Handling Health Issues as a Highly Sensitive Person

I’ve been pretty lucky throughout my life when it comes to my health. I rarely get sick. When I do it’s usually a cold that doesn’t last more than a week. I’ve only had some form of the flu three times in my life, and that’s all within the last three years. I have had several injuries in my lifetime, and a good handful were definitely me being reckless.

I don’t handle pain really well. I never have. I know it’s natural to get sick every once in awhile, but to my emotions it’s like the apocalypse has come. My emotions tend to take control over my thoughts and I worry that I won’t get better. If I have to go to the doctor because I’m not sure why I’m in pain, I’m always concerned I’m going to be diagnosed with something life threatening. This scenario has only happened two or three times, but to me that’s too many.

Part of the problem is that I believe something bad is going to happen because I’ve been floating through life with barely any real illnesses. I worry my turn is coming. The second half of the problem is because I haven’t been sick a lot, I don’t know how to handle being seriously sick. To people who have had the flu multiple times it all seems quite normal, but to me it’s like the end of the world as we know it.

I know being highly sensitive there’s a good possibility that I probably feel pain more. I know for a fact I feel the pain more emotionally and mentally than other people, if not also physically. There are days when my mind will wonder into a very dark place, where I just don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think deep down the thing that bothers me the most is how difficult life is already being highly sensitive. When I’m sick, it’s like, I can’t function even slightly at the same rate of everyone else. I do feel like life in general is more complicated for me because I’m highly sensitive. I don’t want to feel that way, but I do. Being sick and having to sit around and do nothing is the worst. I hate sitting in front of the TV for hours, and I don’t like relying on someone else to take care of me. I just end up angry at myself for getting sick in the first place.

I got the stomach flu for the first time at the end of March. It was one of the worst sicknesses I’ve ever had to endure. It did feel like the end of the world at times, and what’s worse is the pain didn’t completely go away. My husband tried to convince me that it would go away on it’s own, but it didn’t. A month later, I went to the doctor — all worried — and they told me I had gastritis. After two weeks of taking medicine for it, it didn’t get better. I went back again, they ran some tests and I received a different medication. The first time they didn’t tell me what foods or drinks to avoid. Now, all of a sudden I have to give up coffee, orange juice, and liquor. I have, and now I’m getting headaches from the lack of caffeine and my energy levels are low. I’ve never had any real energy without caffeine. My level of anger for getting sick in the first place, dealing with crumby doctors, and being in pain is increasing.

I worry about whether it will go away this time. I feel like being highly sensitive and having to deal with this is much more then I can handle for moving forward with my business. I just want to feel like my normal self again.

I keep thinking the world doesn’t understand. It’s hard enough just for me to be me without being sick.

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No One Can change the way I see the world or myself anymore

I don’t think anyone can destroy or change my view on the world or my view on me. Quite possibly the two people who know me the best have the power to do so, but I trust and strongly believe they never will.

I’ve done a lot of reading about life, success, and happiness. I understand that my perceptions of the world are only my perceptions, not reality. I understand that I make mistakes in life, but my mistakes don’t define me. I understand that I was made perfectly, just the way I am.

When I spend time with my family it’s mostly for holidays and social gatherings. I enjoy their company as long as I know I can leave at any time. It truly bothers me that they only see the world through their own eyes and don’t quite understand that there is multiple ways of seeing it. I know the way I see the world is flawed at times, and I let myself be overcome by jealousy and judgement toward others. But, I know that the way I see things is shaped by my personality and my experiences. So, I try often to take a step back and judge whether I’m viewing a situation or person unfairly because I’m only thinking and feeling a certain way as a result of my own perceptions. I try to see the world from other people’s points of view.

I keep thinking someday, someday I will make them see the world differently. Someday, they will know who I am. They don’t know me, and the sad part is that they think they do. But, in order for them to know who I am, and how uniquely different I am from everyone else, they need to learn how to change their perceptions. How do you make someone understand that the way they see things is not reality? I really want to know!

How do you make someone understand what it means to by highly sensitive, when they never listened to your needs or bothered to care that you were different? Someday, I want them to know and understand. Someday I want them to stop judging me based on their own personality and experience. Someday, I want them to understand that they never showed me the respect I deserved. How do you talk to someone who doesn’t understand what it means to feel everything so deeply? How do you talk to someone who listens to you one minute, and within a day does the complete opposite of what they promised? Someone who looks at you as flawed, because they can’t understand why your needs are different from theirs. But, my flaws are not my personality, they are my gifts.

Being different is okay.

Why There’s a Problem with our Education Systems

I have constant recurring dreams that I have gone back to college or high school. I used to really hate these dreams, but now they no longer bother me.

I’m not entirely sure why I have this dream, but it is rarely a good dream. I end up either late to class or I forgot to do my homework. I dream of having to redo a year of school because I didn’t take some course I was supposed to take. I read this is a popular dream for people to have, but I don’t think I’m having these dreams for the same reason.

