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A photo of Australian-based Autism support specialist, Kristy and her husband.

Sensory overload and a social hangover.

autism behaviours neurodivergent socialising Jun 10, 2021
Sitting here reminiscing about the good ole masking in social situations; days of extreme and intense anxiety for weeks, months leading up to events with other people.
The day would finally arrive and I’d be frozen ALL DAY, unable to get moving.
A last-minute sprint clean and some heavy meltdowns under pressure for good measure; some considerations of excuses to cancel..” Migraine? Nah, too obvious. Kids! SICK KIDS!”...
But then there were times where I couldn’t let all that pain and suffering go to waste and had to see it through.
Conversations about work, vehicle injuries and complaints about family members.. oh the fun to be had.
Making a slight mistake with one of my recipes and self-loathing for the following six years... ”GOD, why didn’t I notice it was plain flour and not self-raising?!”
Beginning the night with exhaustion and suffering from a social hangover for days afterwards.
Sensory overload, the painful change in my auditory processing, sore throat from over-laughing (overcompensating for the food I mucked up).
Stressing out for the following year about the guests' thoughts and feelings as they were in my home and after they left.
What did they say to one another on the car ride home? Will they ever come back? Did I sound blunt or harsh when I said that thing? Were they having a dig at me when they said that thing?
Did we pass?
Are we acceptable?
But HOW GOOD is the part where the people leave, it’s all over and you rip out the prison tracksuit or pyjamas and eat all the leftover food?!
I would be so manic and over the moon at the end of it all I oft felt like giving a speech.
And I don’t drink.
Living the life.
Just, livin’ the life.
All for the sake of acceptance.
We don’t live this way anymore.
We have peace, calm and we honour our neurodivergence.
- KF

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