To the People I Love…

hidingI realize that you have noticed odd behavior in me, and are worried. I know, that you know, that something is wrong. You love me, and want the best for me. You see that I am unhealthy, an underachiever, and reclusive. No, I am not on drugs, except my prescriptions. Yes, my mom mentioned to me that several of you have inquired about my symptoms and appearance, and I do not blame you. I know I look concerning. I have been too embarrassed, to tell you what was affecting me, and honestly, I believed that you wouldn’t truly understand, once I told you. You may have noticed my acting funny, or rude, and you may have even gotten sense that I am hiding something. I absolutely am. I have been hiding how deeply, a simple brain tick has broken me down further than I fear I will ever have the strength to build myself back up, but I am still trying. I downplay the impact, and avoid it, in person, mostly, for myself, but no one can deny, that I have, literally, dwindled down to pretty much nothing, and become stagnant.

I have a disorder.

I drive myself insane, trying to avoid sniffing, chewing, coughing, and various other everyday ambient sounds, visuals, and feelings, because of the way it affects my mind and body. This is an extreme, and constant chore. I have become a jumpy, eagle eyed, contortionist, which causes, anxiety and stress, and gives me headaches and body pains. I don’t want to be this way, but I realize I was just born sensitive, which encompasses many different types of sensitives, that I have to overcome. That is how I have to live. I started struggling, consistently, in school, once I hit puberty, around 5th grade. However, after I graduated from high school, while coming into adulthood, adding so many new responsibilities, and starting college, at the same time I was battling my own mind, I went into shock. I had an extremely hard time processing and adjusting. I basically shut down, and hardly took care of myself. I became very depressed, unhealthy, and my sensitivities became exponentially worse. If you want to know why I spend most of my time, staying in one place, doing a handful of the same things, and avoiding all human contact, it is because, that is the only way to lower my chances of being uncomfortable and stressed. I have learned to fake, what I call, “peopling,” but can only handle so much before I am over stimulated, and just want to go back home to peace and quiet. Which only makes me lonely, bored, and then sad, perpetuating my depression.

depressed-image-3This is a real, and life changing disorder that is highly under-researched.

There are millions of people out there like me, with very similar, depressing stories of “unusual” sensitivities, and alienation, I have personally spoken to quite a few, and there are countless testimonies online in support groups. The scientific community has begun to take interest, finally, within the past twenty, or so, years. This disorder is only, now, in the beginning stages of research, and still doesn’t quite make a whole lot of sense to anybody, especially those suffering from it. However, that does not change how detrimentally seriously, these weird sensitivities affect me, and others like me.

Young woman upset while reading weight on scale

Please, stop reminding me about my health.

I know that I am underweight, and I am consciously trying to change that, but the extreme amount of stress and anxiety my body undergoes, is counterproductive. Plus, my lack of drive to do anything at all, poses an obstacle. I suffer from depression, that I constantly try to distract myself from. I go back and forth between being extremely productive, “people-y”, overwhelmed, and stressed. Then, on the flip side, I shut myself in my house for days and watch Netflix and lollygag on the internet, hating myself for being such a freak, and an outcast. Thankfully, I can go to work, and hang out with kids all day long, because they don’t really tend to trigger me (I can make them blow their nose if need be.) Plus, it makes me feel good, knowing that I am positively influencing their lives. However, overall, this is not the life I want to live, but I am trying to do the best that I can, with it. Now I know what tools I was dealt, and I’m aware of my unique set of sensitivities.

I am educating myself, and have a plan.

Have begun taking calcium, iron, b-complex, and drink a protein shake in the morning. I eat 6 meals a day, high in protein, stretch and take care of my body, so that I can feel better overall. Even if it hurts, it takes effort, and I have zero drive to do anything. I know that the better I feel, more able I am to handle the extra stress my body and mind takes. I have been practicing more targeted coping methods, and investing in better quality earplugs and headphones. I don’t know what the future will hold for me, but now I know that I am in control of it, not my disorder. I am still human. I am my parents’ child, and the product of my family. I am relentless, and refuse to be a victim. I will come out on top. My sensitivities will not define me.

“I paced around for hours on empty
I jumped at the slightest of sounds
And I couldn’t stand the person inside me
I turned all the mirrors around

I’m bigger than my body
I’m colder than this home
I’m meaner than my demons
I’m bigger than these bones”

“Control,” by Halsey

To the people I love… I need your help.

Please, don’t be mad when I act peculiar, avoidant, or seem panicked, that only makes me mad at myself, and creates a bigger challenge when calming myself down. I don’t expect you to walk on eggshells, but if you could simply be conscious, and understanding of what bothers me. If you could even warn me, or avoid it, and then not dwell on it afterwards, that would be extremely relieving for me. I just need help, to be strong, overcome my disorder, and take control of my life. I need to feel validated. Help me and support me, instead of knocking me down, with good intentions, and a partial lack of understanding. I would be a lot happier, and a lot more fun. Please educate yourself about Misophonia (my aversion to sounds) and Misokenesia (my aversion to sights). Also, anxiety, depression, agoraphobia, and OCD, that I have been diagnosed with.

handsI will be sending this out, to those I love, and I hope that it opens up dialogue between us, and shortens the distance I feel from you. Mental illnesses, and disorders are always the elephant in the room, when all that does is create tension, anxiety, causes stigma, and divides people. Now that I am more comfortable talking about myself, you will get tired of hearing about my struggles; I get tired of experiencing them. That’s the whole catch, about it being a life altering disorder. Life is going to be an interesting experience for me, and a lot of things scare the hell out of me, for both sensitivity related reasons, and natural human fears. I hope that I am surrounded by understanding, support, and love through all of it.