The first thing I do once everyone leaves the house on Sundays is to shut all the blinds and drape the particularly bright window in the dining area. On the dining table is where I will be spending most of the day alone, reading, and writing.
When D and I were working the other morning, she said she sees me somewhere in the northeast, in a secluded house by the ocean with the loft surrounded by glass walls. She said she thinks I will be happy in that open space, on my desk, writing all day, and going into town once in a while only for the needs. How wrong she got me except the hermit life style that I crave, although I did appreciate the beautiful image she conjured up for my future. I do like an open space like that, but if I am to opt for only one writing space, it won’t be very open. It will be very dark. It will resemble something like a cave.
My sister’s apartment in the busy section of this city is facing north which makes it quite cold and dark. She said this is one of the darkest places she lived. On rainy days, the place stays dark from the dawn to the night, which makes a very ideal day for me. It’s not that I am fond of darkness. I suffered from nyctophobia until I was in my mid 20’s which means I could not be left alone in the dark space. It’s just that bright lights hurt me from all levels including the physical. My symptoms vary. Sometimes headaches, or anxiety, nervousness triggered by my racing heart at the fast rate. I feel overwhelmed, or too stimulated. At times, I feel extreme sadness.
“If only you could live in my body for just one day!”
I exclaimed making it sound sarcastic, almost in a self-ridiclue way, because we all know that I only work 20 hours a week. My burden is very light to what eyes can see. A gave me a quick smile at my remark, and said, “Oh, I am sure it’s not so bad!”
No, it’s not. It’s really not. Not any more, anyways. It’s good, even, most days. I now see the way I am made as a blessing. I like my sensitivity and I would not trade it for anything.
My manager walked into our morning conversation the other day at the shop. It was a quiet morning, and D, A, and I were chatting about something. We were talking about our quirkiness. D: OCD. A: Self-loathing. Me: Hypersensitivity. When my manager joined in our conversation, my sensitivity was the talk of the moment.
“What are you talk about?”
“Oh, about Y(My initial)’s disease.”, D answered.
“I didn’t know sensitivity was considered a disease.”
“Well, in the modern standard, it is. It used to be a virtue.”, I responded as we laughed together.
And it still is a virtue to me. No, I wouldn’t trade my disease for anything else.
If you are: a) sensitive like me, b) you find yourself staying in someone’s else’s home, and c) you desperately need to block out the bright light, then here’s a tip. All you need is a light-weight blanket or fabric in dark color. It has to be pretty good sized to cover the entire window. I use a black fleece throw blanket. Tie two rubber bands on each ends of the blanket, and use the bands to hang the blanket over the blinds that do not do the job very well. You have just created an instant drape!
“The best actors in the world are those who feel the most and show the least.”, the actor Jean-Louis Trintignant said. But today, I am behind the curtain, and I don’t have to act. Safe from the stimulation and the exposure, I feel quite cozy and comfortable on this winter day. Water for the hot chocolate is boiling in the electric kettle. Soon I will be walking to the kitchen to pour hot water into my hot chocolate mix. And I don’t have to go out shopping for nutmeg to perfect my hot chocolate experience. I already have it in the spice cabinet. I sit here, idling my morning away, feeling blessed and contently happy. I just got back from singing my quiet praises of God at the very early morning Mass while big part of the population in my world was still asleep. Now the whole world is awake, proclaiming the salvation of God, the big choirs are singing beautiful hymns at the churches, and the bible scriptures are being read to the wide public. But here I am in my self-created seclusion, still celebrating the majesty of the Lord and giving thanks to God in my own little way.
A hot mug that contains a yummy hot chocolate is now present on the dining table. I take my sit, and hold it with my two hands. Quietly, my inner voice says, “Thank you for the hot chocolate. I am so happy. Thank you for the gifts You gave me.”
I thank God for everything He has given me, especially the hot chocolate, the nutmeg, and my disease of sensitivity.