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Here I sit on a Thursday night tapping away on my keyboard. I’m tapping to save my life. I’m what you call a highly sensitive person. I never knew my condition had a name with signs and symptons before. Now I do. It helps to have an explanation and that I am not the only one. There are even articles and books explaining me! I have all the 8 signs according to the article by Arcadian Counseling site. They are:

  • You’re very emotional. …
  • You’re very compassionate and generous. …
  • You’re sensitive to criticism. …
  • You feel different from everyone else and sometimes alone. …
  • You’re sensitive to external stimuli. …
  • You overthink and worry. …
  • You’re intuitive. …

For sure the signs describe me. My thoughts and feelings are very strong. They affect me deeply and not in a good way. My episode with my crazy neighbour is still with me. I like and want to let go but the thoughts and feelings keep reverberating through me. They are strong enough to kill me. I’m not proud that I am such a seemingly petty person. I feel like such a failure letting her get under the skin when I know the only way to deal with such a person is total disengagement. But hey, I am not a machine. I am not foolproof. I am actually a fool in many ways.

I hang on to bad relationships way past the best due date to the point of self-harm. Yes, like someone said I brought it upon myself. She said I was ripe for the picking. She saw that, too and took advantage of my compassion and generosity. It wasn’t the guy she texted late at night about her sad story. It was me. I’m not really doing a show and tell. Really, I’m not. I’m hoping by putting it on the page, I will stop all this tape playing in my head. I do have a jukebox in my head but it’s not playing the right songs now. It’s spewing forth poison and I need an antidote. Have you ever felt this way? Or am I the only one like this after all?

The counseling site does offer some helpful suggestions:

  • See your sensitivity as a positive, not a negative
  • Remember: there is nothing wrong with you and you are not alone
  • As much as possible avoid negative people, places and situations
  • Set firm boundaries with people who take advantage of your compassion and empathy
  • Practice regular self-care through exercise, meditation, and mindfulness
  • Give yourself the same empathy and kindness as you do others

Sometimes I feel there is much wrong with me and I am very alone. It is good to know that there isn’t and that I am not alone. I know I have trouble setting firm boundaries. I’m more compassionate and generous to others than myself. I am quite hard and stingy with myself. Now I wish I hadn’t given away my acoustic guitar. But I had bought myself a Gibson. I thought it good to share some of what I have. It makes me sad and angry that my friend let her grandkids play and it’s destroyed. It was a beautiful instrument. I know. A gift is something without strings attached. Being human, I still regret my decision. For sure the strings are long gone.

So comes the end of this post and evening. Like I said before, it’s not a show and tell or blaming. I’m trying to save my life, working on letting go. Am I being dramatic? Life is hard. I do the work every day. I slipped and let someone trip me up. I allowed her to do it to me. There’s the rub that’s hard to erase. My anger is more towards myself than anyone else. Ultimately we responsible for what we bring to ourselves. I accept my part in it. My huge lesson learned. Now I hope I can find peace and sleep. tonight.


Dang, it is that time in the evening again. Time flies. I guess I shouldn’t complain. It seems I’m busy with things to do and places to go to. Tomorrow is Chinese New Year. I wouldn’t have known that if an email friend haven’t sent a greeting. I thought it would be in February. It’s good to have friends who keep you in the know.

I don’t really have a lot of friends. I can count them on one hand. What a thing to admit to, eh? It’s not a bad thing though I DO feel deficient at different times. I can’t handle too many people in my life. I  I’m an introvert, and highly sensitive. I have all the signs. So it is a good thing that I don’t have a whole bunch of people in my life. I would be so stressed and I would piss off many of them. There’s a silver lining under every cloud.

Don’t get me wrong. I am social. I love and need my friends. I just don’t need as/so many as other people. I could have more than I realize. I was surprised hearing that loneliness is such a problem in the UK that they have a minister of loneliness. This man in the UK had spent the last 20 years alone. After the story broke, people responded with a tree, gifts, visits and calls. Christmas is just one day. What about the rest of the year? How do we fix that?

