Emotionally Numb

I confess that I feel emotionally numb. Can anyone else relate? I feel like my soul has left my body and I don't know what to do. It's not a good feeling. I have read a book called Soul Retrieval, mending the Fragmented Self and I'm aware parts of me have left. I am curious if anyone else has ever felt like this and what your experience is like/or any advice you have?

21 Comments

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I don't read those kinds of books

Jun 23, 2021 at 5:41am

I have no idea what you are taking about

7 5Rating: +2

Hey OP

Jun 23, 2021 at 7:40am

It’s great that you’re doing this work. Thanks for sharing the title of the book you’re reading.

I feel emotionally numb sometimes. I see it as a coping mechanism for avoiding difficult truths about traumas I have suffered or brought upon others.

The numbness can also emerge as part of a dissociative reaction when I am feeling overwhelmed with stress (freeze response). This is a way of coping with an emerging truth about an ongoing situation that I need to leave but can’t quite find my way out of yet.

If I can put the truth in the freezer, I can hold off on consuming and digesting it. I can also focus my attention on the tasks I need to do to survive, such as work.

Something that’s helped me to emotionally defrost has been consciously assigning words to feelings and accepting my negative feelings as helpful navigators rather than harmful destroyers.

So for example I will say to myself or a trusted person, “I feel angry because...,” “I feel hurt when someone...,” “I resent having to...,” etc. Not in a venting way, simply as a statement of fact.

Like many, I grew up with that old adage, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” and have lived through various iterations of toxic positivity that have stifled and distorted my true feelings and intuitions that something is not right.

By stating my true feelings, I am saying to myself it is okay to feel the broad spectrum of emotion and it is okay to coexist with negativity. For me this conscious reprogramming is the first step toward feeling safe enough to excavate and digest difficult truths.

If you feel that your emotional numbness is trauma-related, Pete Walker’s Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving and Bessel Van Der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score are another couple of books you could check out if interested.

Good luck OP. You are not alone and I appreciate you initiating this dialogue!

18 2Rating: +16

For sure

Jun 23, 2021 at 8:28am

But I’d rather feel too much than nothing at all. Even if the pain is agonizing. Wish you the best

7 3Rating: +4

What Remains ..

Jun 23, 2021 at 8:49am

should live the best life possible, so focus on that.

5 2Rating: +3

PippaPi

Jun 23, 2021 at 9:14am

I can absolutely relate to how you feel.I also feel emotionally numb.When I see friends I feel withdrawn and unable to connect.We have all been through so much during the pandemic and it's not over yet.I live alone and spent so much time without human contact.I also feel like a part of me is gone.When I see how happy people are now that things are getting better,I feel envious.I believe alot of people feel the way we do.I'm currently seeking help to deal with this but know that for many people it's going to take time to heal.One thing that has helped me is to find joy in small things and to be gentle with myself.We are living in a pandemic and the psychological effects are enormous.Thank you for writing this and just know you're not alone in the way you feel.

16 2Rating: +14

Francesa Lorenz

Jun 23, 2021 at 10:05am

This has happened during certain periods of my life. You may be experiencing some issues in your personal and/or professional life, or simply are just feeling empty. I have found the work of Dr. Tara Brach very helpful. She has an excellent YouTube channel.

11 2Rating: +9

I can share what worked for me in my very challenged life

Jun 23, 2021 at 11:11am

But first let me qualify that by the teachings of my Indigenous Elders who say; "My way is not the only way and no one has to do it my way, but everyone must find the way that works for them." My way has been the curriculum of the 4 directions Medicine Wheel ceremony. 4 directions refers to the 4 cardinal directions but it also refers to the 4 human races on this planet, the Yellow/tan Asian, the Red Indigenous, the White European and the Black African; and the ancient knowledge that we all started as different colour of one family, children of the same Universal Gramma/Grandfather. For those of you who may choose to find your life help in the Indigenous way, there is one primary heads&hearts up. The real-deal leaders never advertise nor put a price tag on their help. You've got to activate your own inner radar to find them. Walk good sisters and brothers. Hoka'hey

14 3Rating: +11

Me, too

Jun 23, 2021 at 11:30am

I've felt that way for some time. I think it's a defensive wall I've put up, as I've been hurt in the past and don't want to acknowledge the pain. Covid didn't help any. I do perk up when I'm pursuing my passions, or talking with people I enjoy, so perhaps the trick is to do more of those things. And maybe to acknowledge the pain and try to be more open about it.

13 2Rating: +11

Yep

Jun 23, 2021 at 12:36pm

I have a job that brings me into contact with other people’s trauma. At this point I can listen to hours of them crying without feeling anything more than a slight concern about hearing loss. Obviously certain jobs and experiences callous our emotions.

I suggest a regular reset. Go inna woods for a few hours at least. Paddle a boat. Dance. Listen to Yoko Ono. Or whatever helps you get out of your usual headspace and too busy to fret about anything.

That will hopefully put you a little more in touch with yourself.

Good luck

14 2Rating: +12

All the time these days

Jun 23, 2021 at 5:28pm

Numbness is usually a sign to get out of my comfort zone. Probably need to confront the things I’ve been in denial about, like @Hey OP put so lucidly. So frustrating that we’re still in a pandemic… nothing to do, nowhere to go, for now…

9 2Rating: +7

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