Please do not call me crazy – D116

11 Oct

“I realized I was spending my time coping instead of thriving.” Elaine Aron

Uhh… duh!  I realized that about the age of eleven.  Everything I have ever done was in reaction.  I have found ways to cope with life for as long as I can remember.  Wait…  that is what everyone does, right?

What?!?

You mean the majority of the population does not spend every waking moment (and quite a few non-waking moments) obsessing about every detail of every minute of their life?  Hmm…  well this is news.

From Psychology Today: Sense and Sensitivity

Today, science is validating a group of people whose sensitivity surfaces in many domains of life.  Attuned to subtleties of all kinds, they have a complex inner life and need time to process the constant flow of sensory data that is their inheritance.

This is what I love about WordPress.  Today while putzing around on the Freshly Pressed page I found an amazing post from someone who lives in a little box just like I do.  A box they constructed around themselves to ward off the scrutiny of others and more importantly the ever-present SELF DOUBT.  The problem is the box does not do what it was intended to.  The post Defining Crazy by saradraws was both amazing and deeply depressing.

Huh, imagine that, my reaction was first elation at finding someone who lives in a world so similar to my own and second despair because even though somebody else lives here too I am still stuck in it.

Their link to Psychology Today’s article on Highly Sensitive People was one of the best finds I have had in a long time.  I have long questioned my unending tiredness, my inability to wake in the morning feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Some may be particularly prone to the handful of hard-to-pin-down disorders like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.  Technology is now providing an especially revealing window into that which likely defines them all—a nervous system set to register stimuli at very low-frequency and amplify them internally.

Well that makes me feel a little better.

But is this really what is going on with me?

The proverbial thin skin of HSPs covers a highly permeable nervous system. Gentle ribbing or an offhand jab can leave them brooding for days.

Been there, done that.

But just as likely, an unexpected compliment or kind exchange can send their mood soaring.

Yup, check.

HSPs often have a heightened sense of smell or touch and, say, zero tolerance for itchy fabrics or sudden sounds—reflecting their low threshold for sensory input.

So you are saying my absolute aversion to hair-on-hide leathers is biological?

They complain about things no one else notices; a colleague’s deodorant or a scented candle gives them headaches. And there’s that damn light buzzing in the otherwise quiet office.

I KNEW IT!!!  It is the ballast in that fluorescent light, not my ears!

Highly sensitive people are often taken for introverts, and, as with introverts, social interaction depletes them.

Depletes them…  yeah, yeah, check.

As a result, they need and typically seek extra processing time to sort out their experience.

See! I am not just slow.

Their extreme responsiveness to all situations makes HSPs prone to anxiety and depression in the face of a distressing situation.

Well that explains my bout with depression after getting out of the Air Force.

But it also makes life richer; sights, sounds, flavors, images of beauty are more vivid.  It is as if HSPs alone see the world in high-def.

Okay, that part is pretty cool.

The evidence adds up to a distinctive personality type. The HSP’s touchy nervous system leads to a touchy temperament.

Touchy?  Who you calling touchy!?!

Like the princess sensing the pea below her tower of mattresses, HSPs perceive the slightest sensory or emotional provocation, then respond with a flurry of brain activity that begets an outsize reaction.

Okay, well yeah…  I do tend to over react.

Like yesterday when I was sucking *ss in my soccer game and one of the girls on my team was talking to me on the pitch about marking up.  The thing is she was just talking to me, reminding me that I need to get my head in the game and find a player to mark when we transition to defense.  She had every right to get after me, I only brought half my brain to the stadium.  But I spent the rest of the night, all morning and will more than likely spend the rest of this week wondering if she is pissed off at me for how I played.

Here is the crazy thing:  1) I know it is just a game, for goodness sakes it is a rec league I pay to play in.  2) I know she has probably forgotten the whole thing.  And 3)  I know it was more than likely never as big of a deal to her as it is to me.

But I can NOT stop stressing about it.

What if she does not want me to play on the team anymore?  Or what if she lets me keep playing on the team but now everyone hates me cause I played so poorly last night?  Maybe they have always hated me but just tolerated my place on the team because they needed someone to play.  Does this mean I am always going to play so badly from here on out?  But what if I have always played this way and no one ever said anything to me before?  I should quit playing soccer.  Why am I even doing this?  I will never make it in professional soccer, I can not even play well in a rec league!

OMG it is exhausting.

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4 Responses to “Please do not call me crazy – D116”

  1. redneckfriend October 11, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    Intellectually perfect!

    • jend1229 October 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

      Thank you so much. I strive everyday to be both intellectual and perfect (the latter I know to be unrealistic, but still). It is a tremendous compliment and deeply appreciated.

  2. saradraws October 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Beautiful post. You describe perfectly the intense reaction to even the smallest stimuli. It IS exhausting! But it can get easier. I think knowing this about ourselves is a powerful tool. Thanks for coming by.

    • jend1229 October 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      I laugh when I say this but the old adage “knowledge is power” is very true. It is a relief to see in words what we feel everyday.

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