I went to see a dentist the other day because I was having issues with my jaw. He informed me that I had been grinding my teeth at night. He then proceeded to put his hand on my shoulder and asked if I had been under any stress lately. My first thought was why are you touching me, then I emphatically said no… of course not… why would I be under stress?? Moving to a new city where I have no friends, starting a new job that is essentially throwing me to the wolves… that wouldn’t be the cause of any undue “stress”.
Obviously it didn’t take much after that to realize something was wrong. (It was right around the time I developed the most annoying nose twitch.) I recognized that I hadn’t had a decent conversation in months. Usually, I’ll meet up with a friend and unload my mental baggage in the form of parables, hypothetical scenarios, and venting. Toss in some current events, politics, and craft beer. Next thing you know, over the course of a couple hours the euphoric feeling of being understood and comprehended leads to a weight being lifted off your shoulders.
The reason I have been under stress is because I’ve been talking to myself, which is never going to be enough. The one thing I’ve learned over the last couple of months is that being understood is an understated luxury that we often take for granted.