School was very difficult for me, and I understand now more then ever why it was so hard. I’m not entirely sure how schools can change, but I don’t believe they are set up correctly for introvert personality types and certainly not highly sensitive people. I daydreamed all the time because the crowded classrooms overwhelmed me. Constantly being around other people drained my energy. I hated being called on in class and having to talk in front of the whole classroom. The teachers always gave me hard time because I never spoke loud enough. I had one teacher in elementary school that I still remember to this day, because she always pointed out that I wasn’t paying attention in a room full of students. I tried and I tried in an effort to avoid the humiliation, but I still kept falling into a day dream losing sight of all reality. But, she was wrong for treating me that way, it was unfair for her to embarrass me for something I had so little control over. I felt like there was something wrong with me all the time, and now I know it’s the school systems that are wrong, and perhaps some of the teachers.board-361516_1280

I faced other problems with taking tests. I never could finish a test in the allocated time limit and often had to stay after class. Sometimes I would end up staying after into the next class. It was embarrassing at times, but I was committed to putting in my very best effort with each test.

I always struggled with Math, Science, and History. I had to study many long hours in order to get good grades. I wonder now if maybe it wasn’t what I was learning, but how I was learning it. I read a great article about being an entrepreneur and a kid told their parent, “Why do I have to memorize all this information for a test, if I’m just gong to dump it from my brain later?” I wouldn’t have a good response to that question even if it was my kid. Because I agree. I don’t entirely believe in tests. I also think people would learn a lot more about how to succeed in life if they learned how to operate a business – just like the article mentioned.

I’m friends with a bunch of teachers and I hear the stories about all the tests kids have to take now, and how they are losing their recess and free time to just play and release energy. I’m extremely upset by this! I honestly can’t imagine having a kid and having to accept the way schools are now. I read an article recently on the most productive workers and it said they take frequent breaks: 17 minutes for every 52 minutes of work. In the article it lists ways to waste time properly such as taking a walk, chatting with a colleague, taking a nap, surfing the net, daydreaming, and meditating. I started taking the advice in the article and incorporating more breaks into my working day and I did notice the difference that it made. If adults need these breaks, of course kids do.

I had all these dreams as a child about when I grew up. How I would find the right path for me, and how I would feel accepted, valued, and apart of something emotionally fulfilling. When I had to face the real world, I realized it was nothing like I imagined and nothing like my parents and teachers made the world out to be. It was all just one big struggle after another, with the exception of my happy marriage.

I think my dreams are a reminder that I’m no longer trapped by society’s systems that are not meant for people like me (introverted and highly sensitive type). And I don’t have to go back down that road ever again, I can make the choice not to. I don’t have to be a part of any classroom lecture, or any corporation again that will make me feel undervalued.

The future is my own.

The World Has Chosen This Path For Me

I’ve been contemplating over people’s comments on my idea to start my own business. I think about what I should say when they ask if I’m afraid, comment on failing, or think it’s just a stepping stone to getting a job working for someone else. I always stumble over what to say because no one wants to sit there and listen to my 50 some reasons why I want to start my own business (and there could possibly be that many). And how can I make them understand that failing is not an option for me? or that I don’t plan on ever working for anyone again!  Every time I say something different, and regret what I said thinking I could of said something better.

I didn’t just wake up one morning and say: “I think I’m going to start my own business.” I didn’t give up on getting a job working for someone else because I couldn’t find one. I just never felt it was where I belonged in the first place. I didn’t choose to be an entrepreneur, the world has chosen that path for me. The desire to be an entrepreneur has probably been there since high school and most definitely college. However, I chose to get a job working for someone else and I wanted to find a long-term place to stay, it just never worked out. There’s days I just wish I fit into some job mold and didn’t have to struggle with one job after another since I left college. I can blame the economy for that. I can blame society for giving me such poor self-esteem that made it impossible for me to get hired right out of college. Except it doesn’t matter anymore because I finally feel like I’m doing what I’m suppose to be doing.

The truth is I’m not that afraid, I’m more afraid of how I would feel not going into business for myself. But, without any success yet, it kind of sounds like I have an ego or I’m naive.

I should tell them: I can’t possibly fail, there’s no possible way. I’m way too determined. My business won’t fail, if anything I will have gained so many valuable skills my business will either morph into something else, or I will have created another business that will come out on top of my current business. Due to the fact, I already have plans in place to learn what I need to in order to start one of my many other business ideas, failure is just not possible. Due to the fact, I’m finally focusing on all my talents and passions and not doing anything that creates unnecessary boredom for me. Due to the fact, I I’m way too creative and marketing savvy.

This is probably what I should tell them, I keep thinking about it in the back of my mind:

If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs. – Tony Gaskins (and this is most definitely my dream)

I used to daydream about what I would say when people asked me what my job was and I could finally say “I had my own business.” Because there really isn’t too many jobs cooler then being an entrepreneur. Now I daydream about how to reply to their comments in questions without babbling on forever about how I’ve managed to finally stumble down this path and how confident I am that it’s what I’m suppose to be doing.

The best thing I hear people say is that I’m somehow brave and they would never have the confidence to do it, and then I’m just speechless. For anyone to look at me as someone confident and fearless is crazy. A couple years ago, I had horrible self esteem and was incredibly afraid of everything. And I know that I have changed, but I still know the fearful, in-confident person very well. I want to tell them the story of how I was never that person, or the times I cried so much my face hurt the next day because I couldn’t handle the emotional pain of being me. But, I don’t. Someone would be completely caught off guard if I told them that. I don’t think they would know what to say. The truth is it was a slow progression that took many books, articles, quotes, and wandering outside my comfort zone.

The truth is, if you want something bad enough and your willing to work hard for it then it’s possible. It also helps to know the secret to life. That has definitely helped me a lot.