What being an empath feels like
Sadness is the first emotion I remember feeling did not belong to me
it feels like what I imagine waterboarding must feel like
buckets and buckets of it being thrown over my head
this is where panic attacks sometimes happen
I never realise that I'm holding my breath
sometimes Sadness decides to linger awhile
it settles like lead in my joints and when I'm busy I don't notice it
and then in a quiet moment my knees give way
and I wonder how I walked for so long
Loss is a sister to Sadness, and at first glance one can often be mistaken for the other
that is where the similarities end
If Sadness is the overwhelm, Loss is the under
Loss is the desert that lives in the bottom of your lungs
enormous, arid, ancient
you can see immediately that there is nothing there for you
and yet you go back
again and again
just to check
Loss has existed as long as humans have lived then loved then died
I feel other people's anger the hardest, still.
It feels like a red hot poker is being slowly and deliberately pushed into my chest, puncturing a lung and then being pulled right back out as if testing a cake.
Too much anger too quickly leaves my lungs riddled with holes
I gasp for air.
When it is gone I shake like a leaf.
Happiness is like walking into a room that the sunshine has been filling up all day.
Warm in a way that makes your soul want to creep up from the depths and be present on the surface of your skin for once.
Shining in a way that makes you want to shine back