Tag Archives: highly sensitive

Tired.

Have you ever felt so tired inside and out that you just wanted to cry but…couldn’t? 

It’s not depression. I’m not depressed. I get out of bed. I go through with my day. I find enjoyment in small things. I just feel…exhausted.

This isn’t news either, I realize. I’m working a 40-hour a week job in which I see an average of 35 patients a day, I commute 40 minutes by public transit each way, I’m taking a class every Sunday for three hours and I am actively interviewing, meeting with clients and attending births at all hours. Even as I write this, I feel guilty saying that this is ‘busy’ since I’m not shuttling kids around all day. Still, I feel so busy and just tired.

I’m doing such awesome things though you guys. I am seeing BABIES BORN. I’m watching moms become moms and dads become dads. I get to see dads go from disinterested or unsure to, “HOLY CRAP!? That’s my SON!” then racing to cut the cord.  I talk to loving nurses and doctors who very clearly want the best for my clients, regardless of what they’d do.  I get to help women see how amazingly capable they are and see them fall in love within seconds. It’s so ridiculously wonderful and by far some of the best moments of my work.

The flip side to that is…I see a lot of not so fun stuff.  I am having trouble walking away from each birth after seeing care providers disrespect my clients, knowing it didn’t have to be like that. Hearing someone say, “Well you’re ONLY three centimeters…” and then walk out of the room. Seeing them perform vaginal exams without even asking before penetration. I see family members trying so hard to convince their daughters to just, ‘take the drugs’ and ‘why do you want to suffer?’  I see a lack of lactation support in hospitals, a lack of true, unbiased childbirth education, I see a lot of scared women who are not being helped by their friends’ horror stories of how awful their labor was, how tired they were after their baby was born, how badly it will hurt and how their life is over.

So. Naturally. Sometimes, the bad outweighs the good. I can’t seem to step away from each birth and feel like I really helped. Instead, I walk away feeling like it could have been different and I couldn’t help MORE.  This is primarily why I suspect I’ll be applying to Midwifery School in the next couple years. Once I get some other things settled – I really think it’s the only way for me to really change the system. As a mentor of mine said, at least if I were their care provider, I’d know that they were treated with respect and would be heard.  I at least would know that someone believed in their bodies. 

What I am finding is that…I am struggling to open up. I’m struggling with all of this inside. The good, the bad and the ugly – all wrapped up inside.  I sat in a circle of amazing doulas last night, listening to birth stories. Some were so beautiful and wonderful, while others were absolutely tragic.  I was so proud to listen to these beautiful women tell the stories they’d been a part of and was blessed to support them. Even through all of this – I felt alone. I felt like I didn’t belong and didn’t fit in. I found myself wanting to share but not being able to figure out WHY I wanted to share. I just wanted to talk. As a particularly hard memory from my last birth popped up, someone I didn’t know well looked me in the eye and said, “You know, if you need one of us to cover you for even an hour during a birth, so you can take care of yourself, you need to do it.”

In that moment, I wanted to go off and talk to her. There was something about this person’s energy and spirit that I just…felt safe with. I had felt so alone that night, in the midst of all this love, but in that moment I just felt like I needed to cling to her.  Instead, I gave her a hug before I left and made a note to email her a thank you today.  I cried when I left the workshop because I felt like I didn’t know how to make deep, meaningful friendships. The kind where I don’t feel guilty calling them and needing them. I NEVER feel bad when someone needs me, but…it’s different. It’s me. I’m too much for anyone.

So. I’m struggling with just being emotionally tired. Exhausted. Worn out. I can’t stop being a doula, taking classes or reading about birth because it really feels like who I am inside. I can’t stop working the paying job even though it’s crazy because I make decent money for us and they love me there. I love my patients. I’m not quite sure where to go.

