The emotional impacts of my brain haemorrhage have been and continue to be some of the hardest aspects of my 'brain tumour experience'.

Learning to accept, acknowledge and, in particular feel my emotions is difficult. I'm still getting better at it, but my improvements in dealing with my feelings have been crucial to coping with all that's happened.

The romantic concept of an 'emotional journey' is an arch annoyance to me, but this has far more to do with my own linguistic pedantry than any inherent problem I think the term has! In many ways, it's very apt. Emotions and how we deal with them can begin in one place or mode and develop into something different.


Perhaps what the 'journey' metaphor fails to do, however, is to convey the oscillating, fluid and ambiguous nature of human emotion. If our emotions are a journey then they are a circuitous one, a journey in which we return to the same or similar places (emotions) and are often preset in several places (emotions) at once, and sometimes we might not even be sure where we are at all.

The amorphous title of "Feelings (and stuff)" is the best I can do to encapsulate what I intend to talk about here. After all, feelings are not a part of our lives that is possible to isolate and partition from the rest of our existence. The feelings are inherent and omnipresent. That doesn't mean that our feelings define us or become us, but it does mean they are an important part of who we are as humans and individuals. They let us know what we want, what we feel comfortable with, our feelings are some of the best guides we have.

I am by no means an emotional expert. I can only speak with authority about my own experiences, and it is the nature of our feelings that they should all be different, unique and personal. As such, I shall do my best to speak about my experiences and the techniques that have helped me as just that, personal. What works for me might not work for others. But I hope these pages will provide comfort and validation to those feeling similarly, or, indeed, differently; they might provide ideas for techniques to use yourselves; they might simply be something absorbing to read.


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