09 Aug When My ‘Weakness’ Left Me
As a highly sensitive person for as long as I can remember, it was incredibly frightening when I started to realize, in spurts, that I had closed off my feelings and sensitivities; I just didn’t ‘feel’ much anymore.
There was a deadened dullness inside of me that I didn’t like, I was afraid to be engulfed by, but didn’t know how to change. In hindsight, however, that dullness was trying to protect me in a way; it was my own body turning off both heartache and glee until it knew my systems could truly ‘cope’ again.
This all started shortly after graduate school (though there are certainly instances of a struggle for as long as I can remember) and came to an incredible head after my only child, Willa, was born. Only now, 5 years after completing my PhD and 19 months after Willa’s birth (thanks in no small part to some very important mental health and spiritual support systems) can I truly see my hypersensitivity traits starting to return again.
I absolutely have MUCH in the line of self-care to improve upon, as the video is SO right about that. But this video highlighted for me how much I actually cherish this ‘two-edged sword’ as some may call it, and how eye-opening it was for me when something I often saw as a ‘weakness’ made life so cold and foreign when I had to live life without it.
What happened? Simple, really: a lifelong struggle with unknown, undiagnosed, and invisible (to most people) anxiety that spiraled out of control into Severe Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.
I knew next to nothing about mental health 19 months ago. (E.g. I thought counselors and/or psychologists were basically some amalgamation of Dr. Katz episodes, Sigmund Freud, and the stereotypical ‘lay on my couch and spill your guts about your awful childhood’ therapists on tv.)
Long story short – I knew NOTHING about mental health and thank GOD I had a primary care physician with whom I shared a mutual trust (he would yet again earn it a year later). He gently but persistently pushed for me to get more specialized psychological and psychiatric support than he could offer. This was after we had tried a few things together, followed by a couple of memorable phone calls, one while I was sobbing uncontrollably from inside my closet and one while I was holed up in my bathroom, shaking and numb, while my mother and husband took care of the beautiful infant I simply knew didn’t want, need, or deserve my ineptitude.
As a highly sensitive personality (HSP) I hope this video resonates with my peers as well as those who aren’t so highly sensitive, because trust me, you probably know someone who is. I have not looked up the pertinent research but my guess is HSPs are more prone to anxiety and depression, particularly if they have not embraced the idea of self-care.
Be kind to yourself and others. You truly NEVER know what their personal struggles entail or how strongly they may sense the ‘vibes’ around them.
If ANY of the above resonates with you, please, please, please talk about it.
COMMENT BELOW for starters, share an informational meme or video with friends, or just tell someone you love.
We MUST talk about our mental health, our self-care, our hopes and fears, otherwise the stigmas will persist and many people will never even KNOW to seek help.
My family and I didn’t know to for 36 years…