I just am finding it hard to reach out and say I need a hug – without some REASON for needing to talk and hug. Just because isn’t enough for me. I had no idea I struggled so hard with being vulnerable but apparently I do.  I worry too intensely about what someone will think of me, will my thoughts be crazy or too spinny. I don’t even contact my own mentor that gets PAID to help me because…I just don’t know what to do. What to say. Why we are meeting.  Then it makes me anxious.

I came home early from work today at 3pm and crashed. For 2 hours. I’ve been weepy ever since but I think it will pass. 

I’m just really tired y’all.  Thanks for keeping this space open for me.  

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Currently

Thanks to Sometimes Sweet for the inspiration for today’s post. 

Currently I am…

Reading:  I am such a schitzophrenic reader. I have so many abandoned books, not because I didn’t like them, but because I wanted to read something else RIGHT THEN. I am at the moment, drowning myself in smutty romances in attempt to hide from stress. Drowning myself I tell you. I can’t tear through them fast enough. I have gone through this and this in the last twenty four hours. I know, I know. Quality reading.

I am also reading The Birth Partner as a requirement for my doula training which begins TOMORROW. Gasp! I love the topic but I won’t lie, it’s pretty dry.  I have the Emperor’s Edge on hold, half read. I also have Elaine Aron’s The Highly Sensitive Person continually banging around, reading parts of it as I have time and energy. It’s some heavy reading and ‘doing’ for me. Lots of internal work but honestly, if you are Highly Sensitive, think you might be or have an HSP family member, it’s a great place to begin.  (You can also see my growing list of resources here.)

Oh hey! I also am reading a TON of blogs lately! Thanks NaBloPoMo! I love having a full feed of blogs to read so keep up the great work people!

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Doing: I have spent some time each day searing and applying for jobs, but honestly? I am not doing much these days. I am lethargic from all that is going on, (as you may have read earlier this week) and I’m just not doing a whole lot. I feel guilty about this of course but some wise friends I think would categorize this as self care. I’d like to get out a bit more, but for now, I’m just making sure I am up, dressed (sort of), showered and fed. It’s a tall order these days.

Cooking: I’ve had a few days of I-have-no-energy-even-to-do-what-I-love, which suuuuuucks. It sucks to feel like you can’t even enjoy what normally makes you feel good, let alone feed yourself. Now I’ve gotten into the I-need-to-hide-from-the-pain-and-stress period of this crap, which means lots of cooking and baking.  Yesterday I had a pot of beans going all day, but other than that I laid in bed for over 12 hours, reading and napping.  A few days before that I made this Caramelized Onion Greek Yogurt Dip, which is DELICIOUS.  I’ve got Smitten Kitchen‘s Lazy Pizza Dough rising on my counter for a Mexican style pizza with queso fresco and I may try to do some baking. Perhaps banana bread or chocolate chip cookies. We shall see, it’s getting late, or at least I feel the pressure of evening bearing down on me.  (Side note: You should make the pizza and the dip. Really. )

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Thinking: I don’t even know. My head hurts. My brain is scattered and thoughts are all over the place. I want to get up and go out but don’t have the energy. Right now I just am thinking about my training this weekend and trying not to be too stressed about it. It will be 9am-6pm for three days. I’m excited but a little scared at the same time if I’m honest.

Watching:  Oh man, I am a TV watcher right now. I’ve exhausted my Vampire Diaries, The Originals, American Horror Story today. Last night it was Covert Affairs, White Collar, Elementary and The Voice.  This moment it’s Big Bang Theory and maybe some Archer for a little levity. As always, The Cosby Show is a daily occurance. DAILY.

Other shows that I am following this fall: Dracula, Reign, RHOBH, Vanderpump Rules, Top Chef, Cutthroat Kitchen

Working on: I am working on keeping myself upright. I am working on reaching out and being unapologetic for who I am and where I am. I am working on being more kind, less sarcastic, less crabby.  I’m working on writing more poetry. I’m working on putting myself out there more. I am working on feeding myself, exercising and laughing. I am working on healing some pretty deep wounds lately and I am really, truly working on understanding why they are there.  I’m working on making sure that I have a happy, healthy space.

