Content warning: I wrote this blog when I was having sensory overload I think so, therefore, it is rambly nonsense.
“OVERSTIMULATED” I messaged my boyfriend after finding the perfect word to describe how I was feeling at that moment.
“Like your socks don’t fit right?” My boyfriend replied, harking back to a conversation we had when he described a feeling he gets sometimes when he feels ‘unnecessary’ and we both kind of childishly roll around and play fight until we get rid of the ‘unnecessary’ energy.
“Yes but it’s making me tense and angry and I can’t concentrate” I replied frustratingly.
Whereas his unnecessary energy could always be counteracted by a laughing fit at this picture or us attempting to chokeholds until both of were exhausted. Mine has always manifested into anxiety and irritation.
Overstimulation is for dogs and babies, not adults
Overstimulation is the perfect word to describe the feeling that too much is going on, not in the bigger picture kind of way. In the way your brain is going 100 miles a second going – ‘oh my god stop clicking your pen, oh it’s too hot in here, fuck I’m tired, I should be doing this, do I need more water, oh my stomach hurts why does it always hurt’.
It’s when you have too many tabs open on your computer or every tiny action is taking too long, you’re trying to start a piece of work and your furious that it’s not done yet but you’ve not even started. It’s the feeling when you stretch out your legs and it feels amazing but they go back to feeling like normal boring legs immediately after the stretch and you curse yourself for letting yourself taste the good life for a second.
It feels me with dread and anxiety and it’s incredibly annoying when you’re just having a standard day and all of a sudden you’re unable to concentrate on anything but yet feel the need to do everything.
I might possibly have anxiety but doesn’t everyone
At my last job I was bollocked a few times for taking too many sick days, 16 in 12 months if I remember rightly. My boss was very jovial about it, very ‘we all understand but come on now, you can’t keep calling in sick’ and made a comment that I typically called in sick on a Thursday and was there anything happening on the Wednesday night that caused me suddenly be ill.
Of course, I didn’t have the nerve to tell me boss ‘Actually I’m deeply unhappy in this job and feel stressed all the time so I’ve mostly taken days off because I literally cannot face another day here in this hostile hell hole’ Because, at the time, I don’t think I realised my mysterious ailments all stemmed from anxiety. I’m a giant hypochondriac so think constantly about illness and how I’m probably dying at this very moment, so I just assume ‘Oh I just have some awful disease’
Because my anxiety was very subtle for me, I just assumed everyone was filled with terror on a daily basis because why wouldn’t you be? The world is scary, people are assholes and everyone who really truly loves and cares about is faking it because you can never trust anyone because people are essentially self-motivated. Everyone thinks that right? Sane, logical thinking right there.
Ah, so this is what feeling normal feels like
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago I realised that I hadn’t been feeling anxious at all. Sure I’d moved to a country where I didn’t speak the language and everything was different and people here are very blunt when they speak. But that was understandable, logical anxiety – I could explain that to other human beings and they wouldn’t be like ‘dude what the fuck are talking about it.’
Mostly it’s down to the fact that I’m happier in my job than I’ve ever been, in the fact the idea of my job and the word ‘happy’ has never been particularly close to each other in the past.
So it was a surprise today when all of a sudden the familiar knot in the pit of my stomach arose, I started feeling warm, my heart rate quickened and all of a sudden I was stuck with the feeling like the world was being too loud, too much and I couldn’t breathe as well as I could usually. Not like I couldn’t breathe, but more like I had got my head trapped in the arm of a wolly jumper and I was struggling to get it off.
It was only then I realised:
‘oh no, I have anxiety, nothing is going on, this makes no sense, oh fuck.’ It’s almost like being given a prize late in life ‘Congratulations on the Mental Health Issues. You’re Now Like Everyone Else’
Anyway, still feeling breathless, still feeling like I want to stretch my legs until the end of time, still feel irritable and am trying to figure out how to reduce this feeling with my ole’ friend in hypochondria – Wikipedia.
So Sensory Overload is a thing that can happen to people with anxiety and having looked at this Wikipedia page it’s actually crazy how many things I described without ever having heard of this before.
I went to a meeting and had to stop freaking out and I’m fine now, what the fuck is my life and what the fuck is the blog and who the fuck are you Brenda.