My mind is whizzing at 100mph. All my thoughts swoop in and out, like a washing machine spin cycle. I can’t quite grab any one of them to focus on it for more than a millisecond before … whoooosh off it goes again into the virtual spin cycle above my head. Its making me dizzy trying to slow them all down so I can at least focus on one thing.
What this looks like from the outside… I look like I am in a daze, not quite there, not making sense and not able to focus.
At the same time, All the demands of the day are tapping on my shoulder, all wanting instant attention, like now. no NOW. The guy laying decking wanting my attention, the electrician digging up my drive wanting to tell me what happens next, the meetings I am meant to go to, the tasks I had on todays to-do list… and so on and so on.
It feels like the people around me are all shouting louder and louder, to get my attention, then ten phones rings to tell me there’s something I should have done yesterday and that I am in big trouble.
This is the closest I can get right now to describing an ASD meltdown, how it looks to me. Now this is not just generally feeling overwhelmed. This is different. It is Autism. It debilitates you. puts you in freeze mode. It’s hard to get out of. Really hard.
I self manage this the only way I know how. Isolation. Quiet, Stillness, both physical and mental. And this is damn hard to do in todays society.
Autism is invisible. Autism is easy to cover up and ‘mask’ when we are feeling calm and ok, bloody hard to cover up if we are stressed, anxious or tired.
Some people say things like ‘your autism is leaking out more today’. This is actually quite insulting. What is actually happening is I do not have the additional energy required at this moment, to make myself blend into a neurotypical society that doesn’t always make sense to me. So what you get is the raw, unfiltered me instead.
Tough luck sunshine. That is autism.
Think carefully. Hidden disabilities are still disabilities. Even if you can’t see them on the outside.