Amy Crow
Designer / Illustrator / Maker


Honouring Feelings

I'm an analytical asshole 95% of the time and this is the exact reason why all my feels get bottled into the pressure cooker that is my mind and body to of course explode at an inconvenient time. 

"Feeling things out" is as foreign to me as a new language. I understand this isn't perceived as "healthy" and it was in part birthed from a personal frustration from a young age regarding the stereotypes as soft, caring, feeling female and hard, strong, resilient male. I actively refused to fit into this mould of soft feminine crying angel (tears made of fucking sugar drops) and it took a long time to let go of the fact that these constructs are utter bullshit, built from entertainment / media and hear say then reinforced to those who want to blindly believe it. As such, becoming more comfortable with the ebb and flow, or rush then riptide of what is just natural human emotional response has been a bit of a challenge.

If anyone has taken or gives a flying rat carcass about their Myers Briggs results, let me know, because it has been a large fascination of mine for quite some time now. I've retested a few times and always get the same result. I'm an INTJ known as "The Architect". It stands for Introverted (ha, got you fooled a bit there) Intuitive, Thinking and Judging. In a lot of ways it's a cool personality type; logical, practical, big picture, intense thinker etc etc but the downside to this, (aside from being an arrogant and judgemental twat) is emotional responses are not logical and the reconciliation of these responses is tiring, frustrating and a bit unnatural.

Due to this mismatch in cognitive functioning it's been much trial and error in trying to figure out when to feel, what I'm really feeling, how to feel it adequately and most importantly why I'm feeling certain things. Because it's not like I don't feel things, the opposite is true- I know I can feel very deeply and intensely, it's letting that out in an effective, communicative way that is arduous and time consuming. For many of you out there feeling is a thing you move through like wading in a shallow pond but for me it's like getting dumped from wave after wave yet I'm not in deep enough water for that to even happen. 

Sometimes these feelings, ambiguous in nature manifest in a wonderful condition called Anxiety. Wow, what a fucking party that is. It's like all your organs decided to play the worst practical joke on your insides, filling your stomach with acid and standing back to watch the fireworks. For those of you that also suffer, you know exactly what I'm saying- it's an invisible fist reaching through your ribs and taking hold of that squishy space and squeezing until you want to throw up then pass out.

Lately I've been trying a few techniques to try ease the transition from feeling weird physical pangs to the actual realisation that it is a reaction to a painful or sad event that occurred. 

The first one is super obvious, I exercise. I hit people up for walks, I do yoga work outs and I carry out nervous calf raises in the shower.

The other one is a more intuitive one to me- I sit at my piano and I turn my voice recorder on and I start playing random notes and chords and I start singing whatever words come out of my mouth. After 10 minutes I have a recording of raving ridiculousness and some very off key chords. Then I listen to it while cringing and pull out all the statements I make and assess them as their own entity. Bonus material comes in the form of making that dribble into an actual song and using it as Instagram content.

Whereas some of you can easily and clearly articulate your inner most feels, mine need to go through a refine and polish process to resemble anything malleable. You pull out diamond encrusted rings of beautiful poetic emotion and I have to mine the charcoal for the diamonds, get them cut and polished, find the hunks of gold to melt them down and set the ring before it even looks like the same thing.

Having a strong network of friends/family around me that are willing to give their time, energy, ear holes and personal advice is actually the most incredible thing I could ever have access to. I've been trying to reach out lately to make sure they know they are loved, thought about, cared for and have good vibes coming at them. It's taken close to a decade feel comfortable knowing that I don't have to do all my shit or feel lame on my own, I've learnt sharing the pitfalls is as important as sharing the wins.

amy crowComment