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 also find her at her blog here: https://through1filter.blogspot.com/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to share your work!
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