I’ll never get a handle on my emotions. I’ll never understand the unpredictability that they bring. They come in waves, they come hard, and they come fast.

When I was younger I was diagnosed with anxiety. In my teens and early twenties it crippled me. When an emotion changed suddenly, panic would set in. Retrospectively, it’s an interesting experience. I mean, I could go from a nonsencial state of happiness to an overwhelming state of dread in a matter of seconds. That is, I could go from enjoying a night at the movies to contemplating drinking a bucket of popcorn butter in an instant. That’s the cycle: new emotion, panic, irrational decisions. Rinse and repeat.

I think I get anxious because there are too many emotions. Is how I’m feeling in this instant appropriate? What if it isn’t? What, then, is the appropriate feeling? Is it joy? I like joy. Brain, please distribute the emotion ‘joy’. Ah, that’s nice isn’t it? It’s all about control. It’s just like everyone always told me, “Justin, there’s no need to be anxious, control your emotions.” I truly wish it were that easy. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that one cannot, effectively, control his emotions. If I’ve learned anything in my life it’s that emotions are a package deal. You cannot tell your brain to send you feelings of joy, without also having your brain send whatever other emotions it finds lying around. It’s almost as if your brain runs out of joy, so it just picks up and delivers whatever else happens to be near it. So, you go from your on-demand feeling of joy, and then suddenly you have anger, or fear, or sadness, or whatever. Once the unwanted emotion hits, what do you do? Can you just re-up on the original emotion? Silly, brain — this is anger, not joy. That’s okay, we all make mistakes, try again. I suppose you could try, but you’ll soon find yourself right back where you started. By attempting to control your emotions, your fighting a losing battle. You’re going to feel what you feel and no demanding will change it.

So, if you must, try controling your emotions; but know that it’s about as effective as trying to solve an alegbra equation by chewing bubble-gum.