Fibromyalgia and Sensory Overload
A few weeks ago I read this article about linking fibromyalgia and sensory overload, and while it is an oddly written article, it intrigued me. It started me on a journey that has led to weeks of researching this topic.
For years I have simply thought I was losing my mind or being a grouch. I have felt like the worst mom in the world when simple noises from my children push me to a point of complete insanity. People don’t understand it. Heck, I don’t understand it.
This weekend was one of those moments for me. While I had an emotional and generally busy week, I came home Friday happy and ready for the weekend. With a storm front moving in, my fibro pain was ramping up, but I was excited to have a weekend to relax with my family. Within minutes of being home, I began to feel overwhelmed. My husband had the TV on, my kids were picking at each other and I was slowly moving into meltdown territory. We headed out for dinner, and while their arguing stopped, the sensory input kept coming.
When we returned home, I felt myself reaching the point of no return and after repeated attempts to get my kids to stop an argument, I lost it and screamed at them. Immediately I felt horrible. They couldn’t understand what was happening with me, and yet I took it out on them.
Sensory overload is something few people can understand. For me, it feels like a dam waiting to burst, and someone just keeps adding more water to the lake, until eventually the dam breaks. I start to shut down, my brain spins in circles, unable to complete a thought, and I feel my blood pressure rising, my chest starts to tighten, and my heart races…. it feels like the beginning of a full blown panic attack. I feel alone, like no one understands how this feels. Like people think I’m just a jerk or an impatient mother.
Sensory overload and sensitivity are things I struggle with daily, however most days I can manage to keep it calmed down enough to be considered normal. Whatever that is.
Almost always these major meltdown moments coincide with a pain flare up.
After reading these articles over the last few weeks, I feel like I have some sort of relief… like someone understands how I feel. It makes me feel like maybe I’m not losing my mind afterall. Like maybe I’m not so alone. It makes sense to me. It gives me a reason for this insanity.
Have you experienced sensory overload or chronic pain? How do you cope?