highly sensitive person

When You’re a HSP Living In A Scary World

If the state of the world is seriously messing with your sensitive and tender heart right now, I want you to know you aren’t alone. It’s okay if it’s making you want to shut down right now. I feel it too, HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), that I am. HSPs are sensitive to emotions. Not only do we feel our own emotions deeply, but we feel the emotions of other people deeply as well.

The last few months, the last few years, have been hard. Challenging.

It’s difficult to sort out how you feel, why you feel it, and what to do about those feelings.

It’s okay to be sensitive. To feel deeply. I’m right there with you. I’m sad. Confused. I’m angry and I feel that layer of discord that’s coloring my world.

highly sensitive person

I wish I could pack up my favorite blankets and books, my cats, my collection of teas, and move to a cabin in the mountains with a spotty internet connection.

It feels like the news has been one sucker punch to my heart after another. The political climates in the US and Britain, police brutality, racial injustice, terrorist attacks, school shootings. It’s utterly terrifying.

My heart can’t take it. And it makes me feel like a really shitty person.

We are told that we have to speak. That being quiet is a symptom of our privilege. That silence sides with the oppressors. And that is all true.

As someone who is biracial, I feel even more so that it is my duty to be outspoken, to champion for equality.

“I should say something,” I think. “I should join in the hundreds of thousands of voices that are speaking from their hearts and their righteous anger at the injustice of the world.”

And sometimes I do. I get fired up. I engage in respectful debate, I try to educate, spread awareness, and champion the causes that I believe in. Yet I feel so lacking, that I should be doing more.

But it is also not that easy and sometimes I can’t.

I have been in debates and conversations that have left me so socially and emotionally exhausted that I isolate myself for days afterward. There have been debates that have turned into attacks on my character that have put me into the spiral of depression or triggered panic attacks. We don’t all have thick skin and we can’t all shake it off. There are news articles that will make me feel like I can’t turn off those emotions and then I’m emotionally checked.

It gets to the point where I’m doing that thing that those of us with anxiety do. There’s this hours and hours long loop in my head, almost an obsession about it, of things that I want to say, maybe should say, but I can’t because despite the rehearsals in my head the minute my fingers hit the keyboard there’s nothing there that sounds coherent. So I stay silent. But silence is part of the problem. Silence is the enemy. I know that. Everyone says it, that you’re supposed to speak up, pick a side, get involved, rally. Be a voice. But some days, all I’ve got is silence and it’s not because I don’t care but because I care so much.

I can’t put my feelings into words.

I’ve seen people on social media saying that chanting and praying and good thoughts won’t fix a thing. And I get it. I really do. But somedays that’s all I’ve got. I’m a cup and each one of these things that are happening in the world are poking holes in the bottom of my cup and all I’ve got to give are those words while I’m trying to keep myself from being emptied. Some people are filled up with injustice and they go to battle for their causes and I cheer them on. “Thank you. You are so brave and passionate and beautifully ferocious in your pursuit to make things better.”

I can’t be the warrior. I can’t be like them.

But there are things we can do.

And maybe I’m a little ashamed that I’m not that person on the front lines. But there are things that I

But my heart just can’t take it.

Like I said, it’s been a difficult few months and until now I haven’t been able to put it into words. Every time the news breaks I break right along with it because I want the world to be a better place and I want all of us to be good to one another. I’ve had to step away from the news and from Facebook for my sanity. For my own mental health and still, sometimes all I can do is try to collect my feelings, thoughts, and emotions and function through the day.

Maybe that’s you too.

You aren’t alone.

You just have to do what you can do.

Practice self care. Take care of yourself. Be good to people. Be a good people. Practice loving others and be accepting of them. Do what you can do.