This is a neat communication tactic from my pal over at Clockwork Minds. Sometimes it’s so difficult for me to communicate what I’m feeling and it comes out as harsh snipping because I’m fighting with myself internally to just relax, and being bombarded with my environment at the same time. I particularly like her use of “buzziness”. We listen to the radio in the kitchen when we’re making dinner, but if he dogs start wrestling and my son is moving around and my husband is talking to me I suddenly lose my cool. Fun kitchen family time becomes hellish sensory bombardment time and it’s all I can do to keep from covering my ears. I’m most likely to snap at someone or drop something when this happens.
I’m all about best practices. Maybe this will work in my household.
I’ve recently found that using ‘code words’ is a great time and stress saver! It means you only have to say one word to a person and hopefully they’ll have a bit of an idea about what’s going on in your head. Of course, the people you’re with need to know the meaning behind the code words else they wont have any idea what you’re talking about. Sometimes it even helps to understand yourself. When I have a feeling that is hard to grasp with words, I can just associate the feeling with my codeword. Here are a few of my own codewords I’ve recently made…
Mindblock:– A horrible feeling I often get when I’m trying to explain to someone what’s wrong. Its like I get a “wordless feeling” that can only be felt and has no words to explain it. Its in my mind and I can feel it but it can’t be filtered out into the outside world. Its like running into a brick wall. And it’s extremely frustrating when it happens. Imagine writing a brilliant email or text message where you’re explaining something and then suddenly you run out of space on the page! It’s so frustrating! And when I’m already feeling bad, it makes me feel so much worse. Having horrible thoughts and feelings and not even being able to say what they are takes ‘feeling down’ to a whole new level.
Social battery:- The social battery is a battery that fills up every time I’m in situations that make me feel uncomfortable. Such situations include college, social situations, going out alone, awkward conversations, talking to people I don’t know, the list goes on and on and on! How much a situation fills up the battery depends on how much the situation made me feel uncomfortable. At the end of the day I’m left with a battery that is full depending on how much of a socially demanding day it was. On days where I’ve been at home, pottering around happily by myself, the battery is going to be on the empty side of the scale. But on days where I’ve been out alone, been to college and had to talk to people I’ve never met, the battery will be on the full end of the scale. At the end of the day, I need to drain it back down by being completely isolated from everyone. I need to go to my room, shut the door, put my ear phones in and metaphorically disappear from the face of the earth. Otherwise ill be snappy with family and more fragile and nervous than usual in social situations. And if I don’t drain it back down, it’ll just overflow and I’ll become more nervous in social situations, more tired and fed up and I’ll feel life is impossible to keep up with. This is my favourite code word to use as it’s so simple! My mum sometimes asks me how full my ‘social battery’ is, I answer with a percentage and immediately she’ll have a good idea of how i’m feeling!
Meltdown:- A meltdown, to me, isn’t necessarily bad. It’s an emergency clear out of pent up emotion to prevent it from building up(which can have very bad consequences). I don’t choose to have a meltdown, it just sometimes happens. For example, after a day where the social battery is almost full, I may need to get home and cry and be angry so I can get out all of the bad emotions and feelings that have been stacking up. Afterwards I’ll feel like a bit of a bruised peach and I’ll have to patch myself back up and snuggle up to recover
Buzziness:- A bit of a silly word and not a code word I use much as this feeling doesn’t occur often. This is an extremely hard feeling to explain so I’ll try to get straight to the point and describe it in the smallest amount of words possible…Buzziness is when there is too much ‘input’. For example, if I listen to loud, upbeat music for too long, I sometimes feel hyper. So if I’m listening to music and feeling a bit hyper and then the phone rings and then I get a text message and then I spill a drink and then the internet stops working and people get home , all this stuff in a short amount of time will feel rushed and the atmosphere will feel ‘buzzy’. There’s a lot of input and lots of things are going on all of a sudden. That’s the best way of explaining it, I think.