I’ve never been much of a screamer.
I’ve never been an adrenaline junkie either. I’ve never had the desire to fling myself off a cliff, bungee cord attached or go white water rafting. Whereas “sky-diving” seems to top everyone’s “things I must do before 30 list”, its never been something that’s really interested me. It’s not that I am scared of these things (ok, maybe I am) but its more that I just have never really had the desire to feel those kinds of sensations. I don’t like watching horror movies because I hate how they make me feel – I have a really strong visual memory and the images tend to stick with me for years on end. I never tried acid as a teenager partly because I kept picturing that video of the egg in the frying pan (“This is your brain on drugs!”) but mostly because I hate the idea of being on a “ride” that I can’t get off (I even have commitment issues when it comes to recreational drugs). This is why I also avoid house-parties held in very obscure locations (what if I wanted to leave?) and why rollercoasters have never been my thing.
(Speeding down the Don Valley Parkway or the 401, doing 140 on a motorcycle however, is a sensation that I absolutely LOVE. I can’t explain this.)
Maybe this all comes back to the fact that I’m not a screamer. Screaming at the top of my lungs has always felt slightly unnatural to me. Although I’m really talkative and friendly if you approach me, I’m generally a pretty quiet person. Growing up I was terrified of getting into trouble. I listened to authority: Be good. Do what you’re told. Don’t make a fuss. Don’t get mad. “Use your words”.
I feel like somewhere along the line, I got the false message that if I did all these things (be good. don’t get mad) that I would be more like-able. The downside to all this is I think I carried a lot of this thinking into my adult life.
A therapist once told me, “You seem very in control of yourself…..you also seem very full… like you have a lot of feelings bottled up”
Which is true, I do keep things inside. I get angry like everyone else but, it takes a lot for me to actually express it. For example, this winter I was at a book launch with Melissa. I was telling her the story about this guy. I guess I was starting to get really worked up because she stopped me and said with a smile on her face, “OMG, you’re actually getting angry! I mean, I think you are. I’ve never actually seen you mad” (we’ve been friends for almost 3 years)
I know that all this bottling up can’t be healthy. I just haven’t really figured out how to change this (which is part of the reason I ended up talking to the above mentioned therapist in the first place).
Which brings us to last weekend. I was in Sandusky, Ohio visiting Cedar Point (a massive amusement park located on the coast of Lake Erie). I’d already been on a few rides Sunday morning. I yelped, winced and I gasped a little (did I mention rollercoasters aren’t my thing?!)….but I didn’t really scream. Then, somehow I got talked into going on THIS. What you’re looking at is the Millenium Force, the 5th highest rollercoaster in the world.
With very, very, sweaty palms I boarded this thing (and when I say sweaty palms, I mean sweaty. Like they were practically squirting out sweat. TMI?). The whole time we were climbing the first massive hill, I was saying out loud “fuck. fuck. fuck. fuck. what did I get myself into?!” (I said I don’t get mad. I didn’t say I don’t swear). I knew that if I was going to survive this, I would have to SCREAM. So, as our car dropped 300 ft, I SCREAMED AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS. And then I screamed some more…and some more…and some more. IT FELT AMAZING. Eventually, the screams turned to laughter -the kind of laughter where you are having so much fun you are literally squealing with glee. I know its only a rollercoaster but, when I stepped off the ride, I felt this huge weight had been lifted and like I could conquer anything. IT WAS THE BEST FEELING EVER.
So, my new intention is this: SCREAM MORE. SCREAM OFTEN. LET GO MORE.
Are you an adrenaline junkie? How do you get mad…or “let go”?