Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Sitting on my bed rocking, rocking, rocking. Pressing my palm into the mattress again and again. I am on the phone, slurring and stuttering. The words won’t come.
Why am I rocking, back and forth? I try to stop, but my body doesn’t want to. It’s as if my brain is stuck in an unending loop.
Rocking, rocking. This reminds me of something. What is it? Rocking, rocking. To and fro. I try to think, but my thoughts are locked up somewhere beyond my reach. Rocking, rocking.
My hand makes a dent in the mattress again and again. My shoulders are hunched as I rock. A picture pops into my mind—a boy, autistic, hunched over, rocking. I recall Temple Grandin explaining that repetitive motions help with… what?
My thoughts are zooming around, stumbling over each other, bouncing, sliding, going nowhere. Should I go? Should I not? What if… And if I don’t? My emotions are all over the place. I’m afraid, and sad, and resentful. Resentful? Resentful. And scared and worried. Hopeful and hopeless. I want to know but I want to hide.
I feel bombarded by conflicting viewpoints. Too many words. Too many people talking, talking, one after the other, after the other. And my headache is getting worse.
Holding my head, applying pressure, I try to disappear into myself. And I rock and rock. Back and forth.
And then it clicks—sensory overload! The repetitive motion is supposed to block out the over-stimulating environment.
I rock and rock, trying to drown out the cacophony of sensory input that’s overwhelming my mind.