Meltdown — A Guest Author Poem

As an activist for Mental Health, I often wonder how it is that I go about my work. It is a question that many of us face, and I believe that I’ve come to a conclusion.

You’ve seen it playing itself out on a weekly basis, and you’ll see it in this post, but I believe the answer is in sharing other’s stories. Awareness is found in giving someone else a voice. Hope is found in vocalizing someone else’s experience.

I received an email a few days ago and it contained the poem below. Allison is a friend, an author, and today’s guest contributor. She has contributed blog posts on multiple occasions with us and I’m excited to continue working with her.

Allison suffers from Autism and her work focuses on raising awareness for the disease. Her poem today is about her meltdowns and gives great insight into her struggle.

You can find her other posts for Confessions’ at these links: “Finding Who We Are” Entry #6: Autism Plus and YOUR Confessions Through Photography.

You can also find her at her blog here:

My meltdown is

Echoed in my screaming.

Adrenaline is racing like napalm through my veins.

Moro reflex punching my gut over and over

Reliving the sensory overload on a loop

I’m drowning without being in water

and I have to go to bed for 2 days

Sometimes it brings red and blue flashing lights on a squad car 

Handcuffs chewing into my wrists

Lots of shouting and grabbing

Strapped to a backboard while my skin turns purple and black

Locked up, drugged up

Being punished for something I cannot control

It isn’t a conscious choice I’ve made

To disrupt my life or yours

It so happened that

A dog was barking-

A child was screaming-

Someone set off a firecracker-

And I couldn’t process the information fast enough

To remain in control of my executive functioning

The threat of sensory overload

hangs pregnant, like a cumulonimbus cloud

I need a safe place and safe people- now and until I die

To successfully process what life heaps upon me

Will you help me to make this a reality?

I cannot do it alone,

behind a computer

detached from any notion of community.

I don’t want my life story to end in a jail

cell, nursing home or alley.

Thank you, Allison, for contributing!

Do you have a piece you would like to share with the community? Would you like to contribute to our Finding Who We Are series? Email me at I’d love to share your work!

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