Emotions Aren’t Math Problems (At Least Not Simple Ones)

Emotions are a tricky thing for me. They can be intense triggers for my depression or my anxiety disorder. And even though they are my emotions the fact is I don’t always understand them. But that makes sense because emotions aren’t math problems. At least not simple math problems.

And I wish they were. Not that I was brilliant at math. Average if anything. Yet at least there was a process and a right answer. That is much less true when it comes to emotions.

This has been particularly true recently for me because I am trying a new type of therapy that puts me more in touch with my emotions, many of which I’ve been repressing over the years. This new therapy is helping be more aware of them and the impact they have on my physical and mental health. And even though it isn’t fun or easy, the fact is that I know it is necessary.

And it also creates a lot of anger. Anger that I didn’t do this earlier in my life, anger that I didn’t learn how to manage my emotions better when I was younger. Of course, I know it isn’t my fault, it is a disease. But just because it isn’t my fault doesn’t mean I’m not now responsible, whether I like it or not, to manage it. I can’t choose not to have my depression or anxiety, I can’t change the factors that caused them, but I can take steps to make it better. And that starts with knowing myself.

I’ve talked in the past about having a hard time knowing who I am. I am learning that a big part of that is not knowing my emotions. Getting to know them means getting to know myself. Yet just like getting to know anyone else, knowing myself and my emotions is messy and far from simple. Because like I said, emotions aren’t math problems.

And it is frustrating, which I think is part of the reason I’m venting about it here. And even though I tend to try ending on a positive note, the fact is the positive part is still a work in progress. It is still something I can look forward to.

Kind of like I always looked forward to the end of my math classes (sorry to any math teachers who might be reading this).


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