First time, I’ve heard of HSP, it was thank’s to my inmate penpal who was and still is struggling with depression, and following a psychoterapy during his journey in Chino, CA.
By the way, today he’s getting pretty better, since he got a job, as inmate, in the “local” library.
Since then, not only I’m aware of being HSP, but of course I am supporting Elaine Aron’s activity, by subscribing to her mailing list, on the HSPerson.com and here you get her message for the first retreat for HSP therapists, which I find a great opportunity to spread out her validation of HSP around the world. If you live in California, and you know any therapists who might be interested in this retreat, please, forward or reblog. I appreciate it.
This is for the therapists among you — a quick message about a retreat for you because of the April 1st “Early Bird” price. I will send an email for all, with a blog, in a few weeks.
HIGHLY SENSITIVE THERAPIST RETREAT
An educational and restorative experience, organized by Beth Dawson and April Snow, to learn more about yourself as a Sensitive Person, discover ways to thrive in your work and connect with other Highly Sensitive Therapists (HSTs).
Speakers include Dr. Elaine Aron and other HSTs discussing topics such as self-compassion, perfectionism, and using our Superpowers to build our businesses. Created specifically with the needs of HSTs in mind, the retreat includes single-occupancy rooms, all meals, access to nature, yoga classes, CEs and more.
About Elaine Aron, …
The PTSD Beautiful Trauma Project was born in France, in 2018, after 3 years from terrorist attacks to the “Charlie Hebdo Magazine” Board Office. Despite not being an activist, neither politically, nor labour councillor, I felt soon concerned and, in fact, I was. They say that, if you want to grow and evolve, in a lifetime, you get what you need, and not what you want. This was my case.
After multiple and unfortunate events, in Paris suburbs (2015), I woke up from burn out one mild day in mid-September, and I finally began my journey with struggling with PTSD as trauma survivor.
The social, both personal and professional, context I have been through this Parisian terror season, not only put me in a diseased mental health condition, but also forced me to a life-changing transformation. Understanding, first, talking and taking actions, in the aftermath, were the only way to move forward.
Today, although, my work position is still in progress, as well as my emotional, physical and psychological state, my Body/Mind Health and Wellbeing are developing and improving one day at time. Panic attacks are over. Anger is a best friend of mine. Finally, I could find my purpose, and stick into my big dreams and life goals.
One side, the technique of Self-Discovery, thanks to the professional help of a kind lady, from the Occupational Psychologist Service, led me to a process of looking at my own identity, and therefore finding my True Self (Empathic and Highly Sensitive). On another side, my personal journey with PTSD recover was a chance to explore my potential, gifts and spiritual Path.
What could I ask more from a tragic event, and a chaos state of mind, other than survival? This project and my present life driving’s force speak out loud.
A couple of valuable aims will be sharing my personal tips about coping with PTSD, and ultimately, co-creating a community around Mental Health awareness, as well as Common Values.
Motto: What goes around comes around
We are all related.
here you are, one of my fave movies of all times. Not only because it’s set in the 60’s. It definitely deals with one of my fave topic: “understanding emotions”.
“When he look at me he doesn’t see how much I am incomplete. He sees me as I am”.
Hey, I wish I can find my Mr Mermaid. And you?
Just got back from work, and took the time to read your story, James. Thank you for not putting details and keep that distance, that is necessary, when you want to recover from PTSD. Sure, I will follow your ultra from a distance, and I wonder if the other guy from Canada, proud owner of Vatic Foundation, will join you on his bycicle along with Ginger, his dog. By the way, your story reminds me of french policemen, during the last “attacks season“. Just mention a quick but deep gratitude, and grand compassion, for those guys, and ladies, who are serving and living these times of thrills and adrenaline, to say the least. Still on orange alert, here. Pity to say that we are getting used to it.
Your PTSD look very much like a typical burn out, which an Italian psychologist would define soul related disorder like panic attacks. Your personal and career transformation is huge. Congrats! Very humbling. And I wish you and Lisa to live a fulfilling life together. Unfortunately, I hadn’t the same luck with my partners. But they are men;) lol
Well, I hope this eye blink makes you smile and look forward to knoe the rest of the story. It’s rare that men gain self awareness, I mean, this is new for me, perhaps, in Australia and Canada, you are more advanced in self development. Pray for us all, brothers, that we can do a good job on this subject, PTSD, and make it an opportunity to grow, and evolve, as a Team. James, in case you were wondering, you might be hired as the “Captain”. If you feel okay with it. Sorry, I hope you don’t mind, if I put your story on my blog. As brother in arms. Wish you well.
Over the next 6 months, I will be confronting and sharing my journey with PTSD as I prepare to compete in an international endurance event to change the stigma surrounding mental health and PTSD survivors. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am a survivor. My Beginnings I grew up on the Gold Coast, Queensland. […]
When you overreact to events, like crying before other people, and can’t avoid sadness overwhelm you after catching up with media news, then you are probably a so-called « highly sensitive person ». The earlier you get it, the better. Before my burn out and fake alert trauma, I knew that I was a sensitive person, and sometimes acting like a « little girl », but I wasn’t aware of it like a gift. Being sensitive more than 80 per cent of world population? What a present, I was thinking. Acceptation came actually like thunder’s lighting, after a long time of struggling and fighting against my own personality. When, finally, I met this penpal whose story was much stronger than mine, since he is serving a sentence in a californian jail, for 16 years now, and 7 are left. My penfriend was HSP him self and he had the chance to get a good lady doctor as psychotherapist.
