Feelings

I think I feel too much. That is what autism is most like for me. Autism is feeling everything acutely all the time. I literally feel everything. I feel every object in a room. I feel sounds and smells and tastes. I feel words. I feel emotions. I can’t say I feel differently than you because I don’t know exactly how you feel. I have never been you. But I can say that I feel everything physically. And it is exhausting…

I was telling a friend today that I think I love too much. Love for me is overwhelming. It makes my whole body tingle. Love is a burst of energy that penetrates every fiber of my being. It feels like it literally changes my DNA so that I am now connected to a person in a way that they are made a part of me. I love hugs because it feels like the energy inside of me finds a place to belong. Like the love inside of me connects with the love inside of someone else, and for a moment, I feel whole.

Joy is like that too. Joy is like a spring inside of me. It makes me feel like every particle in me wants to jump up and down. This is why I flap and jump up and down and smile like crazy, because the joy in me has to have somewhere to go. When I am “flapping happy”, I feel like I am flying. It is like the joy inside of me has come out of my skin and when I jump or flap, I’m releasing that joy into the world. It feels like the joy springs from me and dances in the air, and when it lands, it becomes peaceful, like it is lying on the ground watching the clouds on a cool spring day.

Unfortunately, depression and darkness are also things I feel acutely. Depression is like millions of tiny weights hanging from each hair, each skin cell, weighing me down with an enormity that cannot be seen from outside. And if the weight wasn’t already enough, it feels like there is a black hole in my chest. Opposite to the feeling of joy wanting to come out of me, depression feels like it sucks everything into me. It is a constant sucking force that seems to suck all of the air and light out of a room, making it difficult to breathe and to see anything other than the darkness inside of me.

Fear, joy, sadness, disgust, anger, and every other emotion that ever lives inside of me all have their own physical feeling attached to them. Each one is so powerful and all-consuming that I can hardly do anything else because my body is overcome by the feeling of each emotion. I think that this is why I shut down sometimes, because constantly feeling everything wears me out. And after feeling so many strong emotions, sometimes it is simply painful. Pain for me is like an exploding of every emotion. It confuses me, and I don’t know what will come out. I feel like Cyclops from the X-men before he learns how to control his powers. Everything comes out and I don’t even see what I’m destroying until after it’s done.

Flapping

Have you ever felt so excited that it feels like a burst of energy going through your body?

This is what flapping feels like.

I feel the energy go up through my chest and then up into my head and down to my arms.

At this point, I have two choices:

  1. Let the energy stay there and dissipate.
  2. Let the energy come out by flapping, jumping up and down, and smiling like crazy.

Lately I have been choosing the second option more and more. Before this time in my life I didn’t really think I could ever flap. It happened once or twice when I was in college and was in my room alone, but before that I was never alone enough to flap. There was always someone who could potentially see and I couldn’t take that risk.

I have never flapped in front of anyone.
I have never flapped in front of friends or even my family.
No one knows I flap.

But… when I’m alone in an empty house, I can now allow myself to flap. And it feels so good. It just feels good to be completely free and completely me for a few seconds. And I’m glad that I can flap now.

Related Poem

This is my 100th post on this blog. I have been writing in this blog consistently for a little over a year now. I just wanted to thank you for joining me on this journey and being willing to listen and hopefully see things from a new perspective.