Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sensitivity is overrated

Someone recently told me that I am "very" sensitive. I am not disputing the observation. In fact, I am writing about it, which can only mean one thing: it's true.

But just to be sure I got a second opinion from an old friend.

Me: Am I too sensitive?

OF: Well, let me put it this way: on a scale of 0 to 10, 5 being normal, you are a 7.

Me: A seven? That doesn't sound so bad.

OF: It's not if it's a scale of awesomeness that goes up to 7.

Unfortunately, he wasn't talking about a scale of awesomeness and a 7 was no good: it was two points higher than would would be considered "normal." And in psychological matters you REALLY want to strive for "normal" otherwise you get put on medication (oh, har har, I already am!) or institutionalized.

But, thanks to the tireless efforts of the worlds psychologists I have learned that I am "normal." I just have a "highly sensitive personality," which requires a little more maintenance to keep from going crazy.

I have a love/hate relationship with psychologists (and all others with a psych- attached to their professions) because 1) They have an answer for everything and 2) THEY HAVE AN ANSWER FOR EVERYTHING.

I really like answers, and being "diagnosed" as manic, anxious, depressed, or whatever, helps a person get an answer so they can accept the situation, adapt accordingly, and move on to (hopefully) have a full-ish life.

But with all of these "answers," people seem more like designer coffees than human beings. Some are black and some (like me) have one cup of cream and two shots of espresso.

I'd rather think life is simple. You order your coffee, you sit down, you drink it.

But in this life you sit down with the black coffee you THINK you ordered and find out there is all this other stuff in it. The "psych" people let you know what is actually IN your coffee and tell you not to be alarmed - it's OK, you just might need a Lactaid to drink it.

I guess I do feel better knowing some aspect of the medical community believes I don't need to be institutionalized - that being highly sensitive is an acceptable state of being that just needs to be managed.

That's the best you can hope for when you can't return the coffee.