I sit here locked inside my head

Sensory overload.

It’s a phrase I use a lot. It’s something that happens to me a lot. It’s something that makes me feel trapped – so very stuck. It’s a part of the ASD/NVLD territory  but it doesn’t make it suck any less. It is part of what makes me me but it makes life so difficult. Here’s a peak at the thought process that goes into it.

The lights. They’re so bright. They hurt me. Why? WHY? Why do the lights need to be so big, so bright? Why are the words in my head so loud? So very loud! Turn them off. I can’t. I can’t. Quiet hands. Quiet hands, Nora. Oh, fuck quiet hands! My hands moving, my hands stroking, this is what’s keeping me grounded. Who cares if it bothers you? Would you rather me melt down? Keep your quiet hands to yourself. My words. My words in my hand are so very loud. Why can’t I turn down my head? Why can’t you turn down the music? Is it really necessary to blare both a TV and a radio? Stop. Make it stop. This shirt says it’s tag free and I like that – I don’t like tags. But the tagless label itches. Don’t tell me it’s not possible to feel it – I feel it rubbing against my skin. Don’t tell me I’m overreacting, I feel it against my skin and it’s very real. Maybe if I stim, maybe if I rub a fabric I like, maybe it’ll help. Maybe I’ll feel better. But I’m still here inside my head. I’m still completely overloaded. Someone. Make it stop. 

Sensory issues are why I have two weighted blankets – my big one and my travel one. Sensory issues are why I have to carry a beanie baby with me everywhere (at age 27) in order to ground myself. Sensory issues are why I don’t like bright places, loud places, so many different types of places.

But I have to go about life and I still haven’t figured out how to best live with it – how to fully embrace it and be proud of it. To love the fact that I can only wear certain fabrics, certain clothes on certain days. To rock who I am. It’s fully okay for me to accept this and say “yes, this part still sucks. This part still scares me. This part still overwhelms me.”

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