mixed media visual journal by Anna Chamberlain (sticker is from a Listerine bottle)

mixed media visual journal by Anna Chamberlain (sticker is from a Listerine bottle)

my depth of processing
a sensitivity to subtle stimuli
creates emotional reactivity

being overly aroused –
not as fun as it sounds –
contributes to my
vastly nuanced nature

an innate trait
hardwired into my
nervous system
makes me different
I live in a CAPITAL
letter world

full of bright lights and loud noises
a shock and awe campaign
against my nerves
a life of too much stimulation

I need time alone
to recuperate from this
strongly empathetic,
intuitive existence
this overactive conscientiousness

introversion encounters
my complex inner life
I’m moved immensely
by music and art
these creative gifts
of my active imagination

I chastise myself:
don’t cry at road kill
feel love with casualness
develop thicker skin
focus less on others
BE NORMAL FOR FIVE MINUTES

I engage my copings strategies:
overachieving (an understatement)
because I don’t want to be criticized
walking on eggshells (tightrope)
because I am deeply affected by your moods
project a veneer of self-assurance (pretending)
because I want to be like you

yet I cannot be other than I am
so this intense, responsive,
O-V-E-R-W-H-E-L-M-E-D
(highly sensitive person)
will have to become empowered
by naming this state of being,
become emboldened by its truth

If you’d like to take a psychologically valid self-test to see if you’re a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) you may do so here.

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