Energy envelops me;
Buzzing, pulsating around me, seeping into my ears.
Thunder of footsteps reverberates through the house.
My heart… lub-DUB, lub-DUB, lub-DUB .
Inhale, exhale, my breath is in my chest and ears.
Creaking of furniture, crinkling of wrappers, clinking of glass or ceramics.
Can’t think – everything echos (echos…echos…echos…).
Woosh, swish, swoosh…movement, fabrics;
So loud, pressure building.
Crushing noises, heavy, weighted;
Growing, piling on;
Air thick with sound.
Overwhelmed, tension mounting.
Why can’t I hear my thoughts?
Focus, try to maintain control, breathe.
Why is my breath so loud, like the roar of the ocean?
Can’t escape, a crescendo of noises.
My brain is suffocating.
Escape or Explode.
Hold it in.
ADHD can make normal everyday situations feel incredibly different on the inside than they appear on the outside. Many times stimuli like a conversation in the other room or the tv on can be just enough to make everything off kilter. This isn’t something that happens all day every day for me. It ebbs and flows like the tide with my stress and fatigue levels. However, when I do feel like this it is very much a whole body, physical experience where sounds are tangible. It is something so hard to explain, especially in the moment because it is so overwhelming. Hiding this and attempting to maintain composure and be present is difficult.
A recent example of this is when my mom, husband, daughter and I were trying to decide what time to leave to run an errand, drop Tay off at dance and head to our date. It was maybe a five-minute conversation. It felt like eternity. My eardrums were close to exploding. Noise was everywhere. I finally said “Everyone just stop talking, I can’t think!” There is a good chance that I said this way louder than necessary because all three of them looked at me from their seats around the room. My husband said “No one was talking” and my mom replied “I just asked what time you wanted to leave.” After taking a deep breath I gave my input on the time and we continued our evening.
Moments like this from the outside look like an over reaction and do not appear to make sense. However, to the person experiencing it from the inside, they are not an over reaction – they are reality.