly found my tears and couldn’t stop crying. You go through phases, it all balances out in the end!

    Reply to Gwen
  • Elizabeth

    Hi Taralynn,

    I’m going through the same “numb” feeling. It sounds as if different things have maybe triggered this numbness in my life than in yours, but I believe it’s a similar feeling we share. My brother passed away just under 2 years ago. I’m still in shock, and can’t really wrap my head around it, though I’m very happy with my life at the moment. Sometimes I feel like I have an alter ego – my happy, content self, and my numb self, still dealing with this loss. It’s difficult to explain, as I’m sure you know, but I think it’s completely, 100% normal. I hope this helps 🙂

    Reply to Elizabeth
  • Ashley Gabrielle

    It seems…at least from what you have shared on your blog, you have gone through quite a bit. You might be compensating to avoid other emotions. But you know yourself best. You know what’s normal and not. Sometimes people fall into states of euphoria to compensate. Maybe if you don’t already you should try writing down (just for yourself) different situations, or things that are going on in your life. Write down exactly how you feel about them. I didn’t cry during the movie either btw haha. And also maybe all the changes you have gone through recently have actually just made things better for you, maybe you are just happy. Idk I’d say that’s a good thing 🙂

    Reply to Ashley Gabrielle
  • Mathilde

    Taralynn, you’ve been through a lot lately, even if we don’t know everything. You’re not heartless, you just want to protect yourself. I remember after I broke up with my first love and all my friends let me down, I just wanted to show them I was ok without them. I used to cry all the time, get mad and make dramas all the time. But since that period of my life, I have stopped doing that. I think that even after four years, I have difficulties to cry when I am feeling sad or down. I guess it is also part of growing up. It’s not that we are less sensitive, we are just managing our emotions better. It will take you some time to really manage them all, at least you are realizing that you are different (it doesn’t mean it’s bad). It’s a long process, so take your time and don’t worry !

    Reply to Mathilde
  • Sarah

    Hi Tara,

    I know what you mean, I actually was exactly the same. I felt really cold and heartless. Wouldn’t cry about anything anymore. It all happened when I experienced a break up. But then I met someone and my emotions all broke lose haha. so there is hope. It’s temporary and normal. what you wrote described me 2 years ago.

    Sarah

    Reply to Sarah
  • Lindsay

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you, maybe you just have a better handle on things at this point of your life and where you’re at. You’re being far too hard on yourself, I think. Just BE. Be present, don’t be afraid to be your true self and don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel or act. Only you know what’s true and if you’re being authentic. Chin up girl xo

    Reply to Lindsay
  • Melanie Pittman

    Hey girl!! I just had to share that I’ve gone through this myself. A few years ago I was engaged to a guy I wasn’t supposed to be with. He had a history of abuse in his family. One day we went to eat with my parents & he was trying to convince me in the parking lot that I needed to move to his town. I didn’t want to yet. He hit his fist on top of the car as we got out. A few days later I started to notice this numb feeling.
    After a long road of trying to figure out what was wrong, I discovered that I had “Wilson’s Thyroid Syndrome.” Your blood tests come back normal but the Thyroid itself gets thrown off by a traumatic event. I didn’t consider that event traumatic in my mind but after talking to a counselor we figured out that my subconscious mind said… “You can’t control me!” And my soul sort of left in a effort to control something. (May not make sense in a short sentence).

    I didn’t have to be on the medicine for the Wilson’s thing for very long. Just went to a family practitioner who focuses on body chemistry. It does correct itself. I am a big fan of Elevation Church.org. If I lived in your area I’d be at a campus in a heartbeat. You might see if they have counseling services (free?) or someone they would recommend. I wouldn’t have gotten better without counseling, I am sure of it! Hope you find healing!!

    Reply to Melanie Pittman
  • lindsey

    Taralynn, I went through a rough break up several years ago and for about a year after I felt a bit like an emotionless robot too. I think its your mind and hearts way of protecting you. It does pass … I wish I had some psychological/scientific way of explaining why it happens. Typically i’m more emotional and so I didnt like this phase of my life either. Keep living healthfully – work out, learn new things, travel, develop new friendships relationships and regardless of how much you ‘feel’ you’ll keep progressing and doing better. Good luck to you!!

