Sunday, June 19, 2011

Show Me the Passion

We are back in the introspective phase. Yes variety is the Spice of Life but it feels like all the introspection is adding up. I am beginning to understand a little better. So bear with me for a while longer.

I’ve been thinking about something that I have done all my life. I’d put things on a shelf in my closet and say “I’ll just deal with this later”. I thought it was a good strategy to deal with disagreements with my husband, sister or mom. Sometimes it was dreams I put on the shelf, maybe even apologies and forgiveness and joy and anger too. It was like I needed to prove something to myself or get stronger before I could deal with things, have time for them or even be happy about things.

Well I have discovered later is now and my closet shelf is crowded. Way too crowded. I don’t even know where to start dealing with things. In psychological terms it is called denial. And I was denying I was in denial because I had convinced myself the putting things on a shelf till I could deal with them was healthy. It was not healthy. And because I put things on the shelf they stayed inside and I became passive aggressive. Not healthy either

The biggest problem was that I began to live in my own reality, my own room where everything fit together and the sun was always shining and all was calm and sweet. Wrong. What happened is that I went from a passionate person, a passionate advocate for peace and justice, passionate about art, passionate about becoming a minister, passionate about horses, about photography, about poetry, animals, people and my family, from that to a person who has lost passion for life. So who cares. Nothing matters.

Even now after I have realized all these things I fight for the energy to do what I need to do, not counting the things I love. I take meds to fight depression, distraction, procrastination and what is called overstimulation, (being overwhelmed to the point of just ‘checking out’) that help me but also make me feel even less passionate.

I have always thought my difficulties were because of the ADD or HSP or being a twin and yes, they have affected me, but no, in reality it’s the passion I’ve lost. I do realize I have almost intuitively been working out a system. I am thankful for small steps. Being organized helps but there is a point where if I am not very attentive, I lose the passion.. I’m looking for the passion now, and I am finding it more and more the more I move my feet forward.

Those packages on the closet shelf are getting thrown out. I’ll see how they have deteriorated, turned sour or grown mildew One step at a time. It begins with making decisions to confront, daily, hourly by the minute, stay engaged, stay involved, what I think and do is important, even if it hurts to deal with it, each time I do I get a little better. I get a little more passionate.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

HSP- Amber

I’ve been looking at the world through Highly Sensitive Person glasses lately. I can’t help it. The book I just finished reading connected with me in so many ways. But still there continued to be something I couldn’t understand or just couldn’t explain. And that was, “What does 'overarousal' LOOK like or FEEL like?

I know the after effects: wanting to take a nap, leave the scene, gritting my teeth, becoming a wallflower, unable to articulate, getting cranky, just feeling miserable, not observably miserable but when I look back I think, Hey that was what it feels like.miserable. But it still was a mystery to me-until last week.

We were with our daughter’s family, including our 3 year old-soon to be 4 grand-daughter .. She was having a hard time, well, truth be told, she was having a tantrum. My husband and I have figured out it happens when she feels left out or ignored. And it does happen a lot because she has twin brothers 18 months older than she is. But it is more than that.

Anyway last week a number of big things were going on in her life. Last Thursday was the last day in her day care where she had been with four other little girls her age and a caregiver she adored. Along with that she will be spending her summer vacation at home with her two brothers and a Nanny she didn’t know. Also, she will not be spending her special day with her Bumpa (and occasionally Grammie) on Fridays when she absolutely was the BOSS and could do anything she wanted without being challenged by her brothers. She had Bumpa to herself. She loved it.

But even more than all these things her Dad had been gone for a week while attending a family funeral and brought family members home to spend the nigh. She didn’t get to have the reunion with him she wanted. Plus the whole family stayed up past bedtime. If HSP’s can be stimulated by small things what happens when there are big things that happen?

So Thursday evening there was a graduation party for her brothers. She didn’t want to go. She didn’t want to leave her day-care. A major melt-down. She was overwhelmed.

All I had to do was take a look at her to know she had had enough. It pointed out to me that all of these events caused tremendous ‘overarousal’ but the kicker, I believe, was not enough sleep. She could not handle it all. It is sooo visible in a 3 year old. I realized that when I am over stimulated by my life, I also have a tantrum. Only it doesn’t show from the outside as much. I realize now, the feeling is one of being overwhelmed by all the small and big things in life. Overarousal creates overwhelm.

That is what it LOOKS like. That is what it FEELS like.

Soon: How to deal with it all and come out ahead.