In the Moat: My name is Kacey. I’m an Empath.

I have been very antsy as of late.  Perhaps you could say bajiggity.   I’ve spent the last several weeks maniacally planning to perfect each room of the house; like changing the den wall color, shopping for wallpaper to use in the hallway, preparing to finally paint the basement bathroom, purging items for Goodwill, and online shopping for furniture like it’s my job.  It’s not, but I wish it was.  Poor Harper has been without a bed for nearly two weeks because I threw his old one out in a fit of decluttering and his new awesome bed hasn’t arrived yet.  Every night he comes into the bedroom, looks towards the corner where there is no bed, and flops down on the rug exasperated with me.

On top of feeling very antsy and unsettled, I’ve been having migraines from stress and the pressure-filled weather, and at every turn, my back is aching and going numb from spasms.  I rearranged our bedroom, bought new curtains, and hung some extra badass sconce reading lights.  When I get antsy, I rearrange.  My back can’t take it and I become attached to a microwaved heating pad like I’m a 14 year old girl with cramps.  As I’m writing this, it sounds a little like I’m “nesting” or “pregnant”…I assure you, that’s not what this post is about.  The wine next to me can vouch.

I’ve had some pretty productive therapy sessions lately.  I’ve put the puzzle pieces together a bit on why I’ve felt so physically yucky for the past year or so, and it directly relates to my anxiety, worry, and even my empathic nature (more on that shortly).  My digestive issues, my migraines (the two concussions within 18 months has something to do with those, but still), the intense muscle soreness from menial activity, my chest feeling like it’s caving in…it all comes down to how my body is working to survive the mental curveballs I can’t seem to stop throwing.  Clearly, I struggle.  I go in spurts of amazing productivity, but then I am burnt out from going-going-going and I want to crash for three days without anyone around to bother me.  It’s all very exhausting when I look backwards to gauge my mental and physical health.  I’ve become ultra-sensitive to my surroundings.  I feel very susceptible to others moods and I find myself wanting to put everyone else’s needs before mine.  I’m having chest pains just writing about this.

An avid Cougar Town watcher, I often relate to the weird idiosyncrasies in the show.  You have to watch it to understand fully, but in this particular episode, one of the main characters declared himself an “empath” because he feels what others are feeling.  Eureka!  I started researching and discovered an “empath” was a real thing.  A little hokey, per some websites (most, actually), but I found a couple articles that made a lot of sense.

I would compare an empath to being an extrovert or introvert, like a personality trait.  Psychology Today says emotional empaths are a species unto themselves, needing a lot of personal space.  This lady talks about the trademark of an empath – always knowing where the other person is coming from.  In the past year I’ve begun noticing how often people open up to me.  My initial gut feelings about anything and everything tend to be pretty accurate.   I need my own quiet, personal space.  Being alone has never been hard for me, and I tend to bolt when I’m feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated, or even monitored too closely.  I’ve always had to drive myself to places in order to have an out if needed.  My hunches usually turn out to be true.  Narcissism is something I have trouble tolerating.  I see both sides to every story, almost to a fault.

I know this all sounds really ridiculous.  When I took this online test, my results said I was a Moon Goddess Empath and had a very mythical image to accompany the text…let me get out my crystals – we’ll have a séance later and bring back Elvis too!  But seriously though, the heart of this emotional characteristic rings a bell with me.  I feel a little less panicked and a little less crazy when I am overcome with anxiety by relating back to this empathic nature I seem to possess.   Maybe this is an imaginary way of coping, but it’s helping me.  I know that you know what I mean.  Because I’m an empath.