What, you don’t know what impervious means? Yeah, me either…heard it on a movie recently (which is odd because I don’t watch movies much), so I had to look it up. If you do know what it means, KUDOS. You are smarter than me.
Impervious -unable to be affected by.
Yep. ME. ME. ME. You know that emoji of the lady’s head with her hand in the air and the full size lady in a red dress kicking up her leg? Yeah, that’s what I should’ve added to that definition. Because…weeee…that’s me.
When did I become so impervious? So unaffected by things? Immune to them? Indifferent to? Oblivious to? You get my point. Almost nothing affects me anymore. I feel numb most of the time. It’s become a comfort zone, to which I have taken up long-term residence. That’s not a good thing. (Looks like I need to stage a jailbreak)
We all retreat and crave a disconnection to our emotions – pain, sadness, sorrow, grief, etc from time to time. I’d say that’s normal. But clinging to numbness and preferring loss of feeling as a coping mechanism that continues for days turning into weeks and soon months, is dangerous. For some, this sounds very similar to depression. However, it is not the same thing. There are similar symptoms and signs, but the difference which is usually present with depression can be a clinical component that may include a hormone imbalance, chemical imbalance, family history, thyroid issues, etc. While the person seeking numbness is likely doing so as a temporary coping mechanism, unknowingly it can take the role of the line leader. It can become so ingrained in someone’s daily walk, they don’t know how to break the cycle.
Some people use substances to numb their senses. That can include, but not limited to, alcohol, drugs (illegal or legal), gambling, binge eating, excessive exercising, fasting, the list is lengthy. Do you ever feel yourself slipping into that place of craving numbness… committing to disconnecting in order to self-preserve, what do you do to snap out of it? Do you recognize the signs? Is there anyone around you that can notice for you and implement some accountability?
Perhaps you can’t relate to this craving or feeling. That’s a good thing and means you are a perfect candidate to be that friend who helps notice the signs someone else is showing. I’ve listed some of those below and qualified them as well. Independently they could present themselves and be nothing more than a super busy schedule, illness, or lack of sleep. But combine them all together and throw in a healthy dose of intuition from a close friend, and you can spot it a mile away.
Top 5 Signs a Person may be Seeking Numbness and Using it as an UnHealthy Coping Mechanism
- Unusually withdrawn from family, friends, and/or activities a person has enjoyed in the recent past. Not attending church as often, declining invites to go to dinner, skipping out on family events.
- Absence from social media, IF this person was normally engaged in that medium. Do they normally post on a regular basis? All of the sudden they are a ghost?
- Slow or no answer to text messages, phone calls, or emails.
- When communicating with the individual, they may seem disconnected and stay on surface topics. They may also refuse to discuss anything related to themselves including their feelings, experiences, or future plans.
- When you do see the person, they don’t show very much emotion. Their speech is flat, they don’t seem very affected by what’s going on around them. In fact, they may seem to always be in a pleasant mood. Not really a happy, cheerful mood…but pleasant.
Bottom line…Don’t pursue, accept, or agree to be impervious. FIGHT IT WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE IN YOU! Choose to go to and through #allthefeels. If you go all in, get ready…because you will hurt and be hurt, shed tears, and suffer. BUT, the magnitude of heart-warming joy, life-bringing laughter, and overwhelming happiness will be worth it and far outweigh the season of sadness.
Surrendering to becoming impervious strips away our humanness, compassion, empathy, and ability to fully participate in our own lives and the lives of those whom we love. And friends…that’s not living at all…~julie owen~
the whole truth and nothing but,