If you allow me, I’ll share this article with you, it is from the magazine « Shambala : The Sacred Path of Warrior » :
« Basic goodness is very closely connected to the idea of bodhicitta in the Buddhist tradition. Bodhi means « awake » or « wakeful » and citta means « heart », so bodhicitta is « awakend heart ». Such awakened heart comes from being willing to face your state of mind. That may seem like a great demand, but it is necessary. You should examine yourself and ask how many times you have tried to connect with your heart, fully and truely. How often have you turned away, because you feared you might discover something terrible about yourself ? How often have you be willing to look at your face in the mirror without being embarrassed ? How many times have you tried to shield yourself by reading the newspaper, watching television, or just spacing out ? That is the sixty-four-thousand dollar question : How much have you connecteted with yourself at all in your whole life ? » The sitting practice of meditation … is the means to rediscover basic goodness, and, beyond that, it is the means to awaken this genuine heart within yourself. When you sit in the posture of meditation, you are exactly the naked man or woman that we describerd earlier, sitting between heaven and earth. When you slouch, you are trying to hide your heart, trying to protect it by slumping over. But when you sit upright but relaxed in the posture of meditation, your heart is naked. Your entire being is exposed – to yourself, first of all, but to others as well. So, through practice of sitting still and following your breath as it goes out and dissolves, you are connecting with your heart. By simply letting yourself be as you are, you develop genuine sympathy toward yourself. Conventionally, being fearless means that you are not afraid or that, if someone hits, you will hit him back. However, we are not talking about that street-fighter level of fearlessness. Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others. »
In order to better understand if you are an HSP I’ll put this article from this blogger, who seems very HSP like. You’ll see that feeling weird, quiet and out of place is absolutely normal and a good sign that you are being your true Self.
You also find a podcast from Alanis Morissette with Elaine Aron, author of « Highly Sensitive Person : How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You”.
Today I was reading this blog page, talking about suicidal survivor, and I found my self wondering what kept me safe from going down, in last two years. I mean, I’ve been depressive, and bipolar, when younger, and at age of 43, I admit that I am, proudly, NO MORE. During my journey, I’ve been told that bipolar was for life, that you can’t sort it out without medical treatments, or psychological support.
Of course, I have been in psychothearapy, and self discovery. Talking to someone neutral and stranger to you is a good key. Not judgemental. Not involved. That’s a perfect therapy. While you’re talking about your issues, and thoughts, to someone who is listening is magical. Psychotherapy is just THIS. The person in front of you acts like a mirror, she or he allows you to listen to your own words. You finally have a witness to your suffering and that is a good start for healing. Or, at least, understanding. Therefore, UNDERSTANDING, is the beginning of healing. When you become conscious of your triggers, perhaps, you also realize that overthinking leads to paranoia. Ollalla’. Not easy to recognize at which point you became a « paranoid ». But it all starts from you. Forget that a stranger will tell you what’s wrong with you. Or your childhood. You do the job. Most often you just need a guide, a coach or a good listener.
Yes, I’ve been paranoid, especially when working at night shift. I simply hated not sleeping on a daily bases, and going to bed at 9 in the morning, when most of other people started their day. Or not falling asleep until exhausted. Or waking up after 21 hours, and checking news, just to make sure that you didn’t miss anything important. I was so tuned on negative thinking that I felt like there was a conspiracy against me. Like if all my colleagues disliked me and everybody else ignored me. If I existed or not, it didn’t make any difference. Paranoia, you said it.
When I was 23 I’ve started with Yoga for getting a nicer silhouette, but I already felt like this discipline was more than just physical excercise. Since then, I’ve been keeping practicing once a week. That was pretty fine for me, one hour now and then. Not much effort. Beginner classes suited me well. Until I went though my last peak of stress, last year.
When I started cutting my hair shorter, yes, darling. And decided to do my yoga every single day, once back home from work. Sometimes at 22 pm, now 19 pm. Depends on my time management.
So, I’ve tried a few channels, until I finally found my fave one. Not only my body became slimmer, and stronger, but my mind was more focus and could concentrate on my class in breathing and out breathing. Sometimes 30 minutes, or one hour in my weekend days. Leaving time for rest, at least one day per week. It became a wonderful way to distress my frustration and felt like I wanted more. When I read that yoga helps with depression issues I didn’t catch it. What’s the matter ? How can physical practice be related with being anxious or depressed ? ( mental issues )
Body, and mind, are definitely strictly connected.
Often you feel depressed because you have fear, you are not well in your situation and you knoe that you need a change, but you don’t take risk to move out of your (un)comfort zone. Victim status might also be cosy. It’s not your fault.
