ever since i was a little kid - i have had a great need for stillness. i never knew that's what it was, but it definitely made itself known. i have always been extremely empathetic; most counselors, therapists, and my parents and friends even say to a fault - and that takes a big toll. it's exhausting and dangerous. as i've grown up- i have learned to somewhat protect myself, but i haven't learned how to ALWAYS protect myself, and most of the time before i even know it's happening - i'm drained. it makes me susceptible to narcissists, sociopaths, and energy drainers. it's surrounded me with stalkers and addicts and people who are lost and sad and need encouragement. that's the other challenging part of my personality - i'm an enneagram 7: "the enthusiast, the cheerleader, the entertainer". all 3 of those things are quite exhausting to a highly sensitive person, even though it's my natural state to be those things. as an extroverted introvert and empath - merging all these personality traits has led me straight into a crisis of mind and body this year.
several months ago, i fell into a deep anxiety-driven depression and haven't been able to pull myself out. right now - i'm on a doctor prescribed wellness-retreat. i am only 3 days in.. in the mountains, in the cool, in nature, in the quiet... and already feel more at ease and more at peace than i have in the last 2 and a half years. my mind is starting to relax. the tightness in my chest is starting to let go. i'm starting to sleep and don't feel like sobbing or screaming every time something slightly irritates me.
dealing with my empathetic nature has been a very double-edged sword. on one hand - i believe it makes me a great human, a good friend, a good listener, a good teacher, a good daughter, and a good wife. it helps me be non-judgemental, kind, encouraging to those in pain and to people in general. HOWEVER - when i don't take care of myself (and like i said, for most of my life i have had no clue how to take care of this part of me) - it makes me a nightmare to be around. i can't listen, can't concentrate, am angry for reasons i can't understand or explain, start crying at the drop of a hat, am constantly filled with intense anxiety, can't be near people i'm not completely comfortable around, and can't get more than an hour of fitful sleep at night.
and so - i need stillness. i'm needing it more and more and more. i'm finally learning how to ask for it, and how to be ok with giving it to, and creating it for myself. it has always been a very hard thing for me to say it's okay to be me. but i can do it for everyone else- so now it's time to learn how to do it for myself. being a highly sensitive person is TOUGH, but the stillness it requires- i love. i'm thankful for these challenges, i'm thankful for the uniqueness of me. it makes me grateful to be alive... and grateful to be me.
1. music: "the light within" by The Westerlies
2. "AnaCptainslogue" by Noir et Blanc Vie
all footage shot and edited by shelly bort