Today I would like to share the story of Kirsten, who for 20 years was in and out of hospital for various mental diseases and disorders. I want to share it, because she isn’t in that situation any more. I want to share it, because it took so little for her to get well. She just had to realize that she wasn’t her ailments. She just had to find out who she was, and that her emotions were all right.
Kirsten is a highly sensitive person. She always has been. When she was little she always wondered why she was so different from her friends. Why she felt so much. It got worse. She started to ease her pains by controlling them through food. Or rather, lack of it. She stopped eating, and was hospitalized. In those days that might mean that you weren’t allowed to see your parents, and in her case, it meant exactly that. Now that she knows that she was struggling to find herself, it seems obvious that this was a major mistake. She did not find herself through the medicines she was offered. On the contrary – she lost herself completely. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and more. Unable to speak properly and a mirror image that she didn’t recognize, she did not find out who whe was until 1998, when a doctor finally SAW her. Asked who she was, what she liked to do. Involved her parents, who had been in the wild as to what to do to help their daughter. It took four months of detox surrounded by friends and family before she enrolled on her journey home, to herself.
Watching the woman speak, before a crowd, you would never guess that she had been ill. Watching her speak makes you understand that she IS not ill. That illness is not part of who she is. As long as she was only treated for her illnesses, she didn’t get well. She had to find out who the real Kirsten was before she could find out what a healthy Kirsten could be like. And that is what she is today, and has been for many years.
High sensitivity is not a disease. It is something you are born with, that is just fine, or even fantastic, when you know what to do about it. Before treating any illness you might have because of it – because of not understanding what it is – it seems vital that you understand the HSP part. HSP is a part of you. Your illness is not. You should learn to live with your strong emotions, not treat them. They are there for a reason. They are there to tell you to be aware. Whether it is good or bad, you are lucky to see the signs. Don’t be afraid; live with it! It’s you!
The story of Kirsten is a true story. It’s a story of a girl who struggled to find her place in society and got lost. It’s a story of a system that didn’t understand her and medicated away her own good self. It’s a story of someone identifying the problem and showing her the way out. Thus it is a story telling us that it is possible. An illness is not a part of you. Find out who you are before you can give yourself some more space, until you are you completely.
Beautiful, isn’t it? And so true.
If you like the story – please share.
If you read Norwegian, the original story is here.