April 22, 2010

Quieting down

My brain doesn't quiet down very easily. It's always thinking about 10 things at once.  Lately, it's been up at night crazy too.  Last night, for example, I was convinced that bedbugs were crawling on me.  They weren't.  I know this because I got up to check. Twice. It didn't stop me from KNOWING they were there, though.

I've shared in the past that external noise is often too much for me to take. It's why I like books so much better than TVs, and why movie theaters are sometimes difficult places for me to be.  If you ride in the car with me, more often than not, the radio isn't even on.  (It's also one reason why I HATE talk radio.) Unnecessary noise makes me crazy.

I've always questioned whether it was an undiagnosed sensory disorder.  Or if I was a monk in a former life.  But lately, I've come to the realization that pain is noisy.

I'm an auditory learner.  If you say it, and I'm actually listening to it, I will remember it.  10 years later even. Trust me, people have tested it as a party trick. It's why I pick up languages quickly.  But I've found that the more pain I'm in, the less I seem able to tolerate the sounds around me.  Sometimes Beerman will say something to me 3 times before I realize he's speaking.  And it's not because I don't want to hear it. It's just that some days the pain is so much, I truly feel like I can't process hearing anything above the pain.

I am not sharing this for you to sign up for my pity party, but because this direct link between my noise avoidance and pain is a recent revelation to me.  An "a ha!" if you will.  And an important one, because I think it's going to help me figure out how to manage my own life just a little better.  And every wee bit helps.


Bev Sykes said...

You and I could never be together for any length of time. As avoidant as you are of noise is my need for it. The TV is on ALL the time (including at night), I can't ride in the car without a talk show or audio book (or, in a pinch, music) playing. Quiet makes me very nervous!

(but other than that, I think you seem to be a very nice person!


Robin said...

Hi Jen. Actually, I don't think this is unusual at all; although I am sorry you're dealing with it. You say that pain is noisy. I say that noise is painful. I can understand needing quiet (although I don't need it all the time like you do). The world has become an unbelievably noisy place! And very uncomfortable because of it.

jon said...

My wife has very elaborate and complex dreams that mixes the dream with the days event. It is a mishmash that would drive me crazy. she remembers her dreams. She will have Clint Eastwood, her brother, and the Prince of Sweden driving in a car with her or some crazy other thing.

I forget my dreams ten seconds after I wake up.

jon said...

Point is: Her brain is never quiet.
Mine is hardly used.

Lindy said...


I have been noise intolerant for many, many years. About five years ago, a naturopath told me it had to do with my low thyroid hormone. I don't know if that's so as I have been on replacement therapy for almost 20 years and my tolerance of noise has never improved! Just the same, I can totally understand your comment that pain is noisy. It is screaming for attention.

Good luck in your journey to hush it up! =)