Years ago, my family spent a week in a mountain cabin with my brothers’ family. His son invited his friend Bobby, who was nine years old at the time.
Bobby had a severe peanut allergy. He was so sensitive to peanuts that the slightest morsel could kill him.
Having never spent time with someone with a food allergy, I was fascinated by this young boy’s knowledge of his own condition, the advance strategizing he and his family had obviously done, and the game plan they had in place.
- Bobby brought his own jar of jam that sported a bright neon label, a skull and crossbones, plus the words, “Bobby’s jam. NOBODY USE ON THREAT OF DEATH!”
- Bobby washed EVERYTHING before using it. Silverware from the drawer, plates from the cupboard, cups from the drying rack—he washed it all.
- Bobby had emergency medication with him, and a portion of it was doled out to each of us whenever we left the house, on the offhand chance that we might be alone with Bobby when an allergy attack occurred.
At no point during our week together did we mock Bobby for his peanut allergy. We don’t blame or bully people who have food allergies.
And those of us who are HSPs don’t deserve to be blamed or bullied for our sensitivities, either.
We need to know ourselves.
We can gain knowledge, strategize in advance, and put a game plan in place.
The better we know our own specific HSP needs, the better we can care for them.
And the less overwhelmed we will be.
(from Overwhelmed: Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity, pg. 43-44)