It's been a few months since I examined the effect of LENS. I'm still going every week. The results aren't usually dramatic. This is because the neurological problems we're working on aren't recent problems. I've lived with autism my whole life, and with anxiety and depression for almost two decades. It's harder to affect something that entrenched. It is, however, possible. The present program my doctor is doing appears to be affecting my ability to feel emotions. I'm of two minds about emotions. They're inconvenient, and annoy me. They sometimes make me tear up at odd moments, or times I'd rather not be tearing up. They strike suddenly and often without even the slightest warning. Unfortunately, I'm fairly certain they're also an important part of being human.
Even before therapy, I was capable of feeling emotions. But I'd put up a wall against them, because I'd had them used against me time and time again, in ways I was powerless to defend against. Long story short: elementary school kids can be incredibly horrible given the right circumstances. Most people get their emotional scars in middle school. I was way ahead of the curve on that. At 10, I vowed that no one would ever torture me like that again, and shut myself off from emotions as much as possible. Good ones as well as bad. I wasn't wholly successful, because anger is an emotion, and that I had in great plenty. Other emotions, if they were strong enough, could also overwhelm my guards. That became rarer and rarer as time went by. My state of mind was almost static, without the color and differences emotions can afford. Everything was grey, for lack of a better descriptor. Predictably grey. That was comforting, for a time.
I got into high school and made some friends, and those friends dragged me to a club. There I watched at TV show that showed me a glimpse of what I was missing. The protagonist was all emotions, caring, hardworking with a bit of awkward bumbling. I watched her bumble through life, make friends who appreciated her for who she was, see those friendships tested and stay true. And I envied her. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I saw that I could have been her, had things in my life gone differently. And I wondered, was it really too late?
I wasn't sure. At that point I'd spent half a decade of some of my most important developmental years pretending emotions didn't exist. I wasn't sure where to start. And admittedly, I wasn't wholly thrilled about the concept. Emotions, as I've mentioned, are inconvenient, annoying, and frustrating. So perhaps it's not over-surprising that I didn't make a lot of progress in reacquainting myself with them. Since trying to feel some emotion, I've mostly just felt angry. I mentioned before that I had anger in great plenty, and that still holds true. There's also sadness and anxiety. None of these are particularly pleasant, but they're the strongest of my emotions, so they're what I got.
Enter LENS. We're poking my brainwaves to make them different. Hopefully, to make them better in the end. The results, as always, have been mixed. But presently we're on a third program. This one seems to be slowly reconnecting whatever bits of my brain deal with feeling emotions. Last week I had bits of other emotions. Feeling loved by my boyfriend, rather than just knowing it because he says it and his actions back it up. Feeling slightly pleased by an accomplishment, rather than going "okay, next thing." This week, unfortunately, seems to have poked the angry bits. I spent the first two days after the treatment feeling crappy and one step away from raging. Anything that went wrong or any human stupidity, and I was super furious. I'm somewhat used to dealing with that, though, so I was able to reduce its effect with extra self-monitoring and extra effort. I wasn't any less angry, but I wasn't hurting other people. After the first two days I've just been on a hair trigger for temper. Looking forward to getting that adjusted. On really bad days I'll feel like this, but it's not really been a really bad day, or week, objectively. LENS takes a lot of patience, faith, and observation, it seems.