There's a degree of sensitivity that goes way beyond the standard definition of being highly-sensitive and turns into pathology and lost quality of life. It is as isolating as it is impossible to explain to others and can feel as though it came from nowhere, or perhaps has been there all of your life in one form or another, perhaps amping-up with the passing of time or added stresses and trauma, yet often making no sense at all in the context of how well you look after yourself, strive for a healthy life and cultivate positive attitudes and yet, all through your nervous system, there are triggers, over-reactions and pain. Its as though your nervous system is laid wide-open to the sky rather then held, or supported, by life. Exploring sensory defensiveness, where does it come from, how do we tackle it (because, apparently, we can with good results and thus I am). This will be the first of my shares on the topic as I progress through the protocol.
Perhaps more than any other aspect of chronic illness I have ever had to deal with, including chronic unrelenting pain, dysautonomia has the ability to throw your entire life into disarray, permeating every single aspect of your life in ways that can be as invisible to the casual bystander as they are devastating. Is there a bright side, things we can learn, ways of living with it better?
Twice-exceptionality is such fertile territory to explore for anyone who may have even an inkling it applies to them (assumng they can get over the sticking point of using that much stigmatised word “gifted” for long enough to even consider it). The effect of being gifted in some areas and yet held back in others can make a person seem as though they are coping when they really aren’t, and it can also deprive them of the help, understanding and accommodations they desperately need for their deficit areas, as well as the recognition they deserve for their exceptionality. The outcome can be a lifetime of lost potential, fallen through the cracks, or even total burnout...until both the giftedness and challenges can be seen side by side and looked at in a whole new way.
The natural response of the mind is often to shut-down vague recollections of some past event that you don't remember fondly but there lies the problem...we shut it down consciously, yet the body continues to harbour the irritation or pain, at the subconscious level, which then has no choice but to manifest as imbalance or some other symptom, that feeling of perpetuation in the body (on and on and on in perpetuity = "chronic") and, of course, where one "off-kilter" energy tends to linger, other sticky energies will attract, leading to escalation (the "snowball" effect).
Getting to know yourself is, in my opinon, the single most important thing you ever get to do in your life...and its often a golden key to all those other unfathomables that may be "going on", such as persistent health issues. Above all, depathologising the way you were made is an essential step to discovering the sense of wholeness and peace in your life that may have so far eluded you.
Do you have marked seasonal difference in your health symptoms? Many people do! However, when we learn to accept them, know them and work with them we get to find a new kind of equilibrium in spite of them, and that brings its own seasonal gifts.
Coming to understand yourself is the single most important thing you get to do in your life! When it comes to healing a chronic condition, some of the tools you can use to understand your personality type can reveal explicit treatment approaches, lifestyle and even useful attitude modifications that might otherwise elude you, because they spotlight things about YOU that might not apply to the next person.
With renewed clarity, I find I can see the path that led into many years of chronic pain...and the way out of it. Sharing some bullet-point thoughts on this topic, to help and inspire you, for the start of this potential-filled new year.
Introversion, visual or non-linear thinking, social anxiety, chronic or social fatigue, autism, high sensitivity...looking at all the many, often overlapping, factors that might make writing preferable to conversation for a lot of people and considering is this wrong, of just wonderfully different?
Being an HSP isn't a flaw but an evolutionary advantage, as has been amply demonstrated by science and history. We were always meant to be the natural outliers of the community, by design, so that we could be the first to notice important things that others miss, picking up envornmental cues and alerting others to any danger that we sensed coming our way. But what happens when our alarms start to go off all the time and when or how do we get a respite? How does this relate to the modern age phenomenon of chronic pain, fatigue and systemic meltdown?