I shouldn’t really be surprised about the loneliness problem. We live such insular lives. Most of us here drive everywhere in our private vehicles. Often we are the only one in the car. I didn’t realize how cut off that made me feel from other people until I had to take the bus because of parking problems. Now I take it once a week to my class on campus. I feel richer for the people contact. I’m in the midst of the young and not so young.

Add to that, I’ve restarted taking Sheba to the off-leash dog parks. We frequented them during our younger years. We’ve been doing mostly just the neighbourhood beat the last 6 or 7 years. We had a group of ‘friends’ at the parks. It was nice to walk and talk together. Some we know, some we knew just first names and some we just knew by faces. Still we felt sort of like family – at the dog park. That group have disappeared but we are now getting to know a different group by going at the same time each day.

Though I have only a very few close friends, all the people that touch my day and life enrich me and help give me a sense of meaning and purpose. I have little groups of ‘family’ and ‘friends’ in different corners – the YWCA, ex-workplace colleagues, Facebook, Instagram, blogoshpere, my email group….It’s good to have friends.

It’s late. I have to say good night. I have to swim in the morning. Here’s a video about an afternoon with my friends to take us out of this 24 day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.



February – you are the heart month but you are also the coldest month so far. How am I suppose to keep heart? My fingertips are cracked and bleeding from the chill. That will teach me to take my gloves off to capture your icy beauty with my camera. I wince with each tap on the keyboard. It is worth it though. It all helps to give me heart, to keep it beating, to perfuse me with a creative force. It helps to have added purpose for Sheba’s and mine daily walks.

Keeping heart is sometimes hard for me. I feel things deeply – the highs and the lows. I bounce around like a rubber ball. I can run hot and cold at the same time. You might call me a HSP, a highly sensitive person. I fit the descriptions very well. I have all the 21 signs, most notably the need for alone time and absorbing other people’s feelings. Hell, all 21 points are strong in me.

I’ve never really checked into it before now. Maybe understanding myself better will help me to navigate life better. I hope it will lead to having an easier time relating to others and managing my emotions. Dang, life is frigging hard! There’s still things to learn no matter how old I am. I’m all for it. Bring it on.

I wonder why I have such a hard time. I guess it’s that HSP part in me. I feel too much. Why must I? I don’t like it one bit. Too bad, says the big guy in the sky. That’s who you are. Live with it. And so I must. Everything, no matter how small, that I can do for myself will help. At the end of it, they will be monumental, the very things that can tip an iceberg. So I gotta have heart, keep plugging away and put one foot in front of the other. I’m on the Yellow Brick Road. I want to find the Land of Oz and the Emerald City. I will follow Dorothy and her motley crew- the Scarecrow, The Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. Onward ho!


I’m stretching myself, trying to move a little faster. I poke along like a snail with my head inside my shell. I have no vision or plan. It’s no wonder I get nowhere expediently. I’m just riding a stationary bike. I can’t even tread water. At the moment, I’m sipping tea and snacking on sweet potato chips. It’s not great for staving off drowsiness. It’s something once started, hard to stop. I’ve instructed the guy not to buy them for me any more.

I was talking about forgetting how to turn on my headlights the other night. It was such a strange thing. This morning in the car I could plainly see where the lever was. How could I possibly forget? It was as if there was an empty spot in my brain at the time. A black hole. I vowed to strive for better brain health. I’m giving it some serious thought.

Aside from a little snacking now and again, I eat a pretty healthy diet. I’ve cut out endless cups of coffee since I’ve retired. I’m catching and making up for my sleep deprivation from shift work. I think I have 2 more years to go according to some research. I go to aerobics 3 times a week. I swim once a week. I walk Sheba every day.

I’ve been monitoring myself for toxic emotions. It’s my biggest fault and downfall. I’m a highly sensitive person. I feels things deeply – the good and the bad. I hang onto feelings for a long time. I take things personally. Not so good. I could at one time feel my cortisol level rise with my emotions. I have better control now. I’m slowly learning to relax and to let go a little. I have a long ways to go yet. I’m aware and working on it. Then there’s the toxic relationships. Nothing kills more brain cells than toxic emotions and relationships. It’s something to talk about for another day.