Updated: Aug 24
Do you sleep well?
Sometimes, but often not.
Are you tense - do you feel stressed?
Yes. Most of the time. I have to do a lot to be able to relax. At night, I sleep with industrial ear plugs, blackout blinds, a mouth guard, a new ….
Ok, ok. So you are stressed. What do you think is making you this way?
Well, it’s just how things are. Everything. The noise, the bustle, the rush, so much expected of me.
So you are under pressure right now?
Well yes, but I’m talking about things generally.
Ok, but what is making you this stressed?
Well, erm, it’s just the way things are. Basically, the world is overwhelming.
Have you had one of these conversations before?
Chances are, if you’re here now reading this then you are probably someone who is like us. Someone who has at times, or often felt overwhelmed with the world. Perhaps you’re someone with a busy life, a crazy schedule or someone who is going through a lot right now.
Whatever your circumstances, I want you to know that you’re not alone.
The world is overwhelming, but that isn’t our fault. We live in a crazy fucking society. A society that tells us we need to be resilient when so much has gone wrong. Where people are worrying about where they are going to live, how they going to earn an income, and how they are going to care for loved ones who need support. The list goes on.
With all of this external noise, the world’s problems quickly become our own. It’s not easy to detach from, because whether we like it or not, we are all a part of this world.
For those of us who are different, the world is very different through our eyes.
Let’s talk about autism. Imagine walking into a room today, nothing intense, maybe just your kitchen. Now imagine this. Rather than the quiet ticking of the clock greeting you, an echoing drum beats loud blasts, and a screaming fridge fan rages at you. Your kitchen lights are glaring and swimming, making you feel as though you’ve just entered some kind of rave. Your beloved dog barks for its breakfast but that bark makes you shake. It vibrates through you because sudden and unexpected loud noises are the worst. The suddenness of a door banging, the dropping of a spoon, the chattering of your family. All competing sounds that your brain gets muddled, blurring them all into one fine mess. This is before you have even ventured out into the outer wilder world.
Now, imagine what being in this state does to our minds, bodies and lives over time. Imagine if every time you saw a doctor, the cause of your illness was stress. Imagine if every time you made a decision in your life, you had to first think about sensory overwhelm, the anxieties of being around people, the stress of society and its digital overload culture. We can’t change the kitchen, but the outer world influences how loud it sounds.
Many people find the world overwhelming, but for those of us with autism there are extra layers to navigate.
I wish that people could truly see the world through our eyes. Maybe if they did, the world would be less overwhelming.
If you can relate to this blog, or you would like to discuss your own experience of trying to survive in a completely overwhelming world, feel free to join us over on the Aunty Social Forum.