Tag Archives: highly sensitive person

New Environments

I have been incredibly busy the past six weeks with my new job, hence the dearth of blog posts. I must say this is the very first job that I have had that has been such a positive, uplifting experience. I look forward to each day (despite my lack of morning person-ness) because I know I am going to work in a positive environment.

My boss is the biggest influence on the work environment. He always greets me with a big hello and a smile. Work is about collaboration, not subordination. I feel he respects me and values my opinion. And he is generous with feedback and tells me what a great job I am doing. I don’t ever remember being in such a welcoming environment over my entire 21 year career. Sometimes I think I’m dreaming.

Some people say it’s easier to work for a male boss, which may be true. But being a highly sensitive person, I think it is more than that. We share similar values about work, we interact effectively, quality is important to us and we want to help others in a meaningful way. I hope to learn much from him, and I also hope I can share things with him as well.

Hey, the glass is half-full for a change, and I must say I’m quite pleased about the whole thing. It has made a great impact on my mood as well. My boss sees me as a positive, likeable person, and I’m glad to be feeling that way again. It means all that hard work is paying off.

Now if I can make some progress in other parts of my life….

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Overwhelmed by the News

Twenty-Four hour news is such a bad idea. We get inundated constantly with information and the news is generally negative in nature. When is there ever any good news? They don’t have time to report that. I always said I would subscribe to a station that showed only good news. It would be so refreshing to hear about people who do good things for each other, not just as an aside or filler to all the bad news that gets reported. That would be fair and balanced don’t ya think?

Problem is it is so easy to get caught up in the world’s tragedies and the quagmire of our government that it adds to one’s depression. Makes me want to stay in bed! Where is the hope? I’m not saying we need  news “lite” or should minimize what is going on in the world. Perhaps it is just too much for some of us to handle in large doses. I know I can’t take too much, because I tend to internalize it and hold it. I can’t walk around with the weight of the world on me, I can’t carry it, I can’t change the world. I can only influence my little circle. Since the news rarely addresses my issues, perhaps I should just shut it off altogether. I feel like that would be the putting my head in the sand approach.

It is of course all about finding balance. As usual. If someone who has depression has been able to find a balance without being overwhelmed by the news, I’d love to hear about it.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

It’s not easy being green… —Kermit the Frog

One of my favorite songs as a kid, but I really had no idea why. Now I understand all too well. It’s hard enough to just be yourself, then every year we talk about resolutions to change! I’m still busy figuring myself out, why do I have to hurry up and decide on something to change??? I’m all for self-improvement, which I guess is the point. However, self-improvement takes time. I need to think long and hard about something before making a decision (I am a bit of a commitment-phobe). My high school English teacher called it having it on the back burner. Not completely out of mind, but just simmering, getting it ready for processing.

I really don’t think I have major identity issues at forty-four, even though I saved my “acting out” for my thirties (maybe that explains my parents accelerated aging?). I do struggle with certain things like being assertive in some situations, self-esteem/confidence at particular moments. At times I feel as if I am still an awkward teenager and everyone is laughing at me. It doesn’t happen all that often anymore, but just enough to remind me about how I feel different.

Perhaps it’s just being overly sensitive (I did promise I would get to that highly sensitive person subject soon) or introverted as a natural part of my personality. Believe me, I’ve been subject to the MMPI enough times to know that I always score high on introversion. But I’ve adapted based on my profession to like working with people and finding a comfort level in being with them. Maybe that is what attracted me to hospice care, because as the expert, people accept you even if you are a bit awkward and quiet because they want your help and guidance through a difficult time. And I do find a lot of satisfaction in helping others.

It may not be easy being green, but I don’t know that I want to trade it for any other color either.

Happy New Year 2011!

Therapy is Painful

Therapy can be outright torture at times. I’m talking about psychotherapy that is. I used to tell my son when he was young it was the “talking doctor.” I can’t recall making it through a single session with any therapist without shedding a tear. I am what you would call, an emotional, or “highly sensitive person.” A psychologist actually coined that term, her name is Elaine Aron. Her book, appropriately titled, The Highly Sensitive Person is all about people who feel overwhelmed and overstimulated by the world. I’ll talk about that some other time.

Soooooo, many tears are shed during therapy sessions, hence the investment in facial tissues. My life reads somewhat like a soap opera, and sounds quite entertaining when it is all laid out in chronological order. When I tell just snippets, it sounds like utter chaos. That’s how it feels too. So imagine sitting down with a third therapist in 15 years and having to explain how I got to this point. Ugh. Double ugh. I shouldn’t be crying about things that happened 15 years ago, but when severely depressed, everything hurts. I sound like that stupid antidepressant commercial. So which pill can help THAT? I don’t think there is a pill to plug up the flood. Probably shouldn’t be either. Like other bodily fluids, better out than in. Eeww, right?

I guess I can only justify the tears in relation to what Therese Borchard (author of book & blog Beyond Blue) said about the butterfly emerging from its cocoon; it needs to struggle to get the fluids moving in its little body and so its wings will be strong enough to fly. The butterfly is known as a symbol of hope. I want to be strong enough to fly again. My therapist is going to help me work on that. She promised.