To you who eat a lot of rice because you’re lonely,
To you who sleep a lot because you’re bored,
To you who cry a lot because you are sad, I write this down.
Chew on your feelings that are cornered like you would chew on rice.
Anyway, life is something that you need to digest.
-Chun Yang Hee
I spent my Christmas fasting. Since the Year of Quitting involved several mini fasts, I thought a complete food fast would be an appropriate finale. More noticeable than the hunger was the presence of Feeling X. Throughout the day, I could feel this constant companion in my throat.
Before fasting, I thought it only showed up every once in a while. But now I’m starting to wonder if it’s just always there, lurking beneath the surface. I’m always carrying it around. Constantly.
Feeling X doesn’t have a name because I still haven’t figured out what feeling it actually is. I have a theory that Feeling X isn’t really just one feeling. It’s more like Feeling XYZ; sometimes Feeling X, sometimes Feeling Y, sometimes Feeling Z, and sometimes all of the above. It’s hard to distinguish exactly where Feeling X ends and Feeling Y begins. They sort of just flow into each other.
But I’m beginning to recognize that one of the manifestations of Feeling X is anger. More like repressed anger.
I was conditioned to believe I am not allowed to get angry. I am not allowed to show my anger. (It’s not my fault; it’s just the response I developed.) And so I’ve been swallowing it, probably for years. Except I’m not really digesting it, so it’s been building up as a lump in the back of my throat which is now so big, it’s impeding me from swallowing anything else.
But when you stop digesting food, there is nothing left to digest except your emotions. So that’s what my body was processing during my fast.
I am still re-learning and experimenting with healthy ways of expressing and digesting Feeling X. My go to process is generally art, which keeps expanding into multiple mediums. So far there have been my Self Portraits, and cooking. Recently I’ve begun drawing as well.
Below are a few of my art therapy sketches. I can’t really take full credit for them, because partial credit belongs to Feeling X.