Stress has been the modern pandemic since long before covid-19 came along, which is why so many people and systems have been wrong-footed by it...but therein lies the opportunity to evolve. individually and collectively.
Imagine going through life at cross-purposes with most of the people around you...not because you are broken but because you are different to a degree you didn't realise until now. Plunging the challenging world of neurodiverse relationships from personal experience, from some books I can recommend and from the perspective of some fresh new approaches to autism that are (thankfully) starting to appear.
Are you an introvert, a sensitive, have you come to equate this with being alone? Then let me tell you, this is your time...and I have a story to share, from my own introversion, that will explain just why this is about to become the best gift of your life...if you let it.
Being a High Sensation Seeking HSP is a package of being both highly sensitive yet kind of addicted to the buzz of a thrilling experience and novelty; a craving for being in a regularly high state of mental or physical arousal. If you've spent years being almost painfully sensitive or even unwell, perhaps with chronic fatigue, you may quickly brush this off as nonsense in your own case. Yet, as I discovered, it pays not to be so quick to dismiss this possible trait because finding out you have it (if in some less obvious or conventional ways than other people) could shed an enormous amount of light on your long-running health or other issues.
Is this you? INFJ personality types can feel like they have the whole weight of the world on their shoulders though no one else around them seems to care quite as much about what is going on. People around them don’t even realise how alone or burdened they are feeling since they give the impression of being far more gregarious, up-beat and outwardly focussed than they really are. Rather, people love being around them and feel relaxed in their company as they have a knack of putting people at ease and uplifting their mood. The fact that they tend to process their deep-and-innermosts outwardly, even publically, seems to contradict their deep introversion (my blog-writing is point in case) and it sends people off track when they think they are getting to know someone far more extroverted than they really are. This can leave the INFJ feeling even more isolated because even their friends don’t truly “get them” and there is always that nagging feeling that they would be dropped like a hot brick if the extent of their introversion ever “came out”, like people would think they were a fraud (they’re not…they’re just a paradox).
I have this theory...about the patterns we formed in the first 3 to 4 years of our life and how they inform the stuck-points of our adult self. For instance, the pattern of seeking solace in a state of "illness" was one I know my body drew on whenever life became too much for me as an adult; I would crave that slide back into the welcome arms of the sick-day sofa like the nurturance of the mother I longed for the attention of (even though that nurtance now came through me). I see now how that pattern fed into chronic illness as surely as did my perception of the "outside world" of other people as some sort of alien landscape to which I would never quite belong and where I was never truly wanted...Recognising those earliest imprints upon myself as a little human taking in my first impressions of what this world was all about, its fear-factors, its safe-havens, helped me to recognise some of the most entrenched patterns of my adult behaviour and my trends towards withdrawal from life, perhaps even going as far as initiating health-issues that meant I could hide away from an all-too scary world when things got too much. Shedding light on these trends can be one of the most enlightening stages of any recovery journey, initiating the very healing we most long for.