There are so many areas of human experience where autism is assumed to mean less than or shortfall whereas it’s often a case of more…so much more that it’s untenable and excruciating to be in the experience. Sometimes, the very appearance of so-called shortfall should prompt the question “is way too much going on in there, so much so that it can’t be handled or made sense of, can’t be articulated or processed in conventional ways?”.
Coming to understand yourself is the single most important thing you get to do in your life! When it comes to healing a chronic condition, some of the tools you can use to understand your personality type can reveal explicit treatment approaches, lifestyle and even useful attitude modifications that might otherwise elude you, because they spotlight things about YOU that might not apply to the next person.
Being an HSP isn't a flaw but an evolutionary advantage, as has been amply demonstrated by science and history. We were always meant to be the natural outliers of the community, by design, so that we could be the first to notice important things that others miss, picking up envornmental cues and alerting others to any danger that we sensed coming our way. But what happens when our alarms start to go off all the time and when or how do we get a respite? How does this relate to the modern age phenomenon of chronic pain, fatigue and systemic meltdown?
Are sensory-sensitivities in autism the same as being a Highly Sensitive Person and what can you do, in either case, when your sensory experiences seem to play on loop, especially if they trigger physical symptoms? Sharing some insights as someone with both traits and ways I am starting to rewire my own highly sensitive responses.
Stress has been the modern pandemic since long before covid-19 came along, which is why so many people and systems have been wrong-footed by it...but therein lies the opportunity to evolve. individually and collectively.
We all need some sort of containment, a reliable edge to our experiences, to enable us feel held and supported in life...and belief systems can do this for the majority of people (to a point). My neurodiverse way seems to have required that I build by own edges from scratch, plucked from a cacophony of sensory experiences and turned into the life supporting routines, rituals and focal points of my life; some distinctly more supportive than others (but getting there). Exploring the need for edges and how to make them better - Asperger's style.
...for those of us who are especially sensitive, though the idea of being "out" amongst a load of other people in a room together is quite abhorrent as an idea, the reality is we could benefit from this more than most...because its the missing link to our health, we have to dare to go there to break the stalemate of our stuckness, and choir is an appropriate way in as it puts us where harmony is the very name of the game.
Hard science has uncovered a mechanism whereby the same collagen abnormalities in EDS that make joints especially flexible seem to affect blood vessels, making those with it prone to accumulation of blood in the veins of the legs, an effect that may lead to exaggerated cardiovascular responses to maintain the output of blood from the heart. This and other foibles, which I feel are versions of the same response, put those of us with this issue under immense pressure and strain, all the time, as our version of "normal" so just imagine how much we then react to any additional triggers, to which we tend to be hypersensitive (I share my about theory about that too...), setting off our nervous system at regular intervals in a way that has nothing inherently to do with mental health...although, no surprise, it can start to manifest as anxiety over time. Joining some dots and celebrating just how much people with hypermobility type EDS deal with as their daily benchmark...plus some practical ways of making it better.
We arrive in this world wide-open to things that neurotypicals seem to have no idea or sense of and with trusting hearts so full of unconditional love, such transparency and truth, such an all-pervading knowledge of the sameness of all living creatures, that it takes a lifetime of being told we are wrong to perfect the structures that hold us intact, in spite of such a tide of contradiction to what we still know and hold so tenderly inside.
Like a penny dropping, those last moments that I spent with my mother and the stuck state in my health suddenly clicked together in my mind. Realising the importance of touch in all of our lives, even (perhaps especially) those on the autism spectrum...