Hello everyone, thank you for reading my blog post, I haven’t written one in a while because, well very often, my anxiety tells me no one would actually want to spend time reading it, but there is a topic I am dying to discuss with you all. I proudly say that I am becoming one of those influencers/bloggers that shares the reality of life. When I first set up my instagram, I was like ok got to be super cool, talk in a really posh accent and be like (Please read in Patsy’s voice from AbFab) “good morning darlings, just having a cappuccino before my morning yoga session, wow what a day to be alive”. But very quickly I began to realise being that way, is: 1. damaging to others, 2. Mega boring, and 3. damaging to my own identity… why should I be so afraid of being my complete honest self? So I scrapped the whole idea of being a mirage of fabulousness, and started just being my weird (yes I’m weird and that’s ok… some may say funny but that is personal opinion) highly sensitive, and average working class girl. Not going to lie, it’s tough, every time i post a video, I often think FUCK someone is going to send me a hate message, but so far, i’ve only received one message and that was a rude girl correcting every single grammar mistake I made in my stories for the whole day, I also get a sense of vulnerability and weakness and believe everyone is going to think what a wet weekend she is but thankfully, that hasn’t happened yet either, so I really do believe I am building a community which I like to call a safe place on the internet for me to share my whole self and for you to be inspired to share your individuality with the world too.
This has helped my mental health A LOT! So thank you all for accepting me for me! It really makes me a better and stronger person.
So now onto the topic I wanted to discuss: Highly sensitive person. I am what you class as a highly sensitive person. I find things very overwhelming and often have extremely high empathy levels, which actually can cause me to withdraw from certain situations, because the intensity of dealing with my own emotions and then coping with empathy will make me crumble (situations that make me feel extremely helpless because there is absolutely nothing I can do).
I never understood who I was growing up. I couldn’t understand why I felt things so passionately about nearly everything, even the little ants on the ground… like I will quite happily sit and watch them crawl among themselves on the pavement and be amazed at how quick their tiny legs would move. I am someone who would go to an art gallery and get lost in the paintings; the colours, delve deep into the narrative behind the picture, the brush strokes, or the pencil lines. I couldn’t understand why music was so intense to me, why I would become euphoric listening to a song that resonated within my soul, and set my heart on fire. I couldn’t understand why I found a scratching label on my clothes so irritating it would make me nauseas. I couldn’t understand why whenever I saw a sad bear sitting on his own in the window shop, I felt pained by his solidarity, although he was just an emotionless object in reality, I empathetically believed, he felt lonely. I also found it really odd why I was so sensitive to temperature, if I get the slightest bit cold, I will shiver uncontrollably, but if I get a little warm, I become delirious.
After a morning of crying because a boy was nasty to me whilst I was doing my A levels, I arrived at my Psychology lesson, and my psychology teacher, who was obviously very observant noticed I wasn’t happy. He took me into his office, and I told him that I was annoyed at myself for being so upset over something so stupid, and I told him all about how I just seemed to feel everything so extremely that it was all becoming so exhausting and I hated how I was like this. He was the first person to ever tell me, that it was perfectly OK to be a highly sensitive person, and introduced me to a new perspective of it. He told me that I would commonly suffer from anxiety because everything is extremely overwhelming in my head, but this also means I get to experience the full potential of being a human: feeling. He made me realise that it was ok to stop and stare at the pigeon that was all alone in Liverpool Street station with its feathers all ruffled standing idly, just because I was concerned he was sick (I took a picture and sent it to my mum, she confirmed, he was cold and didn’t like the wind). He made me realise that it was perfectly ok for me to feel a deep sense of amazement when I would see a beautiful sunset or a beautiful big moon (I’m not talking about WOW look at the moon, I mean like WOW I am in love with the moon, I have deep affections towards how beautiful the moon is, be mesmerised by its shape, depth, and form, almost as if we are friends… this kind of weird connection!). He also told me, it was perfectly OK and healthy to cry about whatever I felt like I wanted to cry about. This came as a shock to me, because throughout my whole life, peers, teachers, and society had scolded me for crying.
I understand why, as an extremely empathetic person, I hate seeing others cry, it is distressing and sometimes awkward. But the problem with this idea that we shouldn’t cry, is I believe it really affects the way we view emotions within society. Very much recently the mental health stigma is beginning to shift, and we are beginning to be more open minded about it and less afraid of expressing our true feelings – which is amazing and I AM HERE FOR IT!! However, one thing that I often still hear people say to one another and myself is “don’t cry”.
Very often I find crying is my way of expressing myself, allowing all this built up intensity within me to be released. I often feel fresher, better and brighter after a cry. I did some research into why this was, and it is because crying is a natural source of stress relief. It is self soothing, releases Oxytocin and endorphins, which will make you feel better, it also reduces pain and promotes a sense of well being. I believe by not allowing us to cry it still conforms to the mental health stigma, and that showing and expressing emotions is a big fat DON’T. So I do not want to shun anyone on here or make anyone feel guilty, because we have inherently been brought up in a society that tells us, crying is a weakness and crying is socially unacceptable, and I have also often said the words “don’t cry”. Instead I really want to educate others on other ways to deal when someone is crying and what to say:
“It is ok to cry, it will help you feel better, and then you will be able to feel calmer”
“Please feel free express you, it is the healthy thing to do” (you could sing this as if you are in a musical if you want to lighten the mood… so kidding)
“Crying is perfectly natural, don’t worry!”
“Let it out, this will help you”
“Thank you for crying in front of me”
Now I will draw a line here, and say that I am talking about normal crying – emotional response crying to fear, sadness, frustration, and hell even laughter (funny tears are the best, I was once told to stop crying because I laughed so much by an ex boyfriend p.s. i dumped him hehe, and so yes, please also respect happy tears too!!!).
What I am not talking about is anxiety attacks or, extreme intense emotional crying where someone is acting erratic. These scenarios are very individual and can be extremely difficult to deal with, I myself am no expert and dealing in these situations, however the best policy is to remain calm and level headed, offer support, try to get them to sit with you and talk calmly and rationally about their current feelings, however if this is too overwhelming, I would suggest for you to seek help from someone else. I am also not talking about constantly crying all the time, feeling very tearful for a long period of time along with a sense of prolonged sadness or crying about nothing in particular. I use to do student nursing as a few of you know, but every time I would go home, I would cry, because I found the whole experience overwhelming; either extreme happiness that I was able to care for someone that day, or extreme sadness that I wasn’t able to care to my full potential due to one reason or another. This all became very exhausting, my anxiety went through the roof, and I then became depressed. This was when crying was not ok, and I realised this and I then decided to seek the help I needed from my doctor and decided Nursing, although I was very emotionally intelligent, was not my career.
I hope this all helps you to get to know me better as a person, but also helps you understand that we are emotionally receptive animals that have the mechanism to cry to actually help us cope with life. You may not be a crier yourself, however please respect that others are, and that telling them not to cry can make the person crying feel guilty for their tears, embarrassed about their own emotions and identity, and ashamed of their sadness (or laughter).
Now I hope you all have a fabulous weekend, and enjoy yourselves and if you want to cry you can come cry to me and we can cry together if you want!