    Reply to lindsey
  • Nicole

    Someone once told me that getting it out in the open was the first step. That sometimes it takes time to let it out and really take in the comments and advice of others and relate it back to your own life. My current situation reflects the numbness and the emotionless feelings that you describe, but it does get better. There is always an upside to things, it just takes time. My husband cheated on me, treated me with disrespect, lied, financially drained me and for some reason I couldn’t be angry with him. Of coarse people dais thats because I loved him, but I knew that wasn’t me. I cried and kept asking who am i? Because I knew that it wasn’t me. What ever happened to that girl who stood up for whats right? Or who argued her feelings? But I will say that they are still deep inside you but then again somethings and some events can change you. “Everybody has gone through something that has changed them in a way that they could never go back to the person they once were.”

    Reply to Nicole
  • Steph

    Further to my last comment – you’ve only just moved so really, you’re in the midst of continued pretty huge life crisis. I’m not across exactly what’s happening in your life (I’m returning to the blog after taking a break – in dealing with the issues i mentioned, I also lost my passion for personal development/self improvement, so stopped reading blogs that I love) – not across what’s going down but it’s clearly significant and you’re still in the midst of it. Take a breath and grant yourself a break (and ask your friends to do the same).

    Reply to Steph
  • Steph

    I broke up with my boyfriend at the start of the year. From there, 6 months of incredible stress – the break up, freaking out about not being able to afford the mortgage on my own (I have 2 dogs and a horse so needed to keep the property), his dating anything and everything 2 weeks after we split (from a 4 year r’ship), then stress about the mortgage process getting dragged on for months, intense job stress for a crazy but wonderful project….

    In short, a lot going on.

    And it’s only been just recently that I’m starting to have emotions like a normal person again. As a rule I’m positive, happy and stable. So don’t worry – losing that human edge happens – even to the happiest, calmest person – but with time and a few deep breaths, it comes back.

    Big hugs xx

    Reply to Steph
  • Christin

    It might be that your numbness is some kind of protection.

    If you say that you can feel happy but that you don’t have any deep feelings: Maybe your mind doesn’t want you to feel any deep feelings because they could stir up all the things you thought would make you fall apart. Maybe your mind is working out things in the subconscious.
    The mind and body can do great things for us and if it doesn’t you for too long, I guess it’s okay for the mind to try to heal on its own.

    Reply to Christin
    • panem

      Yeah, that’s the same thing I was thinking too. One of the steps of dealing with loss is a sense of denial. Loss can include relationships too. I know that when I have a breakup I go through a period of happy numbness too and it feels a little strange.

      Reply to panem
  • Brittain

    It’s normal!! It can be annoying when you realize it because it can make you feel not like you, but at some point it will pass 🙂

    Reply to Brittain
  • Yadira

    I personally don’t think it’s weird at all. Probably Bcuz I seem pretty emotionless myself lol. My friend or my BF would B laughing at something funny on TV & I won’t even laugh. I know It’s funny, but I guess I don’t care enough 2 laugh. Same goes 4 sad movies & horror films. The reactions most people get from those things I don’t. I just look blank 4 some reason… When I was younger I would react just like anyone else, but now I don’t know. The only time I notice a big emotional reaction is if I’m angry. To B honest the way I react doesn’t really concern me. It’s mainly the people I’m around that R always asking me if I’m ok & what not. Plus I don’t pretend 2B happy when I’m not, nvr have & most likely nvr will. I don’t smile often either so I guess most people would assume something is wrong, but I’m content though. For me it’s just kinda annoying how people react towards how I am is what gets me…

    Reply to Yadira
  • panem

    Are you truly feeling happy? Sometimes numbness and smiling aren’t the same as happiness. Then again, if you’re truly happy and feeling content with life, that’s much better. Your post sounds a bit internally confused though. Sometimes, when life gets really chaotic with events, relationships beginning/ending, moving, etc. you don’t have time to think about things or let things soak in. Once everything’s settled down and the hustle and bustle begin to fade, sometimes you begin to experience the emotions of what happened a while ago.
    You may have gotten so excited and swept away by everything happening that you have some sadness stewing and you’re numbing yourself to make sure you don’t feel it. Everybody copes differently and this may be your healing process. You’re still pretty fresh from your last relationship and it was a long one too. I think you’re doing all the right things and headed in the right direction but numbness and not quite feeling things might just be one of the steps of your healing process.

