Highly Sensitive People need more self care than most. In this vlog I talk about Christine Miserandino’s 2003 essay, “The Spoon Theory” and how it applies to not only those with a physical illness but those who may are highly sensitive. It also applies to those with anxiety, depression or those who maybe just don’t have the energy they need to do it all due to whatever invisible illness may be happening.
As a Mom of two, I frequently meet other Mommas, and hope there is a connection. I mean, there really should be a connection…our kids are the same age, they go to the same school/camp/club, our values are similar, we end up at the same events and are Facebook friends…yet when we talk, there isn’t a vibe. This used to happen when I was dating too, the guy seemed great, he was sweet, caring, we seemed to have similar values, yet he maybe didn’t get my quirky humor or couldn’t relate to those deeper things that mattered to me. Most of us have experienced this on some level. That whole feeling of on paper we are a perfect match, in reality…well, quite frankly it is easier talking to a wall. Now I am friendly enough with these people, however, I often walk away confused…like, “huh, everything seemed right…what went wrong there?” On the other hand, I have met people that look so different from me, yet when we meet there is such a deep connection that it feels like we are picking up a friendship that we left off just yesterday. (Maybe we are, past lives anyone?) It was like when we met, we were updating each other on our lives, and then returning to a friendship that had always been. I had a friend that used to call these people “Old Sames”. I love that.
So how come some people are the wall and others are the old sames? How can some feel so off, and others feel so right? What I have discovered is that they are just not my type of crazy. Over the years, I have discovered I don’t think like most people. I take those surveys on personality type and always fall in the 10 percent range….that means the reality is I don’t think like 90 percent of the population. This means that even if everything looks like it should be a match, it won’t always be, because I am seeing things through odd color lenses. As a kid into my early 20’s, I always thought that there was something wrong with me. I mean, how could there be so many people out there that just seem so bizarre to me? However, as I have begun to embrace my difference…I realized that there is nothing wrong with me, it’s just my connection to others take a little more time to grow. When I do connect, those connections are usually long-term, deep and fulfilling in a way that makes it worth the wait.
So, why am I sharing this? Who cares? Well the reality is that all of us occasionally see through odd color lenses. All of us have met those people who seemed like they should be a good fit, yet the connection is not there. During times of transition, like graduating college, getting married, becoming a mom, getting a divorce, going into a career, empty nesting, becoming the matriarch or patriarch in your family or retiring….you are redefining who you are, and what your role of in life is. When in motion, you may find it difficult to connect to your old sames. You are growing as a person, as a soul, and those around you may not fit into your particular crazy…especially if you are the first or last in your peer group to meet these milestones. Often, when we are in a growth period, we want to meet others like us, that are experiencing similar things…yet because we are growing, we are not providing stable grounds to plant or grow the gardens of friendship. During those growth periods, it is hard to find old sames. However, it is also time when you really crave finding those that are like you, and each perceived rejection or lack of fit can feel like an affirmation that you are odd and alone. The thing is, is that you are growing, and growth can be difficult and lonely…knowing that it doesn’t last forever, and knowing that your old sames are out there, and you will find them, just as soon as you are on stable grounds again can be comforting.
When I am not connecting, I try to remember that all things need room to grow and that those I am supposed to be connecting with are also growing parallel. (I often visualize baby oaks in the forest, as a sprout they are so tiny, young and far apart. As they grow, the space between them appears smaller and their branches begin to touch.) For example, I met this women in my birthing class, by all means, we had a lot in common, but did not really connect. Fast forward, 5 years, another child and the births of our individual businesses later, and we were old sames. We felt like we had known each other for years, even though we could not remember for months where we originally met. When we finally made the connection, the question was “How did we take months of classes together, but not connect?” Our crazy at the time did not match. We had to go through more experiences that helped us grow to a point where we could begin to discover the similarities of our paths. The great thing now, is that months can go by, and while we may not talk due to our busy lives, we know we can pick up the phone, and connect heart to heart, exactly where we left off.
As you continue to grow, your old sames will appear. Trust that if you feel you are walking alone, that you are not truly alone…your old sames are walking the path next to you. They are just veiled by the fog of your own personal crazy. As the mists dissipates or their crazy begins to grow into yours, you will begin to reconnect with those that were there all the while.
12 Things I have learned with my years of living with thyroid disease
At 17 years old, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. My body, being the odd body it is, stayed true to form, and showed all the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, none of they signs of hypo. My diagnosis came at at time when I thought I was invincible. Hearing that I would have to monitor and take a medication for the rest of my life felt like a life sentence. Doctors told me not to worry too much, it was manageable. You take a little pill every day, get blood work done every six months, it is fine, it’s really not a big deal. I guess as far as lifetime illnesses go, they were right, it was not a big deal. Except, well they lied. It is a big deal. There was so much they did not tell me, there is so much that I have learned on this 25 year journey they left out.
The information I am sharing is from my years of experience. Hopefully, it can help you if you are on this journey.
All kinds of medications interact with your thyroid meds. Read the labels. Shortly after being diagnosed, I was doing a long distance drive. I had a cold and stopped to take some cold medicine. To be exact, Tylenol cough and cold…that was my first experience with the interaction with thyroid and over the counter medications. Initially feeling slightly off progressed into my head tingling, literally feeling the hairs grow out the top of my head and very confused, I had to pull over…my cold had suddenly become an out-of-body experience. Reading the box closer, it said in very small print, may interact with thyroid medications. It would have been nice to have this warning prior…yeah I know you are supposed to read the labels. However, being young, and thyroid disease being no big deal…I didn’t. I learned.
