I don’t have time for flashy graphics, or witty words, or anything else… characteristic of my blog posts thus far!
This is just a block of text.
It’s also early (for the post .. I guess.)
I’m going to the GOP Primary Presidential Debate tomorrow -- I’m excited to see how toupee-like Donald Trump’s hair is.
Anyway, I have a large block of text for you.
For the first time since I’ve had a cellphone (probably) .. I consciously made the decision to NOT look at it or social media for 50 hours.
Throughout my life, I have been called (some variation of) a sensitive person.
I have been told that: I cry too much, it’s weird that I don’t like being outside, and that I care too much: about others & about what they think.
I get overwhelmed by things frequently - I tend to get “frazzled” and I’m very empathetic.
I make a lot of connections and notice things (most) people overlook.
When you get told these traits are negative, AND when you're told this almost constantly-- it starts to wear you down.
That’s not anyone's fault. Or yours.
I had become extremely overwhelmed (over-aroused, overstimulated, whatever) to the point where I had an anxiety attack (those are different than panic attacks) during my commute home on Friday afternoon.
Reasons why I think this happened?
Over the past several weeks I--
Launched a blog
Maintained my job (I’m not going into details, much, but I’m a big “idea” person-- and I never want to saddle others with the “burden” of maintaining my thought babies.)
Vocalized/addressed some major concerns in my personal relationships.
.. but mostly-
I’m a highly sensitive person.
Things that also happened over the last few weeks--
I stopped doing yoga
I stopped sleeping
I stopped checking in on myself.
H (I introduced her in the therapy blog post) always tells me that I’m a “stuffer.” That basically means that I push and push AND push down difficult emotions so I don’t have to deal with them.
The PROBLEM is, when these difficult emotions keep building up -- eventually there isn’t a place to “stuff” them.
There isn’t a place for these emotions to go.
Recently, I had been stuffing too much.
And, there’s always that inner dichotomy we all have..
About whether or not we should pursue...
the thoughts that lean toward the self-serving parts of ourselves
the thoughts that are more altruistic in nature.
I wrestle with this quite frequently.
On Friday, this match resulted in the anxiety attack (different than panic attacks) that occurred during my commute home.
Sometimes I vomit from my panic (and/or anxiety) attacks. It’s the worst.
BUT -- a lot of us feel the effects of worry, and anxiety SO deeply. And these effects can manifest themselves in several ways beyond mental ramifications.
If you’ve never had a debilitating attack like this-- don’t turn your nose down at those who do. It’ll exacerbate the situation AND make that person feel like garbage.
Luckily, I didn’t throw up on Friday. I’ll try to walk through how my panic and anxiety attacks feel for me .. another time.
But when I went home-- I showered.
I finally did some yoga (it’s almost shocking how much my yoga practice has affected my overall mood)
(PRAISE) I was able to sleep for ~3.5 hours (which was a victory, I promise.)
It’s hard for me to explain some of these decompressing methods because I needed to get these (current) thoughts out now.
I’ll elaborate on those methods soon.
When I got to my sanctuary (I’m the worst, you don’t even know what that is yet!), I picked up a book that had been sitting on my shelf since June.
I opened up the book, and began reading.
About 30 pages in, I grabbed my notepad and started writing notes.
I realized what this post had to be about, and I knew that I needed to post it before I continued with the current plan I had set.
The book I was reading is called “The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You” by Dr. Elaine N. Aron.
She’s a genius.
It’s really problematic when people say things like:
“oh, life isn’t hard.”
“why are you feeling bad about ___-, there are children starving and suffering worse than you.”
I know that.
You know that.
Those children probably don’t know that, but that’s a different subject for another time.
The problems with statements like the above is.. that -- they’re derailing and invaliding.
Most people DON’T share their inner turmoils with others until they feel like they can’t stand .not expressing some of it.
If a person is struggling with certain aspects of their life, and they take a BRAVE step at leaving their comfort zone and are immediately blocked when they flash that part of their struggles to someone--
.. that sort of thing causes people to retreat.
For a lot of HSP (Highly-sensitive people) empathy can be a doubled-edged sword.
However, I personally cannot imagine living a life where I didn’t acknowledge the experiences and differences of others.
REMEMBER (thank you H): Two things can happen at once. You can feel like you’ve reached the end of your rope AND be aware of the troubles others suffer. That awareness doesn’t make a declarative statement about which circumstance is worse, AND it doesn’t invalidate anyone’s response to their life experience.
For some people, everyday can be a new battle.
Getting out of bed is really hard sometimes. keep that in mind.
So. ..for the past couple of days, I retreated a bit.
I worry about others constantly but I never want others to worry about me.
I’m working on it.
THE BURNING QUESTION:
Why Blog About This Instead of Journal?
I know me. (*uneasy noise*) You might not.
I don't have to have a redundant journal entry about these thoughts .. when I could take a leap and potentially start a conversation.
I don’t want to butcher Dr. Aron's words, or misrepresent them.
BUT. I STRONGLY URGE that you buy this book. Even if you’re scoffing and saying “oh, I’m not sensitive, blah blah blah,”
King Henry, chill. Buy the book.
You’ll learn something, if not about yourself, it’ll MOST LIKELY provide insight about those closest to you. (*hint- if you know me, buy it-- or ask me for my copy.)
TO WRAP THINGS UP:
Mom, I’m sorry I didn’t call you on Friday, don’t be worried ( I know you are, we’ll talk.)
I wanted to share these thoughts -- because maybe you’re like me -- an ambivert, or WHATEVER and you’ve always felt things (almost too) deeply or dwelled on them.
This isn’t edited.
I wanted to get this piece out before I lost my nerve -- AND I’m about a month behind on sleep.
So if this makes no sense… forgive me. We can pretend this never happened.
There are a lot of things going on in my noggin. And I am truly happy that so many of you have reached out to me. (it's been less than a month, and I'm amazed at the reception i've received.)
Sometimes I don’t share everything. No one does.
I’m throwing myself at the sharks … by posting this (that's what involuntarySASS is though), HOWEVER -- it’s OUR journey and being authentic is the greatest way to make the most of it.
How are we supposed to grow without taking chances like these?
So, I did this for you.
More importantly, I did this for me.
SONG OF THE POST (I just bought JLP on vinyl-- so excited!!):
ps: I recommend taking a break from your most prized possessions. When you realize how much a crutch some of these items are.. it’s enlightening. I would be surprised if you read all of this. I didn’t feel like making cute graphics to cut up my train of thought.