I’ve always been the sensitive type. The type who feels everything all at once, as their heart is the first to the scene every time. The ones who get overwhelmed and burnt out faster than every one else, who need alone time to sort out what is theirs and what is everyone else’s. The ones who rush into love and hurry into guilt and run into hate.
We’re the feelers in a world of rational thinkers.
It’s only natural that this distinct part of my personality played such a key role into my depression. I felt sad. I was sad until it overwhelmed all of my other senses. My heart hurt as if it had been spending its time dragging on the floor behind me. I was constantly crying, even when crying didn’t make sense. I was angry about nothing. My skin felt like it was on fire with the world around me. I was tired of feeling and my feelings were tired of me.
Hearts on sleeves meant being broken. Being broken meant being unloved. Being unloved meant being unworthy. Being unworthy meant my heart was too much. I had started an endless cycle of self-hate.
Now if my brain had been in the picture, I’m sure he could have argued a really good defense. I’m sure he could point out all the things I had going for me—a decent amount of talent, good friends, and a promising future. However being the sensitive type meant my brain was the shy kid in the back of the classroom who never raised his hand even though he knew all of the answers. He sat in the back knowing all about hope and promise, but being too shy to say that he was right.
Nowadays as my heart surges with the weighted pressure of exams, of relationships, and of feeling misunderstood. When this happens my brain waits patiently for his turn to speak. My heart pounds and groans with its displeasure as my brain takes in the surroundings, thinks, and lets my heart exhaust itself. Then he speaks.
My brain finds the silver lining in the grayest of storm clouds. He gently reminds me that this isn’t the end of the world, to think of the other side of the story, or to try to imagine the big picture. Of course I’m exhausted from my heart’s tantrums, but I listen to his calm and steady words of encouragement: you will survive this just as you have survived every moment before.
I’ll forever be a sensitive and vulnerable soul. It’s a natural, engrained part of my personality, and one that I’m able to channel in order to keep an open mind and a ready heart.
There is something admirable about the ones who wear their hearts on their sleeves. It is us who take in the world at its lowest, see it for what it is, and dare to love it anyway. For in our weakest moments, we are simply explorers learning another valley that has yet to be discovered. In our stronger moments, we dare to love the things that are ordinary or carelessly forgotten.
It is a wonderful gift to care abundantly and to feel freely. Even when these gifts produce the side effect of exhaustion and sadness, we have the blessing of being able to love wholeheartedly with an awareness of the world. It may mark us with depression. It may taint a number of good days. It may give us false hope and shallow promises. We may feel alone and misunderstood. The bad parts may seem to be exaggerated under the weight of endless longing and ever present melancholy as we try our best to hold on.
It is us—the ones who have spent nights on the bathroom floor crying ourselves to sleep, that find light in a good cup of coffee and a sunny morning. We are the lovers in a world of second guessers, who look beyond damaged covers to read enlightening stories. We are the dreamers in a world of nightmares, giving ourselves hope during the storm. We are the caregivers, who give all that we have in order to feel good.
We are the feelers in a world of thinkers, who dare to feel despite knowing that we may get hurt before we fall back asleep.