Blood work is more often than once every 6 months, until you get your thyroid regulated. It is usually every 6-8 weeks until it falls within the “range” . Once you are in the range, doctors will go to once every 6 months, then once a year.
Just because you are in “range” does not mean you will feel good. The range is broad, and some people feel better on the bottom end of the range, some on the top. Often times, medical doctors don’t ask how you are feeling, but they check your blood work, and if you are in the range, “you are good.” This isn’t true. Find a medical provider that will work with you, and ask how your body is feeling.
The range has a spectrum that affects your mood. One end can be brain fog and depression, the other end, crisp thinking but high anxiety. This can happen within the range. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it could be your thyroid.
You need to familiarize yourself with what the ranges…although range differences were recommended back in 2003, (referred to as new ranges) a lot of doctors, insurance plans, and labs use the there are old ranges. The old ranges give a much wider norm, so it can look normal but still be out of range for the new ranges. Here is a great article on ranges: The TSH Normal Range: Why is there still a controversy?
Thyroid symptoms often look like mental health disorders…Bi-Polar, ADD, depression, and anxiety all have similar symptoms to inappropriately regulated thyroid disease. If you have thyroid disease, before they medicate you for one of the other issues, make sure that your thyroid is properly managed, and that they have played with the range to see if you feel better on one end of the spectrum versus the other. Many people are misdiagnosed with these disorders, only to find out the root cause is the thyroid. If you are working with a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist, make sure they truly understand the impact thyroid disease and management has on mental health.
Thyroid affects your fertility and your ability to carry a pregnancy. I had one doctor insist that I was in the “range” so I was fine. After two years of trying to get pregnant, I insisted on an endocrine specialist…my doctor acted like I was ridiculous. ” You are in range, and this is an easy thing to manage, it isn’t your thyroid. I am not doing it.” After a conflict with me stating “if you don’t refer me out, I will be having a discussion with the board”, he referred me to a specialist. The specialist was dismayed after my first blood test “You were so hepped up on thyroid meds, there was no way you were getting pregnant.” It took me nine months to get into an acceptable range. She told me I was where I needed to be at the end of September, I found out I was pregnant in December.
My experience was that my OB’s were better at managing my medications than my internist. They seem to get the importance of it. After having my first child, I asked my internist to keep me in the same range. He refused. When I asked the specialist to do the same, she did. Quality of life had a huge improvement.
Your thyroid medication is supposed to be taken on an empty stomach, except if you are on a natural one, like nature-throid, which does not need the stomach acid to break through the coating. That being said, sometimes, breaking your dose in half and taking half in the morning and half in the afternoon can help with the mid-day lull.
Sometimes, even when you are doing everything right, you still feel like crap. A lot of doctors, don’t look at the underlying causes of thyroid disease. For many it is a thing called adrenal fatigue, which means that your adrenals are off. No matter how regulated your are, if your adrenals are off, you are going to still feel awful. Finding a doctor that is also open and willing to discuss adrenal fatigue for me was imperative to getting better.
Love yourself. Give yourself permission to be tired and self care…you have an autoimmune disease, it really is a big deal…allow yourself to rest.
Lastly, trust you body. You know it better than any professional. If you are not feeling right, advocate for yourself. Don’t give up. It took me going through 5 doctors before I finally found one that was willing to listen. Once I found a practitioner that was willing to work with me, my health began to change. Hang in there!
Please remember you are not alone on this journey. There are a lot of us going through the thyroid craziness.
I wish you love and healing on your journey.
Hidden deep in our soul, are the whispers of our truth. Spirit does not yell, it nudges, it hints, it guides, and encourages. As babies, as children, we are in tune with the voice of our soul. We know what makes us happy, what makes us sad, what makes us angry and we are able to express it. Infants scream for what they want, the world responds. Two year olds will defiantly yell “no” for things they do not like. They know how to express themselves. Children will say what they think and feel without fear. Ever see one of those kids that will just walk up to another person and say “Hey want to be friends?” Then the two go off to play whatever game it was? Early teenagers will often say what they think, even when they know they won’t like the consequences. We KNOW how to express ourselves coming into the world.
Then something happens. At some point during our childhood a shift happens. The shift happens a different times for each of us, but for almost all of us, it happens. After years of being told not to say this or that, to hush, to follow the rules, that this or that is rude, quit being disrespectful, that that dream is not realistic or you can’t do that and make a living… we shut down our inner voice. We tune it out. We ignore it. We silence it….or at least we attempt to. Many of us do this to adapt to the expectations of this world. We do it to please others. We do it because we are told that is the only way to make it in this world we live in. We do it because we buy the lie…the lie that in order to be happy, we have to silence the whispering of our conscience. Our soul is not so easily silenced though. It persists, it continues to whisper, it continues to nudge…and if we don’t listen, it creates a conflict in us. It creates anxiety, depression and a host of other issues.
Our soul continues to guide us. It speaks to us through our body….our bodies react to situations and energiesthat are both good and bad. If we pay attention, our body will give us signals that tell us what is right for us, and what is wrong. Take a moment, consider two equal choices, and really pay attention to your body…did one of the two choices make you feel heavier, more dense? Did one feel lighter? Tuning into our bodies is one way to really begin to listen to our inner voice.
Another way our soul communicates is through dreams. Images flash before our eyes, sometimes sweet and lulling, other times haunting and jarring…both meant to either verify or help you question your path. Our dreams are symbols for our waking world, ways for us to incorporate our lives in a language our subconscious understands. Our inner reality then responds, sending images to help us.
As you go through your day, my challenge to you would be to really begin to listen your inner voice. To take time to hear the whispers, and notice the synchronicities.