    Reply to panem
  • Anna

    I wish there was some way I could jump through the screen and hug you. I know that you feel like an emotionless robot but think of everything you’ve done in the last few weeks. You really haven’t had time to sit down and feel deep emotions. You’re literally to busy. When you start to feel settled (and I mean really settled) the emotions will come; you aren’t a robot.
    Don’t expect yourself to feel upset. I know I’ve been through hard times when I was expecting myself to be upset and then got mad at myself for not being upset and that really screwed with my head. You’re allowed to feel anything you want. If you want to feel happy, then feel happy. You will feel those deep emotions eventually, and they will hurt, and there will be wonderful one. For now, don’t beat yourself up.

    Reply to Anna
  • Eva E

    I was happily engaged to be married 4 months ago…. Now there’s no ring on my finger and I am living with my parents and no longer have 90% of the people I love in my life. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cholangio carsenoma ( a cancer that is untreatable by American medicine, we are having to pay out of pocket to fly in treatments from Switzerland and administer it ourselves, all on credit cards and funds from a small donation website we set up. the cancer is only found in 1 out of 400,000 Americans , 80% of which are males) and she was given 6 months to live 4 months ago. Taralynn I have felt the exact thing your expressing over the last month or so. It’s like I was just drowning in my own tears every day, hating life and wondering how it could get any worse, then one day I snapped and I’ve felt an odd numbness and happiness. I am not good with words and I don’t open up to anyone, so it’s difficult for me to write this, but your post touched me because it’s close to home for me. Honestly idk if it’s normal but at least you know there’s one other person who’s felt similar

    Reply to Eva E
  • Kate

    That’s a totally normal stage of grief. Numbness is the same thing as the “denial stage.” I remember feeling it after a loss, and I really didn’t know what was wrong with me! And it’s something that can last months- we all heal at different rates. It’s terrible that someone made you feel bad about feeling the way you do after a major loss- everyone should be allowed to cope in their own way and not be made to feel guilty.

    Reply to Kate
  • Amara

    we all get that way sometimes. i feel like when a bunch of super emotional or stressful things happen in a somewhat short amount of time, our bodies just need a break from feeling things if that makes sense.

    Reply to Amara
  • Rosie

    Hi Taralynn, I wouldn’t worry about it everyone feels things in their own way when they are ready . I know the numb feeling you are referring to Im not an overly emotional person. I had some very traumatic family things happen and I shut down for a long time but I found something that made me happy and helped me to work through everything -my beautiful horse Barry. Maybe your not that upset about thing at the moment because your just relieved that it’s over. I’m sure as time goes on you will miss certain things and feel sad. No one else can ever tell you how to feel 🙂

    Reply to Rosie
  • Hilary

    Maybe you’re at a time in your life that you’re content with yourself and pretty soon life will be throwing it’s challenges and /or great adventures at you and before you know it you’ll be caught in the emotional whirlwind again . It’s a good thing, and it’s not crazy to be happy. The world needs more of it to spread around!:)

    Reply to Hilary
  • Elana

    It’s totally normal! If it makes you feel better, I didn’t cry during TFIOS either!

    Reply to Elana
    • Paige

      One thing I’ve learned as I have gotten older is that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. People say things like that to you to make you change, but you are who you are, and that is something they need to except. People will always have opinions and that is ok, but what truly matters is your opinion of yourself, and if you are true to yourself. When I was your age I was very uncomfortable in my own skin and every one else’s opinions but my own mattered. I am not saying that’s how you are but make sure your self-exploration comes from your own self realization, not someone else’s. You’re an awesome girl and you should be proud of yourself for how well you live your life. I was a hot-mess at your age.

      Reply to Paige

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