Practice in yoga means getting used to unbalance. You can fall, you are allowed, and you can laugh at your falling. And try again. Until you do better.
When you work your balance and breathing, with yoga, your subconscious keep focused and you empty your mind. That’s the useful meditative work done.
Tonight a friend told me, that my fear is the fear of existence of other. Oh my, really ? And I happily realized this, if you are reading this article, you shall consider how much you love your Self. Me too, I had this idea that I hated my Self …
It’s not true. You lost your confidence. Or other people made you loose your precious confidence. Often it’s parents or peers. Sometimes strangers. Most often is self sabotage and your worse enemy lies inside.
Until you meet your dragon, and stare at his fiery eyes. And his face is not a mirror, but it helps you to build up your Ego.
Body, emotion, and mind, align again. You become a whole.
Paranoid ? Yes, so what ?
Yes, according to Sebastian Junger, from his book « Tribe », people who develop chronic PTSD are more likely to have lived experiences before going to war or living their trauma. « Statistically, the 20 per cent of people who fail to overcome trauma tend to be those who are already burdened by psychological issues, either because they inherited them or because they suffered abuse as children. » As long as I’m concerned, depression was a family “present”. Depression, in my own words, is the way your soul is telling you how much you NEED to be loved. My grandfather used to spend days in bed, because of financial burdens. He was born in 1910, can you imagine ? Previous treatment for depression was electroshock. By the way, he died at age of 95. His last years he followed a therapy with psychodrug injections. His dreams turned into nightmares. He once told me that he woke up dreaming that he was LITERALLY on fire. The rest of the time, he was okay, especially, when he could hear classical music on his ears. No, not mp3, but simply allucinations.
At age 20, he was a navy led, he proudly attended the Amerigo Vespucci training school, and enjoyed telling me his stories from sailing with Admiral Alberto Da Zara ( one of most renowned charachter, in Italian Royal Navy, who asked him to take care of his own dog, Pippo, on leave time ). His fave tale at Xmas eve. It’s not natural, that grandpas die before we get old. I would like he could speak to me now, and teach me, how to sort all of this mess out.
« Learn english ». This was his statement. « It will open you doors ». He told me this after telling me the story of that unforgettable trip on the Channel, when he had the worst time of his life, because of very bad weather, and eventually, thought he wouldn’t come back home again. He made good friends on that trip, and definitely, enjoyed talking to brits. My grandpa was a storyteller, and, of course, as little girl I was taught to listen to elderly, but I did enjoy it, I promise. So was and still is my dad. This means not only we have the same way to face difficulties (depression is a reaction), but also, we pass on the same way to cope with them. So, pay attention on the illnesses and diseases your family is suffering since generations. They tell you who you are. If this is your case, the 20 per cent is telling you that you are a highly sensitive person and you have to take care of your Self. And your family, it goes without saying.
Sensitive : easily upset by the things people say or do, or causing people to be upset, embarrassed, or angry.
Are your an HSP? Try this :http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/
At the time of Paris attacks, january and november 2015, I was already struggling with chronic stress due to toxic work and lifestyle. Anger and frustration made me piss off all my dears, lover and best friends. All I needed was a warm and deep hug, listening, caring, and the way I had to call for it was just screaming and exploding in violent raptus of rage.
My boyfriend eventually ran away. He had two children, divorced, so I repeat to my self that I can’t blame him, if he couldn’t stand by me, upright. Btw he didn’t either make any effort to try to understand what was wrong with me. He just found that we quarrelled too much. Raise your hand if you went through low self esteem issues. « Am I worthy ? » « Will I ever find the right person who can stand by me upright ? » « Will I die alone ? ». « Will I ever find a balance in life ? ». It goes without saying, mental health issues made me loose my job, or did I loose mental health because of that job? Serving people, in a multicultural entertainement environement, made me very passionate about it. Let me be honest with you, I was brilliant, and guests really appreciated my concern at their demands. The fact is that I really felt like I had been damaged, someway, because of other’s fault, too massive tourism flow (low cost budget packages), and severe, partly ghostly, management. The lack of staff, and destroying schedules planning, did the rest. Financial results were all that counted. The same week that I’ve got my sick leave, company’s director proudly announced, on a meeting with occupational medicine and unions, that our team was good, perhaps the best in statistiques. Psychological risks were zero.
Sure, I felt alone, powerless and, yes, the weakest link. Me, burnt out, no kidding.
Ok, now, no more excuses. When you put your self in a situation, more times in life, and you repeat the pattern, it’s not just a lack of chance, or others bad will, you shall investigate in depth. C’mon, it’s not your fault, I am not saying this, but it becomes your responsability. “What are you gonna do with that?” There’s some lesson there that waits to be learned by your Self. My first lesson, Self Love. Self care. Self worth. Scary, but true, I admit that at that point of my life, my routine didn’t have any purpose except to soldier on. No sense at all. “Metro, boulot, dodo.” The daily routine of commuting and work was leading me to apathy.
Apathy: when feeling becomes too much.