Life with the Volume Up

Mental health has always been a strong part of this blog. As of late, though, I’ve been struggling to write much of anything at all. My own emotional health has been suffering. Part of this is some life changes I’ve been going through, that I don’t really wish to address here. Part of this is also hormonal, due to stress. And part of it is just that I am a deeply emotional person.

Relatively recently I’ve realized that I’m what’s called a Highly Sensitive Person. It manifest itself in me as feeling everything, and I mean everything, more deeply than the average person. I used to tell people I wasn’t much of a crier, because I believed it to be true. But the past 5 years have really been revealing to me just how many tears I’ve shed over the course of my life.

I have very strong memories of being a small child and my adoptive mom telling me that my tears weren’t real: that they were crocodile tears, that I was faking it. When I got my heart broken by my very first love in high school, I was an absolute mess for at least a month. I remember binge watching movies (before Netflix was even a thing) just to keep myself distracted.

I’ve felt hurt from every person that’s left my life, regardless of the reason. Hell, our downstairs neighbors moved away a little more than 6 months ago, and even though we weren’t more than passing acquaintances I always ask myself if I could have been a better neighbor. Abandonment is my biggest fear: the silent threat that people I care about will leave me is what keeps me up at night.

I crave intimacy from all people. I have always been willing to give myself to others emotionally, wanting to share who I am in hopes of learning, in return, who they are. For me, beauty is in the totality of someone, not just their parts. I believe that the more you know someone, the easier it is to love them, because you can see how they wind their way through the world. The sad part for me is how not everyone feels comfortable sharing those parts of themselves.  I both understand and lament this fact.

I won’t ever stop laying myself bare for others, even if it’s not returned. Even if it makes me sad that someone doesn’t want to connect, even if it means I will mourn for the closeness I’m not destined to have. Because someday someone will look at me and SEE me, and allow me to see them right back, and it will make all of it worth it.

You see, there isn’t anything wrong with me. I just live my life with the volume turned up.

I’m incredibly lucky to have a few friends who can see I need help in the way I type. My friend Sharon can tell with a text message if I need girl time, and my friend Chris can tell by my typing tone if I’m feeling down. There are even a few friends who just send me tiny emoticons, or cute animal videos, or goofy Snapchat filtered pics just to make me smile (I love those people). The thing is, I’ve been feeling down a lot lately. More than I’ve been feeling good. And when I feel this way, my brain lies its full head off to me. I feel unworthy of friendship, of love, and the urge to apologize for *feeling* is an overwhelming compulsion.

More than one person in the last month has told me I’m a good person and each time it has sent me to tears. I want to feel worthy of such praise. My heart says to believe it but my brain sows the seeds of doubt. I do, however, believe it when people say I’m kind, even though I occasionally feel like a total douchenozzle.

The point? The point is I love so much more than I hate, and that while I sometimes feel broken or fragile, the truth is I’m strong. I keep going back out there with my heart open, because this is who I am, world. This is who I am.

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2 comments

  1. WOW, Thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts & feelings. Reaching out to give you a HUGE HUG! I feel every moment with the volume turned up also. It’s brave & smart off you to embrace who you are. I’m trudging thru a very difficult time in my life right now. While I know I am very blessed, I’m struggling with the volume I live at – the intensity of feeling is very emotionally draining. Rather than trying to suppress my feelings, I’d do better by acknowledging & accepting them. It rained here the past 3 days. I kept thinking those are the tears I have inside of me pouring down. Your heartfelt sharing makes me realize, I need to let my tears flow. Blessings To You.

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  2. I understand this very well. we are alike in this–and I also understand the determination NOT to cut yourself off from this–even as a form of self defense. life isn’t really all that worthwhile if it is not deeply felt–but in choosing that, you also choose to encounter a lot of heartache that other people wouldn’t see or understand. and remember–that the upside of this is–you will spot the person in the room that needs help–or comfort, or praise–or life will see to it that they are placed in your path. I bet people find it easy to cry in front of you. I consider this a true gift–when someone trusts me enough to become naked like this in my presence. the perfect response? sit quietly and hand them a Kleenex. it’s all that’s needed. this is a blessing, although it sometimes feels like the opposite. my sister in law told me once I was a “guardian spirit”. I had never thought of it that way–but I accept the term. you are this too. don’t fight your nature. accept and celebrate this “way of being” that is becoming so rare as to seem odd to most of the world. know that a deep and mysterious beauty dwells inside of you.

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