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Mich Atagana – “Emotional Blackholes and Dealing with Existential Crises”

“Imagine for a moment that all your bad feelings can be outsourced to a you in a different dimension.”

In the beginning, there was calm. Like always, I had woken up to the sun’s harsh rays attempting to permeate the membranes that protected my eyes. It was calm. I tried to push back the daylight without getting up to close the blinds. As I struggled with the inevitability of the sunlight, I noticed it. At first, it was an errant thought, that I don’t want to go to school today feeling. Silly, I didn’t have to go to school or work for that matter, it was my day off. Habit, I guess. I pushed it out and continued my futile battle against the sun. It persisted. Soon, it wasn’t I don’t want to get out of bed, but a sinking feeling of an oncoming emotional crisis. At least that’s what I think it is. It is a cruel hypocritical moment when the emotionally controlled and almost frigid begin to sort out the mechanisms of such a crisis. A battle with your emotions…

I have become quite good at managing my emotions, for me and for other people. You begin to use words such as, it’s fine, no stress, no worries and I don’t mind as though their time in fashion has come. As children become adults or at least something that resembles an adult, emotional management is critical. You learn over time, the tricks to keep them at bay. Sometimes you can outsource those emotions to a future iteration of yourself, or if you are bold and brazen like me, you outsource it to a you in another dimension. This way future you doesn’t have to deal with them either. It’s a neat mental trick, and fans of the multiverse theory can understand the appeal of such a trick. Imagine for a moment that all your bad feelings can be outsourced to a you in a different dimension, assuming you are prime, other yous will keep passing it on until it gets to that emotionally exhausted you that just can’t take anymore – then you hit a black hole of emotions. In some cases it may go around and come back to you, then future has no escape then, or you just keep passing it on. Yes, I know it is mentally jacked up to think about it, but it’s a neat trick in the moments when it works.

However, sometimes the hegemonic rule that you have over your emotion isn’t quite as solid as you would like. Sometimes, you just have to feel things and the floodgates open up. Often the choice is between getting firm control of your emotional borders or losing control completely. There is help to manage these moments, therapy, medication, getting out of your own head. The fragility and emotional gravitas of the human mind doesn’t always agree. I often akin it to those moments between sleeping and waking, the waking dreams. Where you have no control over your body and your mind is the only power that can get you out of what seems life-threatening. Building the walls that help your mind cope with the realities of the world takes time, your whole life in fact, tearing them down takes one moment of confusion – the emotional black hole.

…I fall into these emotional blackholes sometimes. Emotional crises plague me for hours or days and I can’t find its origin. This is one is particularly filled with strong emotions of disappointment, in myself, people around, friends and people I trust – that feeling that you are not a priority. A sense of helplessness, though pinpointing what I am helpless about is rather difficult and incoherent. Nothing is more annoying when you are already in a bad headspace than people asking you what is wrong or wondering why you are not yourself. Perhaps, it’s those people making it about them. Sometimes I just need to be sad or angry even if I don’t know why. It’s okay if I have a bad day, that’s life and sometimes it sucks.

“Map out your emotions,” my therapist would say to me. “Work on what is bothering you and let’s build on that”. This would be an excellent approach if I knew what the problem was. In solving the conundrum of the emotional black hole and getting out of my own head, I have tried eating my way out, that didn’t work, never does. I tried dancing it out, that’s a momentary fix, then there is writing. In telling the story of my emotions and outsourcing them to future and other dimensional Miches I find that I am able to process in some way. It doesn’t fix but it helps me manage. But, nothing beats the silence of being left with your own thoughts to truly drive you nuts and out of their melancholy – sometimes. Other times you just have to wait them out, so today, I am waiting.

However, it is important to do know that something is wrong and asking for help is always first prize.


Photo by John Paul Summers on Unsplash

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