In fact, it wasn’t until I returned to the Philippines in 2010 after my four-year sojourn in Northern California, that it dawned on me just how incredibly sensitive I am!
I first came across Elaine Aron’s book, “The Highly Sensitive Person” in 2006/2007.
I was browsing through the library at the Unity Church in Pleasant Hill where I was residing. I borrowed it, read it and returned it after a few days.
Sparks didn’t fly. No fireworks. No huge aha moments.
Sure, I resonated with the material — slightly only though. It wasn’t as if it gave me an answer to what I had long been looking for — not that I was looking for any at the time.
Of late though, it is giving me numerous light bulb moments.
Me? Highly sensitive? No way!
Me? Not able to stand the noise? But I am was the one with a loud voice!
If you ask anyone who has known me, be it as a child or an adult, being highly sensitive is something that wouldn’t even find its way in my list of traits and characteristics. These people would, not surprisingly, question or argue. Moreover, I would, too. I did.
You see, my being highly sensitive is something that I’m only in recent years coming to terms with. I’m only now embracing — and proudly at that — my being a highly sensitive person!
Initially, I viewed it as part of my transition and evolution. People change. I have been taking every step to raise my vibrational frequency. Being sensitive, therefore, is simply a result of my endeavor.
Yet, am I simply going back to who and what I truly am? Was it a trait that I rejected because it isn’t something that conforms to society’s norms? Might I have simply reached a point in my life when I no longer wanted to pretend? That it simply was no longer possible to put on a mask? That it was simply too painful….too draining….too energy-depleting?
If that were so, how did I do it? How did I cope?
Oh, I’ve asked myself the very same questions. And I’m amazed how I was able to survive those years — decades — of pretense!
But I know what helped me cope.
I smoked a lot; I drank a lot. And I mean, drank A LOT. I could even out-drink men!
I had my first taste of cigarette and alcohol at a young age of 14. I wasn’t simply curious or being a ‘normal’ teenager. I was rebelling and escaping — but I will reserve the details for future posts.
I started regularly smoking — as a daily habit consuming at least one pack a day — when I was 16. Alcohol drinking didn’t come far behind. (Oh and it made it so much more convenient that the Philippines, my country of origin, does not strictly implement laws restricting selling cigarettes and alcohol to minors.)
And it has dawned on me only recently that drinking alcohol was my way of numbing myself — my senses. I drowned myself in alcohol to drown out all the noise and the chaos — literally and otherwise, inside and out.
It was much easier for me to quit smoking. Immediately after my pivotal thyroidectomy in 1998, I quit. Cold turkey, yay! 😀 I didn’t experience any withdrawal syndrome. And I haven’t had any craving! Woohoo! 😀
Giving up alcohol is a whole different story.
It has been a major challenge for me to stop at having only one glass of wine. (Merlot was my favorite, yum!) I even justified my alcohol consumption — which was truly excessive — that drinking red wine is good for the heart. Sure — if it’s only one or two glasses a day. My conviction was even strengthened when I read one of Carolyn Myss’ books where she wrote that having up to six or seven glasses of red wine a week is ‘healthy.’
But I could never stop at one glass of red wine! One glass would easily, effortlessly end up to be one bottle!!!
I’ve been ‘sober’ for three years now. I did have a couple of relapses — one in 2012 and one in 2013. (I wasn’t able to finish the whole bottle — two glasses max with a terrible hangover the following morning!)
Thankfully though, I haven’t had any desire to drink since — a major feat considering I’m in a place — beach and resort — where there’s simply too much drinking going on!
So, why is my being highly sensitive something that I’m looking into quite intently now?
Because it is a major factor in how I’m adjusting and adapting — not easily admittedly — to my living situation at the resort where I’m currently staying. I had a major hiccup with one of the staff last month which I blogged about extensively beginning here. (I came back here in early January after a two-week respite in the nearest major city with the intention of regrouping, but my time there even caused me more stress! I wrote about that here.)
I’m now in the process of gaining clarity on what to do moving forward with my living situation.
I’m deciphering how much of my discomfort here is because of my high sensitivity.
I’m discerning if the difficulties and challenges that I’ve been facing — being highly sensitive in an insensitive world and environment — is, in fact, the growth opportunity being presented to me by my living situation in this resort.
Could it be that wherever I go, I will face the same challenges of being misunderstood and not accorded respect (aka ‘judged’ and feel not valued enough), in part, as a result of my being highly sensitive?
Am I being given the chance to learn how to not just survive, but thrive and create my Heaven and Haven, despite the chaos in my midst?
If so, how? And where? Here — still? If not here, where?
Unknowns that, not only do I trust, but I know will, in their own time, be made known.
😀 ⭐ ❤ ⭐ 😀
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