Just before my 30th birthday, a strange thing started happening each night. At 2 am, I would wake up with a start – heart beating like crazy, sweating, head dizzy, wonderinging what was going on. Then I would realise I am in my bed, start to relax, but falling back asleep would take hours. This continued for months until I was so fatigued I could barely function.
What was happening to me?
My mental defences and boundaries worked well enough during the day as I successfully pushed down any thought or emotion I didn’t pay attention to. At night – at my weakest – it was a different story as every neglected, supressed emotion resurfaced with a vengeance.
I went to a doctor, changed my sleeping arrangements, listened to calm music, but nothing worked.
No pill or external remedy can cure our internal turmoil.
Confronting the glaringly obvious – my internal state – was what changed things.
Proactively managing my fears and anxieties helped me with my panic attacks – haven’t had a serious one in more than 5 years!
This was the first time I experiences a completely paralyzing impact of emotional turmoil. It is only later I realized how ill-equipped I was to deal with my emotions.
So I dug myself into research and soon I realized that in a way, I tried and struggled with managing my emotions since I remember myself. All my life I heard I am ‘overly sensitive’, ‘intense’ or that I ‘overdramatize’. I was offered solutions like ‘get over myself’, ‘grow a thicker skin’, or ‘control myself’. When none of those worked, I numbed it down to the point of not feeling much at all, only to be accused of ‘living in my world too much’. Conversely, when I am happy, I’ve even been told to ‘calm down’!
Talking about trying to please everyone…
Luckily, I got a break when I found Dr. Elaine Aaron who shed a light on my sensitivity. A highly sensitive person – an HSPs – has hyperactivated nervous systems, more sensitive to stimulation. I realized that there are real, biological reasons for my enhanced emotional sensitivity – a trait found in 15-20% of humans and other species, and serving an important evolutionary purpose.
As an HSP, I get so easily stimulated by my environment that I only function if I proactively manage my emotions.
My life-long struggle with emotional turmoil gave me a lot of experience with emotions that I can share with you.
While I started this journey for my own survival, along the way I realized that others struggled with their emotions too. The stigma related to anything internal – mental state, emotional state, or overwhelm – often drives us underground when seeking help, often guiding us to questionable destinations.
Through test and trial, I learned to capture my panic attacks before they started, significantly reduced my anger outbursts, helped manage anxiety in relationships, got me through breakups, and most importantly – enhanced my every day through better emotional balance.
I created EmotionReady to bring emotional intelligence to our daily lives and better them.
You are NOT alone.
I’ve been there.
Let’s walk this journey together.