Emotional Nap

{Picture from Flickr}

Over the last few weeks, I have noticed something new going on with me. In fact, it has been going on for quite a while and it has only been recently that I have even begun to be aware of it. Basically I am taking an emotional nap! What the heck is an emotional nap you may ask and the answer is very simple: no extreme states of emotion.

I realized that this is where I am at a very strange moment. It was a few weeks ago during a department kumbaya session. We each had a list of several questions we could ask each other and the questions varied depending on how personal each person was willing to open up. One of the questions on the list was "what is the most powerful emotion you have experienced in the past 4 months" (a little dramatic, right?!?). While this particular question was not asked of me, the question stuck in my mind because I realized I had no answer. It was like realizing that somewhere along the way, I had emotionally flatlined!

Then, a few nights ago, it dawned on me that despite the fact that I have been back from Sudan for almost a year (hello scary!), I am still in some version of recuperation. I did not realize until now what an emotional roller-coaster ride my time there was. It feels like every emotion (especially frustration) I felt during that period was taken to exponential levels. This was certainly exacerbated by the isolation and overall lack of access to the people in my life that keep me grounded.

Now I am barely able to get worked up about anything at all. Things that I would have over-analyzed for days or weeks on end barely get a flicker of emotion out of me. Sure, things at my current job can be frustrating, but they are nothing compared the "I'm going to hurt every single member of your family if you don't fix this electrical socket so I don't get electrocuted down to my toes every time I turn my bedroom light" moments I had in Sudan. I basically avoid anyone or any situation where there is even of glimmer of stress involved or where it could eventually become a stressful situation in even slightest way. I just can't handle it.

While all of this may sound very negative (or just plain ol' crazy) I certainly don't see it that way. My time in Sudan was very important to me, was exactly what I needed at the time that I went, and I certainly wouldn't be where I am now had it not been for everything I experienced there (esp. meeting new friends and strengthening old friendships). I wouldn't take any insane-asylum moment of it back. That clause stated, I am honestly relieved that my emotions are not running amok anymore. By avoiding stress like the swine flu and doing as many of my favorite things as possible, I feel like I'm slowly re-filling my tank and getting ready for the next time I jump head first into a challenging situation.

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