I haven’t been around much lately. Well, that’s not true. I’ve been exactly where I have always been except for those times when I was somewhere else, but I haven’t been hanging out in Blogville. Of course, it’s possible that you read that first sentence and thought that much isn’t a place so how could anyone be around it and I understand your confusion now that I have reread that sentence too many times to admit to most people but since most people don’t read what I write, I’ll tell you that I have reread it four or five times, maybe eight. I have a problem.
Having a problem wouldn’t be a big deal except that I am finding that I have more than one problem and I’ve been finding these problems online. A few weeks or maybe months ago, (time runs together in my world and it’s difficult to explain to anyone that has to abide by any sort of schedule) I read this article which I think was originally in Psychology Today about Highly Sensitive People. I didn’t even know such people existed so imagine my surprise, nay, shock to find that I may be one of them.
People have always told me that I am too sensitive, usually in that slightly condescending dismissive tone, but I may have been reading too much into their tone of voice which I believe is one of the signs or symptoms of being one of those HSP types. All I do know is that as I read that article I kept thinking “That’s me!!!” I was happy to have a name for it and to know that I wasn’t just being ‘overly sensitive’ as my rather insensitive compadres would have me believe.
Now, to be honest, I couldn’t answer yes to every single trait that the article mentioned, but I could and did answer in the affirmative on more than half so I’m left to wonder if perhaps I’m just borderline HSP and then further wondering leaves me wondering just which side of the border I’m on. Am I just this side of HSP with long excursions across the border and too many entry stamps in my psychological passport to count or am I just the other side of HSP with occasional jaunts into normalcy? Although what is normal, really? That’s like asking what is reality and no one has a great answer for that either.
I would have done more research into my newly discovered personality type, but then I came across another article about how spending too much time online is leading to mental deterioration of the intellectual kind. Yes, there is accumulating evidence that too much online time leads to increased stupidity. Idiocracy is just around the corner and if it’s anything like the movie, it won’t be a pretty sight.
And on top of all of that, I had what could only be described as a major anxiety attack. I had never experienced that before and it was enough to get me to a doctor, or PA since my $10K deductible reduces my medical choices significantly though she is well qualified and I have complete faith in her abilities, as I thought I was having blood pressure or heart issues. Apparently, physically I’m okay though I haven’t had the tests she suggested or prescribed. I haven’t felt brave enough to call and find out how much they will cost which will be a major factor in whether I have them.
Now, to be clear, the anxiety attack was not related to my online activities though too much time reading random articles on just about everything probably contributed but the underlying trigger was some news from a close friend that left me in a fetal position sobbing for too many days to count, and then the elevated heart rate and lightheadedness and absolute panic that was so visceral and yet I couldn’t describe exactly why I was so panicked. Not really an experience I would recommend and for all those who have those types of attacks on a regular basis, I now know exactly how it feels and it is just about the worst feeling there is after the feeling of loss when a loved one dies. I feel for you and it’s not just because of my HSP tendencies.
I’m sure what I’ve been feeling could be eased with medication but again, prescription drugs aren’t covered on my medical plan so it’s not an option for me. Besides, I think most anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds might make me sleep all day and get fat and neither of those side effects is desirable. Instead, I’ve chosen a course of more yoga, more dancing, more sunshine, more books, and less online time. Writing about it may have helped, but I’m just now to the point that I feel I can trust my words. I’ll have to ease back into the writing thing though I was never that regular with it. I still occasionally read blogs here and there and I have missed some of your blogs very much and hope to spend a little more time on that in the near future.
And just in case H.E. is reading, I haven’t forgotten about your F*%ked Up Fairy Tale assignment though it wasn’t so much an assignment as it was a task I volunteered for and I have written about 1000 Thumbelina-esque words in the last few days and now I’m stuck but I still have a few weeks or less until the deadline is here. I used to work great under pressure. In college, I waited until the last possible moment to write papers. So no worries about that, at least not yet when there is so much other stuff to worry about, but that is why I’ve been spending less time online. Less online time equals less worry so even though people like to say less is more, in this case less is less and it seems to make sense mathematically, too, though I’m not an upper math specialist, so I could be wrong about being mathematically right.
And while my self-imposed online sabbatical hasn’t quite freed up as much extra time as it did for Rat, it is allowing me to slowly heal.
Namaste, my friends. And for those of you unfamiliar with Sanskrit, ‘namaste’ means the light within me honors the light within you. So once, again, with the feeling that only a person with HSP tendencies can muster, namaste and may peace always be your companion.