Calming the storm within

Fire, burning in my stomach and chest,

My heart beats louder and faster,

My body starts to tremble,

The anxiety is taking hold,

With sharp claws digging into me,

And its voice shrieking in my head.

 

My chest is tight, the burning pain continues,

I want to escape from this terrible feeling,

I need to calm the storm within me.

 

Close my eyes,

Listen to the calming words,

Breathe,

Focus,

Slow breathing, controlled,

Focus again,

Be in the present moment.

 

The minutes tick by,

The anxiety starts to fade away,

I am feeling much better now.

Anxiety is losing its grip,

The claws are slipping off,

I have relief for now.

I have to try to fight with my weapons,

To calm the storm within.

“You’re not listening”, yes I am.

Lately a friend of mine mentioned that she thinks that part of the reason I am having trouble socializing is because I am not listening. Yes, I sometimes do wander off into my own world, but I do listen to what others are talking about. In fact I try very hard to understand and track the different subjects. The problem is that I have anxiety, and I don’t know what to talk about because everyone keeps changing subjects and talking about all sorts of things.

I may look like I am not paying attention, but I am. I try to observe so that I can learn how to socialize. Another thing is that I do much better socializing when I am in alone or with only a couple of people I know. Socializing in a group is much more anxiety provoking and harder for me.

In addition to this, sensory issues can make it hard for me. Sudden loud noises or movements made by people sends me into a panic, and loud noise makes me have sensory overload. If there is too much sensory input to be filtered, I do not talk, because I am overwhelmed by sensory input. It’s not that I’m ignoring you, or not listening, sometimes I am just overwhelmed by sensory input or I am struggling with anxiety.

I want to be able to socialize but it seems like every time I try to observe socializing to learn, I cannot get it. It is like trying to learn a foreign language. Social skills are not an innate thing to me as an Autistic person, it is one of the things that I struggle with as an Autistic person. Sometimes I like to be on my own to rest and recover spoons, or to just chill. Processing sensory input from the music on the raio and multiple conversations can be tiring.

I also don’t always make eye contact with people. If I am not making eye contact with a person when I am talking, it does not mean that I am not listening. I can still hear and process what the person is saying. Eye contact can be invasive, like someone is looking into my soul. Eye contact should not be a “must” but rather an “option” for Autistic people.

People need to realize that Autistic people communicate in a different way. We do not always make eye contact, and we often struggle with communicating within a group. Some of us need down time to process things because our brains get tired from processing everything. Don’t just assume we are not listening, we may be taking in things very deeply and processing on the inside.

So, if I am not looking at you, or looking at something else, or I am quiet; it does not mean that I am not listening. I am listening, even when I am quiet.

 

 

What an anxiety attack feels like for me.

I have anxiety. Sometimes I have anxiety attacks. Lately, I have been having anxiety attacks more often. Anxiety attacks feel horrible. My anxiety attacks usually have a trigger, and sometimes they come out of the blue. Here is what an anxiety attack feels like for me

 

My heart is beating faster, why am I feeling this way? My chest feels heavy and tight. My stomach is burning with pain, and the burning sensation is in my chest too. I feel shaky, alone, scared. There are voices around me, it is chaotic sound to me. The voices grow louder, I close my eyes to try to shut it out, this feeling continues on and on, I want relief, but I cannot have it, I have to wait for this feeling to pass.

 

One of the most frustrating things about having anxiety attacks is that other family members and friends cannot understand what it feels like. Sometimes they deny it too. I am afraid that this will happen out in public. What if I have an anxiety attack at vaulting? What if I have an anxiety attack at dog club? What if it goes into a full-blown panic attack? What if, if if…..

I wish that anxiety was not so hard to deal with. It is a monster that I have to battle with daily. I have found meditation to be helpful for providing some relief from my anxiety. I am not sure if my medication (Prozac) is working. I hope it works soon, I hate this feeling, I want to feel positive, I want to feel calm. Anxiety is stealing my voice and causing me pain.

 

Sinking and rising.

My anxiety attacks,

Feeling nauseated,

Increased heart rate,

Burning pain in my stomach and chest.

 

Shakiness,

Fear,

Chaos in my head.

 

It’s a voice screaming in my head,

“You suck!”

“You can’t do this!”

“Everybody hates you!”

 

I feel overwhelmed by sound,

I hear every sound,

Every pitch,

All at once.

 

I am in sensory overload,

The flashing bright lights are like lasers to my eyes,

I am feeling tired,

So tired,

Drained of my energy,

It’s too much.

 

Meltdown,

Feeling like I want to scream,

Tight chest,

Tears,

Chaos.

 

Sometimes I feel very close to others,

And sometimes I do not,

Sometimes I start sinking,

Away from my friends and family members,

anxious and alone.

 

At some point, I start feeling better again, more confident, calmer,

I rise again,

But then a bad thing happens,

And I sink once again.

 

 

A poem I wrote about my struggles as an Autistic person and my anxiety.