More tangibly (or maybe not), I am working on some spiritual things. I am really giving a lot of thought into my application for the Sisterhood of Avalon. I think I am ready and am looking forward to the journey. I think it flows so well with my doula and midwifery training. I am a bit fluttery inside about it.

Loving: Pacifica’s hand lotions and body washes. I found a bunch of travel sized ones at Marshalls and have been going through them like crazy. I love the Hawaiian Ruby Guava, Blood Orange and the French Lilac. I may have to hunt down some of the spicier ones to sniff. I love scents. I’m also loving my new Sock Monkey slippers from Target.  I love them. They make me happy and are cozy on the hardwood floors. Sometimes little things make me feel good.

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Feeling grateful for: The friends who have come out of the woodwork to support me. So many people that I’ve never met, but would welcome into my home any day of the week at any time. So many lovely people that have texted, emailed, commented, tweeted and private messaged just to check in on me.  I cannot begin to tell you how much the outpouring of support has meant to me. It’s always such a risk putting yourself out there you know? It feels like one to me and I just…I am overwhelmed by the support. I can’t always find the right words to respond with, but I am listening and I feel you. Goodness do I.

So thank you if you’ve spoken to me, or prayed quietly for me. I feel the love and I hear you. I’m trying to hear you better so keep talking, keep speaking.  Thank you for being kind people.  There really are lovely people in this world. I know this for a fact.

What are you up to currently?

Friday Feelings

I have had company for four nights and three full days. My company has been lovely, low key, low maintenance and really a good time but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely LOVING the quiet of my apartment right now. I have been 100% alone for about four hours now, I have not uttered a single word but to the cat.  Blissful I tell you.

I know three days doesn’t seem like much (and I feel horribly guilty that I have so little staying power), but then again, the kids playing outside of the school next door might not be much to you either. A normal day for me involves a little bit of time, retreated into the bedroom with a game or a book. It sometimes has a long subway ride where I sit quietly by myself, or next to my husband, not talking. Reading. Just zoning out to myself.  For introverts and highly sensitive people a like, that quiet recharge time is SO important. It’s taken me a long time to learn this about myself, but I really do need a LITTLE alone time in my life. It helps me. It resets me. It allows me to take a breath and get back up and moving. Without it, I feel frazzled and exhausted. Yesterday morning, I was on the verge of tears because I just felt like I could NOT get up and sight see one more minute. I got up, we got food and it got better but it was touch and go for a little bit.  Add to all of that, that I live in less than 500 square feet and my friend slept on my couch in my livingroom. Add to that, that I am the only person who cooks. Who gets up and says, “Okay let’s go out!”. Who gets anything moving or makes plans.

Friends, I am toast. I really am and I am looking forward to emptying my DVR and barely leaving my apartment this weekend.

*

A very close friend of mine has been ill, on and off for years.  He was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a year or two ago and while avoiding gluten made him feel better, there were still things that did not clear up. I just found out today that they are waiting on blood test confirmation, but that he most likely has Lupus.  I feel so bad that I have not been around like I should have been for him.

He can’t talk about this with his wife as she is expecting any day now and has a whole host of her own issues due to her maternal size and so forth. I worry about how prepared they are. I worry about her health (or lack there of) and their baby being healthy. I worry that she now has to deliver in a completely different town because her BMI and size has made it so that no doctors want to deliver locally. That they need to go where there is a better NICU.

All of this I’ve been worried about too. Just, lots of worry for my friend, his wife and their baby waiting to be born.

*

My doula training starts two weeks from TODAY. I suddenly got a huge jolt of energy just thinking about it. Thinking about the fact that while a good chunk of my life is in chaos and is not perfect, I am taking ONE step just for me. Not for anyone else but for me. One step that will be the first of many to get where I want. At least one of the places I want to be.

