Life as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

I wince at the roar of machines churning, the walls of my basement shaking. Others are numb to it, but to me this defilement of the environment is likened to a dentist drilling into someone’s gums, the churning teeth and veins the same as butchered wood and roots. It is all a bloody, gory mess either way. For me, this is what it means to be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).

For those who consider themselves a HSP, loud noises and large crowds are a common deterrence, but for someone who is spiritually and emotionally connected to the Earth like me, the abuse the environment takes every day is a particular nuisance. It’s not easy being a HSP and living where I live. Now that it’s summer, someone in the neighborhood is always cutting down a tree, pounding down into the earth to get rid of it’s roots for some project out of self service. As if they don’t have enough non-indigenous plants that require loads of chemicals and water rather than using the space and resources to feed themselves, Earth’s ultimate gift to humanity. I’ve always said that humans are a species that rake up leaves so that they can put down fertilizer. Everything we do is backwards and without consideration.

Where I live, the population is 7.6 million, higher than the country of Norway, on a piece of land that spans 118 miles. It wears on someone like me, and there is not a passing moment where I am desperate to leave the bickering, angry people who do not even realize just how unhappy they are, that life is not a fixed state but something ever-changing and separate from their perceived reality. It is the collective unconscious that I seek to escape, the people who do not want to ask questions, who do not work on themselves and merely exist for empty pleasures.

On a side note, I’m here because there’s no longer a place in the country where a recent college graduate can live off of minimum wage while looking for a job in their field (if you know of a place near the coast, let me know).

Most are numbed, and raised to accept the desecration of nature. They are completely disconnected in their minds and hearts, although not in their physicality as science refutes this. Atoms in your body are derived from the universe, with our planet being our closest relative. Everything is recycled and necessary for a healthy biome, and since humans live here and were created here, they are not above this.

As a HSP, I feel this without a choice, and I walk around with a wall around me just so that I don’t get sick, but this is no way to live. I sometimes wonder if I don’t know who I truly am, as I’ve never been able to live in a constant outward expression of authenticity, although I’ve been doing the best I can to slowly put pieces of myself together to see the whole picture. Walls make it difficult to reach out to anything, to open up and experience what is left, or meant to be experienced.

Perhaps what is worse about everything is that us highly sensitive people are also expected to not be bothered by these things amidst a world of desensitized zombies. It is not normal to be on edge, to be tired, to not want to go out into loud clamoring nonsense. I hear the voice of the collective unconscious, the voice we’ve created, it says “Now go behave and party your evenings away until you no longer have the capacity to think or feel. You do not need real relationships, only people to pass the time with. Also, make sure you have a job that supports this habit, and don’t forget the gym membership. Running on a treadmill for 2 hours burns more calories than a stroll through nature. You’ll need that from all the drinking.” Now, I never partake in this atmosphere because it is in complete dissonance to my being, but it’s a constant roar that can be heard in the background, a thriving culture for much of the human population.

If by any chance you are a HSP and have a blog, I challenge you to write a post about what it’s like for you. Include whatever you want in it, whether it’s a focus on what deters you the most, or additional thoughts on the matter. Tag me in the post or let me know so that I see what your input is. If you don’t have a blog, let me know by leaving a comment.

Featured image by Ryan Wilson 


14 thoughts on “Life as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

  1. It’s everywhere. My town population is 17k, but it’s in the middle of Texas, so everyone has to have the biggest, loudest truck possible. I’m so glad now that my sleep schedule makes it where I’m no longer awake when the garbage truck comes through. The sound of the lift and the crashing sounds fill me with anxiety, and I have to hold onto something and root myself until it goes away. Same thing with the vacuum. If I’m controlling it, I know how long it’s going to last, but if someone else is using it, I can do little more than close my eyes and try to hold myself together. My boyfriend thinks that I disappear into the bedroom because of allergies when he vacuums, but it’s because I’m hiding from the sound.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I feel the same way about the vacuum and dustbuster. I have jumped ship and retreated to a nearby Starbucks on many occasions. Thank you for your comment, glad to see there are others who have similar situations.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was very moved by your blog post. I’m not HSP in quite the same way that you and mortbane are. The big noises do bother me (I put paper in my ears at the movie theater so I don’t get blown away). But for some reason it’s the more subtle sounds that get me when it’s finally quiet: the sound of someone’s ipod playing when it’s sitting on the table, the hum of a blank monitor (even the LCDs make a funny sound), and the low hum of power lines also shakes my cage. I can’t sit with my phone, computer or other electronic device for to long due to the EM fields; my body tenses and vibrate. Ever since I managed to pinpoint the source of this sensitivity, I’ve had a new appreciation for Jubilee from X-Men, though it would be nice to have her powers to compensate. 😉

    The quality of the food I eat also affects me too. My body can tell when a food is too synthetic or had been exposed to a bad environment (chems, radiation, contaminated soil). Getting sick is no fun. It’s hard because people don’t understand and think it’s all in my head, but those who love me just accept the way I am and we all do our best.

    I’m lucky to live in a place now, where I experience less environmental bombardment. People live more natural lives here; but with the way the world turns I’m not sure how long that will last.

    Thank you for your blog post and keep your chin up. Being authentic is a life long process. Little by little you will peel the barriers away and your true self will shine through.

    Write On!

