Highly Sensitive, or celebrating the joy of my emotions

This is going to be one of those rambling blog posts I sometimes tend to write. It is also not going to be an easy one to write, but I have to do it anyway. It’s also not going to be very playful, nor creative, but I realise now that being highly sensitive is one of the reasons why I get to do what I do now. I wouldn’t be a writer without it. That is why I am writing this. It’s a love letter to my deep ends, my collapses, my deep and intense emotional life. Without it I wouldn’t be me. I love me, so I love my emotions.

Last weekend we drove into Brussels. The car swiveled through streets, left, right, turn, shit this is the wrong way, left, left, right. My stomach clenched, and I didn’t know why. We drove into a garage, a car park that looked like it was hewn out of the rocks. Loud lounge music played out of unseen speakers, low ceilings forced me to bend my head as I walked to a higher space, the smell of car exhaust made my lungs scream and cry out for relief. I walked, my emotions weighing me down. I don’t remember if there were tears at that stage, but they were right beneath the surface, brewing, plotting. We exited the garage’s tiny, prison-like elevator, and checked into the hotel. I bit my lip. I had to, if I didn’t I would burst out into tears right in front of the friendly smiling receptionist. We entered another small elevator. My husband asked me what was wrong. I shook my head. I saved my tears for the hotel room.

I cried. I knew he didn’t understand why I cried. I couldn’t explain how sometimes I do feel the weight of the world on me. Sometimes I feel like I suck up every deep, hard emotion felt around me, and I cry them out. How sometimes being in a place can shake me up and turn me inside out. How sometimes I get to be like aTVthat is on 200000 stations all at once, screaming out in agony.

We left the room after a couple of hours and headed to the tram. We went the wrong way. We exited the tram and headed to the stop to go back, and head the other way. We exited the tram and the emotions hit me again. I walked the Brussels streets with tears streaking my cheeks. I couldn’t explain why. They were just there, pushing themselves through my skin, pouring down the hot cheeks, blushing because I felt shame at myself. I felt everyone would see me and think I was pathetic.

He said we should get something to eat. I babbled on about how I didn’t need it. I was full already. The emotions consumed me. I felt tiny and insignificant, my heart so heavy. I looked at the memorial standing behind me. It was for a war, I could feel it. I could feel the pain that was in there, the suffering, the horror.

We ate something. The food took the place of the emotions. I sighed in relief as I felt them dissipate. We took our places at the end of the queue, and shuffled into the concert hall to enjoy Mika.

That was where my emotions showed their other side. It is something hard to explain. To experience such depth of pain, also allows me to experience the true depth of joy. When I enjoy something, I joy hard. At the concert joy exploded through my skin, I soared high in experiencing someone else’s creativity.

I now realize that I can only experience this joy if I allow my high sensitivity to be there too. If I allow myself to feel this deeply, I allow myself to experience deep joy too.

I have always thought I suffer from winter depressions. Last winter I spent weeks on end hiding in my room, covering myself with the blankets, and creating a small world within the safety of my bed’s metal bars. The depth of my emotions let me create this prison for myself. It didn’t feel like a prison at the time. It felt like a place of self protection. I didn’t see then what I see now. I now understand that what I experience through winter is my sensitivity set to stun.

I now also realize something has changed in me. In all the depth of emotions that overwhelmed me when I was in Brussels, I also felt this complete sense of calm inside myself. I call this calm the observer. The observer just watched me as I fell off the deep end. Didn’t judge, just loved. This is my center of the storm, and I love to be there as I write this post.

I know that this calm is like an anchor as I experience this world with my senses on high. It is my tether as I experience my emotional highs and lows. And as I write this I realize that there is no high and low. There is just me.

As I let my husband read the first part of this post, I felt this insane fear come up inside of me. What if people think I am insane? What if he thinks I need to go to a doctor and get a pill? He just hugged me and told me he loves me. That’s all I needed to finish this post and, when I have the external wireless adapter set up, post it.

I can only write this because of love. Love and acceptance for the way I work, the way I am wired, all I am. I love the fact that my emotions can sometimes go so intensely high that I experience everything. I love that I have this inspiration to write my poetry. It can only be this raw if I can allow myself to be raw. This is my gift.

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