I’m excited. I am hopeful. I just really want to be the support that women deserve. I want to share the love and care that I have in my heart.

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I am going to get back into writing poetry. I wrote when I was younger quite a bit. I droned on and on about lost love when I was a teenager. I loved writing.  I rediscovered it a couple years ago and have since fallen out of practice.  I’m not one of those people that words just come to. It takes work. It takes writing down things every day even if they are just a phrase or two. Even if they never make it into a ‘proper’ poem.

I really loved being able to express myself in that manner and I would like to get back into it.  I think it’s a good part of my self discovery and this journey that I am on. This path.  I have a page where I share my poetry here. As I read over the past, I realize that they are some pretty violent and sometimes graphic images. Maybe even a bit emo, so, be kind please. They are snippets from moments in my life. Some of them.  Others are simple wordplay without a deeper meaning.

I hope you like what I have written of my past and what I will write of my future.

*

I think of a lot of people, often. People I’ve never met. People I have grown to love and cherish over time. People I’ve learned about by scouring their blogs, reveling in their honesty and the vulnerability in their words or perhaps their humor or way of being. I think so, so often.

I don’t think I speak up enough so I am going to try to do that. I’m going to send the emails waxing poetically about how amazing this person is when I think it.  I’m not going to worry about how odd it might sound, I’m just going to do it because I know what a difference a kind word can make.

So if you think no one is listening or watching. If you think no one is reading. Just trust me. I lurk a lot. I think a lot and I love a lot.  I’ll try to tell you more often that I saw something your child would love or that I am amazed that you are still standing. I’ll do my best to tell you that I thought of you this morning, and was proud you got out of bed or that I am proud of you for going to the Doctor.  I will work hard to tell you how SORRY I am that you’re going through so much, that you are so strong for taking care of everyone, that I see where you’re hurting even though you keep going and that I love you. I promise you that I will let you know the little things that I seem to censor day in and day out.

If you’re reading this – you’re lovely. I will try to tell you more often. I don’t want to miss my chance to let you know you’re loved and that you matter.

*

Surprise!

I am strangely good at supressing things. If you see me complain and cry, you probably think, “yeah right!” But it’s true. I stuff the truly painful things, memories and the like, way down where even I forget about them.

It is truly like, they happen and I am just destroyed, but then I wake up the next day. I am exhausted and often embarassed, but…I go make breakfast and plan my day. It’s obviously some defense mechanism I have built over the years. A way to move on and keep on surviving even when shit gets bad.

It’s so sad to me that I am like this. That I have had trauma enough to develop like that. I…can’t even explain how it happened or what trauma I had to force me into this. I just don’t know. It makes me sad to know that I have hurt loved ones because of this way that I stuff it all down. People can’t understand why I am still doing this or that, can’t I see how badly I hurt? Well, no. I can’t see it because I have squashed it down deep, without even trying. I truly cannot see it. At least the intensity of it.

It takes an act of God to bring those traumas back to light sometimes. It wasn’t until a couple years ago, and thanks to a loving person, that I realized how much of my crap is because of emotional trauma as a child. I just…never remembered. Unfortunately, when it does come back, I have to feel it all over again and then process it. It feels like horrific PTSD. It isn’t my favorite.

Then, there are even worse moments, when I least expect it and BAM. There it is. It hit me and I am in tears over this thing that happened years ago. I am feeling it so intensely, as if it were happening fresh. All over again.

I’m not sure what is going on, but…I’m getting a ton of those surprises lately. Each one ruins me. It destroys me and I feel run over. Exhausted and laid flat. Sometimes they are regrets I didn’t know I had. Other times they are feelings I surpressed so I could go on living one more day. Tonight one hit me so bad that I am lying in my room, sobbing as I struggle to get these feelings out to you.

I don’t know if I am alone in this feeling or experience but part of me hopes that I am. I wouldn’t want anyone to have surprise hurt. It is far less fun than surprise parties or surprise presents.

Or surprise cake.

I would like surprise cake.