    Liked by 2 people

    • As always, your input is very interesting on this Alina. I’ve never encountered a person with that sensitivity to electronics, only heard of it, and it intrigues me. I do not think it is strange at all, as there is information in everything. It only takes turning into a certain frequency, like you would a radio station, to hone in on any given thing in our environment. Given the variety of people in our population, it only makes sense that there will be people like yourself who pick up on what others consider every day, inert items. Also, the relation to X-men is awesome haha. Perhaps it is your superpower.
      I know what you mean about the synthetic food. I actually spent the entire previous week being sick for reasons that I suspect have something to do with what you explained. I try the best I can to use easy body cleanse options like putting lemon in my water, and drinking essiac tea (which I do not enjoy, as it tastes like a combination of tree bark an rabbit food).
      Thank you for the encouragement, and I wish you the best with your own HSP symptoms/management. I will do my best to peel those barriers away =).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this article 🙂 It is so hard at times to be a HSP. If I were to pick one thing that I hold dear to me it is my focus on the good parts of being a HSP because it is all to easy to focus on the downsides, but especially when you are living in less than ideal situations for someone who is sensitive like yourself. The hardest part of being a HSP for me is its profound influence on my health.
    One of my favourite books for introverts and in particular HSP’s is Quiet by Susan Cain, love this book 🙂 and I talking about it in my article in my health blog.
    Here is a link to an article I wrote a while ago now.
    PS. I have made some determined changes to my lifestyle, moving to a quieter location and reducing work stress. Not always easy I know. When you are a HSP there is only so much input you can take and you do need to find ways to mange the avalanche, even if it is just to escape it for a short time. I love writing, and I no longer feel guilty about needing quiet time to write, if you are a HSP you need some sort of hobby or relaxation technique to keep you sane, and writing is mine 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your interest in this topic and my blog. I enjoyed your article, and I found the noisy baby-introversion correlation very interesting, I’ve never thought about it like that and it makes a lot of sense. I also find it intriguing because although being a HSP, I was a very quiet baby according to my mother. I think this may be because my pain is more emotional than physical – with the exception of stomach issues. It’s funny now that I think of it because my mom said I slept a lot, which is how I deal with everything as an adult. I simply get tired easily, and when life gets stressful, or I get sick, I just go to bed haha. When I can’t sleep, I close off, realizing theres nothing that I can do about it and allowing myself to be stressed wouldn’t be helpful. I guess our coping mechanisms can carry on from infancy.
      I would love to have control over my living situation, otherwise I’d also be living somewhere that supported a better lifestyle and quieter location. Thankfully, I have the freedom to take the summer off as I’ve just graduated from college last month. So I have not had any work stress added to the mix. Writing also helps me a lot, especially when I work on my novel, which brings me to a new world of my creation. Ironically though, it usually takes some peace and quiet in order for me to get there haha. In the mean time, I’ve been using essential oils, and exploring several other spiritual/artistic practices such as oracle cards, incense, painting, meditation, etc. It has been helping me hone in on what is worthy of my focus, and leaving everything else aside.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am very envious of your sleeping mechanism for coping 🙂 sounds much better than getting stressed. As you mentioned there are many variations on the HSP and we all manifest differently depending on our sensitivities and our life experiences.
        I also think a lot of HSP become writers for many reasons whether is is blogs or books. I think writing is also another form of coping mechanism and a way of interacting with the world on our terms.
        And congratulations on graduation 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I call it power down mode haha. And thank you! I agree with you. I think writing is a healthy activity for highly sensitive people, whether its just journaling, or taking it a step further into a blog or writing project.


  5. HSPs I have known: One has “super hearing” and can’t stand the noise of the scratching sound on synthetic jackets, one sleeps most of the day to escape and stays up in the quiet, people-free night, one can’t go to the movies due to sensing the emotions in a huge, people-packed room where they are amplified by sameness and stimulus, one is always tired, one threw up every morning as a child when required to eat breakfast, others gained excess weight to help them ground, one sleeps with earplugs and a pillow over her head. On the other hand: one can hear the subtlest variation in music, one can intuit well past the ability to “guess”, one can pick out the slightest motion in the trees and find the bird to match it to its call, one can spot BS even when carefully camouflaged, one enjoys moon-bathing. I wonder if sensory gyms and occupational therapy actually dull the acuteness of perceived sensory input over time or just increase the ability to cope. Perhaps the more healthy among us ARE HSPs and the blunting of the sensory awareness others experience an adaptive, but self-injurious disorder. And, yes, I am guessing writing workshops are full of HSPs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is exactly the thought that I had, and I’m so glad you went out there and said it. I often wonder if there is something wrong with the desensitized ones, as if that is what is unnatural. You provide a large spectrum of sensitivities to take into consideration. You also pose a good question about OT. I would have to learn more about it to surmise anything. Thank you Janice ❤


  6. Wow, I never knew there is a term for people like me. I always felt very disconnected from most friends and family as they are not like me and I didn’t think anyone was. I am thankful to know there others out there. I have the super-hearing among other things, and with super-hearing comes serious disturbance with loud noise, especially things like power mowers, leaf/snow blowers, and most loud appliances. My temper goes from 0-60 in about 2 seconds with those things on. I don’t have tantrums but have to work hard to not be angry form just hearing it. I really like this post as it reflects very eloquently so much of what I also feel and used to think I was either mentally unstable or somehow off for feeling it. Thank you for writing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is most definitely a thing, and a common occurrence. Here is a link with some information: you can also google it to find out more. There are many others out there, and although it is a new label, a network is being created. You are not alone in your sensitivities and depth in perception. I’m glad you enjoyed this post and found it relatable. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a HSP. In fact, I often wonder if theres something wrong with the people who don’t have this sensitivity. Its neither healthy nor helpful to the community to be desensitized and cut off. You’re very welcome, and thank you for commenting! Feel free to share it with anyone you suspect might also be a HSP, or anyone who may be interested in the content of my blog ❤


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