There has been a secret between us. It is the reason you feel the cool distance and uncomfortable awkwardness when we are together. I don’t talk about the way I am to very many people because most don’t understand even though they say that they will or that they do. (Some actually take what I am saying about myself personally and get offended.) Then once it is out there it can’t be taken back. It changes things between us. Usually my confession makes no difference anyway except to add to the cavernous distance.
But now I’m ready to take a chance and tell you what my secret is. I know that what I am about to say will not make me popular. I accept that. What I can no longer live with is the cost of my silence.
Here goes. I’m a “sensitive one”. I feel the world in ways that seem impossible to others. I am sensitive to everything; especially chemicals.
If you know me, you’ve known about my many super sensitivities. You just may not have realized the extent to which I am affected. That might be on me. I don’t make the fuss that perhaps is deserving of my situation. (I am a passionate advocator for others but not so much when it comes to myself.) Besides I often don’t have the physical stamina to expend the energy I need to face the resistance and doubt that comes at me when I open up about it. And like I said its not likely to make much of a difference anyway.
The medical diagnosis is Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. I am deeply affected in body, mind and spirit by the multitude of chemicals in the environment and in foods (not to mention toxic emotions like hatred, fear, intolerance and prejudice). My body reacts with rashes, itchiness, migraines, weakness, fatigue and sometimes full blown flu-like symptoms. My mind becomes foggy and incoherent. My spirit feels powerful emotions like rage and depression. I only go out into society when absolutely necessary and when I do, I suffer greatly. Even a short trip to the grocery store can mean hours to weeks of recovery. The longer and more concentrated my exposure, the longer and more intense the recovery. Unless it is vital, I don’t allow anyone in my home who is not chemical free. That is my one sanctuary. My home is the one place in the world that I can actually breathe freely. (Though when any member of the family ventures out, we absorb the powerful chemical scents in our clothes and in our hair and bring them back into the house).
I am quite isolated but I am not alone in my experience. I have discovered that there are others out there like me. Perhaps my words will give voice to their struggles too. I sense they may agree that the hardest part of this sensitivity is the isolation from friends and family. And harder yet is when these people that we love dearly, either don’t believe us or don’t take us seriously. We have seen over and over again that when presented with a choice of us or the chemicals, they choose the chemicals. And so we stop talking about it and we suffer in silence.
Though we are diagnosed with a “condition”, we are not sick. We are simply the more sensitive of our society. We are the ones who are first affected by the poisonous chemicals being spewed into our environment. We are the canaries that you’ve released into the coal mines except you see us react to the invisible toxins and you come in anyway. If you think you’re not being affected, you’re mistaken. We are your warning system. We are in this moment where you’ll be at some point in the future. By then I trust that we will have figured out how to cope. We’ll be stronger. We’ll know how to navigate the toxic soup we swim in. And even though you didn’t help us when we were desperate and in pain, we’ll help you. Our experience will be your saving grace.
It doesn’t have to be this way … if you see us now and realize that we are reflecting the world that you are creating, we can prevent what is becoming inevitable. The earth is magnificently brilliant at self repair. She can reharmonize the environment quite effortlessly. All we need to do is stop adding to the dense chemical fog and allow her to heal. It is the same for our bodies.
So … what will it take? How many must get sick and die? How many species must be wiped from the face of the planet?
And for what? There is nothing that I know of that necessitates the use of chemicals. There are always natural, safe and effective alternatives to any of the things we really need. SO what are we killing ourselves and our planet for?
I am telling you this story now because I’ve been making some powerful, positive changes in my life and I feel physically better. Well enough that I’m able to express myself. Well enough that I’m starting to feel angry about it – angry at the society that created this toxic environment I live in and which offers no resources to help me cope in it or to deal with the repercussions; angry that I have to fight to convince people that what I’m saying is true; and angry at myself for allowing such mistreatment.
My anger however is softened by a deep sense of gratitude. It is true that I’ve had to figure things out myself. I’ve had to learn through trials and tribulations what will help me feel better and what will make things worse. I’ve had to be my own healer, educator and counsel. It was not an easy journey but it has made me stronger and wiser. Despite the harsh road I’ve had to traverse, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I have come to know a truth about this Universe we live in that I would have remained blind to had I not had the experience that I had. This secret teaching has transformed me in the most profound and incredible way. It has made even the most excruciating parts of the journey worthwhile.
There is a story I once heard that keeps playing in my thoughts. It is about a man who came by a butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon. The man wanted to help the butterfly escape its imprisonment and he cut away enough of the encasement to allow the butterfly to emerge with ease. The butterfly relieved of his burden, didn’t build up the strength in his wings that he needed in order to be able to fly. Without that ability to lift himself up, he soon died.
There is purpose to our struggles.
Now that I’ve broken through my chemical cocoon and risen above the toxic fog I’d been living in, I’m ready to tell my story. I am ready to share what I’ve learned with others who are on a similar journey and who may possibly benefit from my experience. I can’t do the work for you, but I can remind you that the struggle will be worth it. I can give you a glimpse of what’s waiting for you when you finally break free. And I can root for you and give you encouragement through your journey. I can share wisdom that can shift you from a place of fear and doubt to a place of strength and power. Best of all, I can do what so many in your life won’t do … believe you.
If you are a sensitive one (or have a sensitive one in your life) – or if you hear the truth of what I am saying and would like to begin to make positive change in your life by removing chemicals where possible, I have something for you. I have created a list of simple things to do that can replace many harmful chemicals in your life and save you a some money while you’re at it. I’ll be posting it soon. Look for it. It is just the beginning of what I’ll be sharing with the Sensitive Ones and anyone else who wishes to transform themselves and the earth.
with much love and deep respect,