UPDATE 2015 : This is a very old post in which I missed a lot of points. Two years on, not only does Sensory Processing Disorder affect me a lot more than ever before, but I know a lot more about it. I will have blogposts up about it soon.
Today I'm going to be talking about 'SPD', Social anxiety and meltdowns. I was going to include bullying & mental health too but I've since decided to write a separate blogpost on those two issues because alot of my readers are around the same age as me & might be going through those things and also because even in the 21st century everyone still tip toes around these issues. But let's get on with today's blogpost anyway.
I'm new to this whole sensory processing & integration disorder. As in I only first heard of it eighteen months ago when I was diagnosed with it, but it affects me the whole time 365 days a yet and I'd go as far to say it affects me more than DCD.
The first trait of an SPD person is that we are sensitive to many of the seven senses. I know that I am sensitive to atleast touch, Smell, Sound and another sense which I forget the name of. For touch, I hate hugs, etc. they're just awkward. I hate hate hate the feel of jeans or any tight clothing which is why you never see my in jeans they are extremely uncomfortable for me. Until I began watching YouTube videos I used to think everyone wore jeans so it would be wrong if I didn't. I then discovered that there was tons of girls my age who wore more skirts dresses and shorts so I began to do the same and dump the jeans although I still have to wear tights in the rainy cold weather which is a pain but I've got slightly more used to it. For smells, I smell my foods and whether they smell ok to me or not depends on whether I like it or not and if I don't like the smell I just won't eat it. I've also had a habit of smelling my hands from a young age which is about of an OCD thing too which I'll talk about in a minute. I also hate loud noises especially fire alarms which scare me because when I was six and half there was a small fire in our kitchen and every since it just freaks me out anything to do with fires.
And then there's OCD and after reading this paragraph you'll understand why it irritates me so much when someone who obviously doesn't have OCD says "omigod I'm so OCD like" I always know if someone's OCD there's little tell-tale signs. I have pretty bad OCD. I don't like talking about it, but my OCD pattern is basically right left sniff right hand sniff left hand never do anything three times. You might also notice that there's always a gap between my exclamation marks and the word before it. In primary school teachers used to give out to me for the things for that was obviously OCD but they still went on telling me to change my routine which I still do to this day if you see inside my copy books ! I also have a weird sense thing so for example or just touched the top right corner of this notepad and now I have a sense of the top left corner and I have to touch that too to make things even and balanced. It's so frustrating how I have to do everything to make it balanced I hate it so much. My senses can be a positive sometimes though evade I can sense inbetween the lines on lined paper & therefore can sometimes write without having to look at the copy. I do everything the same routine every single day of the year although my routine sometimes changes every so often. If I do something different to the usual routine one morning and the day for wrong I must never do those different thins ever again for it will bring bad luck. It's all routine and fear. You probably think I'm a total freak but that is OCD and I'm sure many people have much worse OCD than me.
Us SPD people also have meltdowns - Oh the joys of meltdowns ! After doing my research on panic attacks (i.e watching Zoella's twenty minute video on the matter.) I don't want to confuse them with meltdowns so just incase you get confused, When you have a panic attack you panic, Your heart speeds, You sweat, The list goes on click here for Zoella's video. Meltdowns are different thing altogether. The cause of meltdowns is the SPD person's weak nervous system. To explain this again, A non-SPD person's nerves will go up if something upsetting happens but after a while will return to zero. Us SPD peoples' nerves are never at zero. They build up and up until we basically explode aka a meltdown. We scream, We shout (we let it all out ohhh ohh no stop singing Grace.), We cry, We scream again, We feel like we're trapped. It's very hard to remember happens because when you have a meltdown you just shutdown it's very scary for myself and my family. My worse meltdowns in my life were when I was 4/5 & in First Year over a year ago now when I had alot on my plate from being bullied to my nanny being sick. I felt lost I'll talk about it more in the next blogpost but these meltdowns were so scary you wouldn't wish them on your worse enemy (no not even the bullies.) and I hope I never go back to that state of mind. This year I rarely suffered full blown meltdowns and nowadays they're small and not too long or scary. My last proper scary big meltdown was in February or March although I almost had a proper one today (Tuesday.) but luckily I just kept crying and it was more like anxiety. If I feel like I'm going to have one while I'm in school I break out in spots and rashes up my bands and wrists.
Another SPD trait is having no social skills whatsoever ! I don't know what to say, What to do, I can't bring up conversation naturally and in the past when snarly comments are made I've no idea what to say and I don't think of a comeback til like an hour later when it's very much too late. A few months ago I happened to stumble across the Youtuber thatss0jack I think he's called and in his 'Draw my Life' video he spoke about social anxiety and how YouTube had helped him sort of overcome it a bit so I googled social anxiety and have figured out that's the problem. In social situations with people I'm not close to I just want to cry and run away I get so scared because I'm so awkward and don't know what to do. I don't know how I made the friends I have or how they put up with me earlier. In August I'm in a local play and at the moment we have rehearsals three times a week. Last night (Monday.) I was dropped in earlier than usual and the people of usually chat with weren't there yet so I was in a room with a whole load of people I didn't really know well or felt comfortable around. After a while I panicked so much I ran to the bathrooms and felt like a total fool I didn't know what to do. I genuinely don't know how to interact and can't handle social situations. I hate big crowds and all. A good few people from school have found my Instagram, Blog, YouTube, etc. so if you's are reading this right now & I sit beside you in a class and genuinely feel very sorry for you and apologise for my awkwardness I will try to not be so awkward silence next year I promise. Once I went to Chyan's (one of my best friends who's put up with my for almost ten years.) locker in the morning to see if she was there. She wasn't but there was someone at her locker block who I'd have to walk around. Now instead of doing the common sense type of thing and going around the outside of them and keep going on time own the corridor I squeezed between them and the locker block. I will sketch a diagram of me doing this and of course the group of lads from my CT class standing nearby so you can roll on the floor laughing rofl because I have a non existent brain.
I wish I was a less awkward person who my could hold a conversation and be more confident but what can I do oh well.
I hope you's enjoyed this blogpost and maybe learned something from it. Next well will be my last blogpost in this series and like I mentioned earlier I'll be talking about two serious issues especially for teens like me in the 21st century which is bullying and depression which I've been wanting to talk about for ages but was always too afraid to do but I know now that it's wrong of me to shy away when I could post this on my blog and help someone. As always if you've any questions in the meantime on this blogpost or you would like to me to discuss in the next blogpost comment below or email me.