Hi all - been on and off the forums for a long time (over a decade) and thought I would reach out again... so frustrated with life, and all the books, websites, etc that always talk about getting better, and how if you just change how you interact with people all will be well. What if you have tried all that, and nothing ever changes? I am a middle age man, married, kids, have a job - but I have struggled with anxiety, depression, a dissociative disorder, and being a highly sensitive person my whole life.
All the information tells us that if we meditate, practice mindfulness, engage with specialists, surround ourselves with positive people, that all will be well. What if you have tried all the usual answers, and nothing seems to work? I don't expect for my life to improve, I really am just wanting to find a better way to survive.
The people in my life (family and co-workers - I have no friends) do not understand and blame me for being who I am. Just finished reading a book (another one) on being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), and I totally understand what the means and the ways it affects my life. But all the "solutions" discussed rely on the people in your life understanding you as a HSP - what if the people who surround you don't want to know, or if they listen for even a moment, don't care or will not change? For financial and family reasons I need to stay where I am (I simply can't afford to leave my family or my job) and part of me understands that is not the answer - but what is? I really just want to find a way to survive my life, with the vague hope that one day it will get better - can anyone point me in some direction?
Hi WatcherG. I'm new to this and you're the second person I would recommend getting a dog. If your family are hard to talk to you'll find great satisfaction satisfaction from man's best friend. Pets for therapy- was the best decision I ever made. Sadly mine has passed & unable to have one at the moment 😞 unconditional to the point of always there for you. Talking with your canine friend can be the best anti depressant ever & a hug from one can change your mood & your day. I cried into his neck, he tried locking me better. Plus he never told anyone what I told him. Ha ha
It doesn't mean you lose other relationships but there's a special bond that gives you a feeling of never being misunderstood, lonely in your thoughts or unloved. Just a suggestion as I too had tried so many options to give my life meaning. I'm in my 60s now and really don't think I would be here today except my 'Buddy' of nearly 18 years helped me through SO MUCH. I believe he saved me. He was my reason for getting up in the morning. Really miss it now - so much 😢
I think the most liberating question that comes with being sensitive is 'What do you get a sense of?', as opposed to hearing people say 'You're way too sensitive' (shutting us down with what's basically an insult). The answers could be 'I sense a depressing situation/person, when I feel one. I get a sense of neglect, when I feel it. I can easily sense someone/something working me up to stress/anxiety. I get a sense of the need to find people who can relate' and the list goes on and on. To trust what we sense (when we're a HSP) becomes the ultimate challenge, as opposed to being led to believe it's all in our imagination or we're over reacting. Learning to fully trust what we can get a sense of is a self esteem booster. Just because other people can't sense it (what's depressing, upsetting, stressful etc), doesn't mean it's not there.
I've found while psychology and biology/chemistry tend to relate to heightened sensitivity as generally being a problem that needs to be managed of fixed, outside the square kind of stuff sees heightened sensitivity as an ability to be mastered, an ability that comes with a heck of a lot of challenges. As someone once said to me 'If you want to master a certain ability, find a circle of people who can help you do it'. Trying to master something on our own can be slow going. If you want to look for a group of people who want to master their ability to feel through their nervous system and master the challenges that come with that, a variety of different forms of group meditation or yoga might be the way to go. So many different types, as 'one size' does not fit all. Whether you want to really go outside the square and explore through some course, with a group of people, how to sense clearly and constructively from a more soulful or natural perspective, a course in 'clear sensing' could be another way to go. How far outside the square you wish to go is up to you. It becomes about finding a group you can relate to and who can relate to you.
If soulful exploration's not your thing, a fascinating rabbit hole offshoot is quantum physics - how energy behaves under certain conditions, including the energy in our own body. How to raise the energetic vibration of every cell in our body from basic activity to hyperactivity (leading us out of a depressing lack of energy) is one thing. How to slow the vibration down (to a resting state known as 'peace') is another. How to turn the dial up and down when it comes to volume of energy and frequency (different feelings) is an exploration in the way of fine tuning.
I figure if I can't find answers inside the square, as to why I struggle at times with what's depressing and anxiety inducing, I see it as an invitation to go outside the square and see what's there. So much fascinating stuff outside the square. An enthusiastic sense of wonder is the gateway to exploration. Btw, becoming full of wonder technically makes you wonderful. I imagine you're already a wonderful person, having explored so much.🙂
I totally understand Im Bipolar and I had an episode at the beginning of the year and I thought Id pick up a book to read and the book I picked upu was the book of joy by the dalia lama. This book as I readit explained to me the concept of firstly compassion for other's and my community. It taught me to forgive other's when they do something wrong. Most importantly it taught me acceptance of my condition and always be gratful for my family for my community and the life I have. This is a difficult path you walk and I feel for you the other thing that helped me was exercise by finding something that you like to do and stick at it. I know it hard for others to totally understand what your going through but I promise everything will be oright for you. You could also change your diet and see if that helps your situation.
We are always here to support and care for you at beyond blue
I can really hear your frustration in your post. All the books and websites and techniques and strategies you have tried haven't really changed anything for you.
I can relate to that frustration. For me, trying lots of things also created a sense of helplessness. I would try so many different things and it just didn't seem to work, or to help me or my situation. I kept trying all sorts of things, mindfulness, meditation, tapping, breathing, medications, supplements, etc etc etc. Over time, I learned that no matter what I do - it doesn't change anything. Thankfully, I have come out of that cycle now. I had a few acupuncture treatments recently that helped to reset my nervous system and then all the things that I had been doing started to help me to feel better. I think it would be different for everyone, though.
I am hesitant to suggest anything for you to try because it sounds like you have tried so many different things and they haven't worked for you. I don't want to add anything else to that list! Maybe you could try not trying so hard to change yourself? As I am writing this, the words acceptance, and self-kindness come to mind. Go easy on yourself. The world is a tough place for sensitive people.
But I can offer you empathy - I feel you and I know that feeling of frustration well. It's hard. Especially if you don't have people around you who get who you are. I am sure there are many people on the forum who can relate to what you experiencing, too.