There is lots of good advice out there for those of us who struggle with our mood and emotions. However, often it's of the 'go and have a cuppa with a friend' variety. This is good advice, and there is much truth in the old adage 'a trouble shared...' But what happens when it's the connection with people that's at the heart of the problem?
As a person who is both sensitive, and an introvert, people are a problem. Often, I feel a deep sense of isolation and disconnection from those around me. This would amaze those who know me; I have a job which entails constant engagement with often troubled people, and I am practiced at helping them feel at ease. I am happily married, with children and a number of friends, people tell me I am approachable, and turn to me with their problems. On the surface, all seems well.
And yet...I struggle to talk about my own feelings, and when I do try to risk vulnerability, people's responses can be problematic. Conflict and criticism often feel like nails down the blackboard of my soul. I spend much time listening to others, but rarely feel heard or understood. And so, I have had to search for alternative ways to form a connection outside myself, and for me that has come through spending time in nature and with animals. When I am upset, the soft fur and inquisitive twitch of my rabbits nose is a soothing distraction. My dog's insistence on a walk gives me a much needed chance to regain perspective through recognising the vastness of this beautiful planet on which we live. When I am distressed, my dog curls up on the sofa next to me, and the simple companionship and friendly wag of the tail offer an undemanding love.
This gentle affection and warmth gives my soul a chance to heal, and renewed, I can face the world again, a little more whole than before.
A Moodscope member.