When we are in chronic pain, or even an episode of acute pain that seems to go on and on, who do we share that with, can we even expect to share and does it make it better or worse to convey to loved ones what we are going through? Yet, do we need that outlet of saying it like it is and not feeling so isolated in our experience and, if so, where do we get that from, without stirring up the pot to make ourselves feel all the more defeated from over-talking it. This conundrum is familiar territory to anyone who lives with pain, chronic illness, even the disillusionment of daily chronic fatigue. Sharing some home truths, perhaps some helpful perspectives, from my own experience of this highly emotive topic.
To those of us that are Highly Sensitive People (HSPs), the festive season can feel almost unbearably charged or even toxic, including high exposure to people and behaviours that we normally manage to avoid; and that’s not just within our families and friends, since many of us are empathic enough to feel the general mood of the collective. There are many more toxic byproducts than that; some obvious and some less so (read my full article for more on that). The effect can be like an energetic hangover that takes some time to get over; so how do we do that and, when do we start asking, is it worth it or is there another way to behave, that feels more in sync with who we are, at the end of the year? Is this, in fact, what our bodies are trying to tell us?
Some people, and I count myself among them, are prone to experiencing anomalous experiences; that is, experiences that lie outside the so-called "norm", from high-frequency "tones" ay and night to flashing "lights" and many more special effects. These count as some of the most disturbing and supposedly detrimental to quality of life of all experiences people are said to be encountering in their health today; alarming and even depressing them into states of hopelessness in many cases. Yet what if these sensations are not what they seem, via the rundamentory five-senses system we currently rely upon. What if, like the artist scrabbling for the right colour to express a brand new hue that seeks expression and having to draw on many pigments, textures, all kinds of materials mixed torgether just to get even close to an aproximation of this new "message" that is coming through, our bodies are forced to mix up all our sensory messages...yes, like synesthesia...to try and get through to us something that is just so very important...and its all for us to hear.
Dr Elaine Aron’s work on this topic has been a life-changer for so many people with high-sensitivity since the phrase was not even coined until she came along and gave it this label. Her book, film and website resources are some of the most useful tools I have ever come across and she is cited by pretty-much everyone who speaks out about high sensitivity which, thanks to her, people now do; quite unheard of a couple of decades ago. More and more, high-sensitivity has become a buzz-word and not because its trendy to jump onto its bandwagon but because many of us had very little concept of what made us so different until this point; which allowed everyone else’s opinion of us, that we are “wierd”, “weak”, “neurotic” highly-strung” and so on, to stick. With more interest garnered in it than ever, it's now been shown by studies to be a genetic trait; something a fifth of us are born with…so, not an illness, timidness, weirdness, personality flaw, mental health issue, handicap or lack of backbone (as so often referred to in our families, schools and workplaces). When we turn this around to see High Sensitivity and its traits as a bundle of gifts, we start to live much closer to our personal blueprint.
"There are many things I love about christmas and yet, I never understood why I could ALSO feel so alone at times on Christmas Day. It didn’t make sense, but it would happen to me, year after year. I have a loving, fun family and 7 brilliant nieces and nephews, so we are a large … Continue reading Christmas wierdness
Synesthesia has overlaps with heightened sensitivity and both have overlaps with chronic pain. All of these phenomenon overlap in me so you can see why I am so interested. It's as though chronic pain is the down side of the see-saw on which synaesthesia is the colourful gift at the highest end (I really wouldn't be without it and the sensory adventures it takes me on) and sensitivity is the mixing pot of both, made up of both pluses and minuses, depending on how challenging these heightened sensitivities make the experience of life. Exploring the sensory soup of these cross-over phenomenon, asking whether we are all born with synesthesia as science is now suggesting and looking into all the potential a deeper understanding of them holds for transforming human experience.
When we think of emotion as e-motion...electricity in motion, within the body...it can have a very huge impact on how we work with health issues we are grappling with, especially those of us who are highly-sensitive or suffering from PTSD, unresolved trauma or other issues going all the way back to earliest childhood (even if we think we have processed those and moved on...) and even more bizarre phenomenon such as paranormal experiences. One particular study has really assisted me in understanding this whole, largely unexplored, area of health and super-sensitivity and I share some of what I have found out in this post.