All my life I have been sensitive. As in overly sensitive, which made me feel completely wrong for many, many years. It has caused me too much anxiety and panic attacks all my life. It almost got to the point of depression once. This may seem very private, but I have discovered that being honest about it and not making it more of a taboo than it already is, can only help me dealing with it. It is only something I have opened up to talk about within the last 2 years. Some of my best friends in life does not even know. Not because I do not want to tell them, but because talking about your mental state is something that has to happen at the right time.
So how did I get to the point where I could suddenly open up about it?
Feeling “wrong” is probably something a lot of young people experience at some point in their lives. For me, I had that feeling constantly until I one day a few years ago read another blog post by a girl describing HSP and how it affected her life. That was the first time I came across the term “highly sensitive person” and realized, that this is a thing! That this is MY thing. It may sound like a scary disease (it’s not), it is just a way of describing how certain people perceive and react to the world around them. HSP is more common that I would ever expect, 15-20% of all people are experiencing being sensitive, but of course everybody reacts different to different stimuli.
So being highly sensitive can mean many things. Some cannot deal with too many noises around them, some reacts strongly to change in plans, some are very shy, some do not deal well with stress, you get the picture.
For me, HSP means that I need time alone to reload whenever I have been out for too long or after a long day at work. I don’t work well among too many people, especially if I do not know them. I am also the type that do not deal well with stress and I like having as much as possible planned. Getting drunk will probably just trigger more anxiety. Yes, all this is part of what makes me a bit of a freak show, but knowing this has still helped a lot accepting who I am. All I can do is deal with it and try and make my life as happy as possible MY way.
It must have been the biggest relief of my life realizing that this is the reason I have been feeling different all my life. This is the reason I get anxiety.
Not long after discovering this I told my parents about it. Slowly after that I learned to start talking to people about it if it felt right. Telling people only made me realize that so many people can relate to this in some way or another. Maybe they also need time alone. Maybe they also get anxious sometimes. Talking about it only makes it easier. And it only made me see that I am not the only one dealing with life this way.