hey weirdos. 😀
as you might know, i’m a human! (a human aloe vera/birdie/chaos, yes) which is pretty similar of fellow humans reading this post. nothing big there.
unlike other humans (and very much like other other humans), i have something called sensory processing difficulties. which basically means that my senses are dialed to the max on a daily basis and regular things that involve people will occasionally give me overload. 😀 like superman.
combine that with low blood sugar problems and… basically i’m a toddler. cranky and hangry. *gah why is this accurate*
why do i mention all of this? because i, like many other people with spd (sensory processing difficulty/disorder) do have lives and our “disabilities” are actually pretty chill.
except for, uh.
it’s scary enough for normal human beings. you willingly pay money to hand in your possessions, get searched by machines that see all, spooky, dodge other scared people like yourself, get lost every ten minutes, wait anxiously in a row of stiff seats, board a metal tube, and fly to the unknown.
now take all of that and add the details.
it’s not impossible though. because if it was, i wouldn’t be alive to tell the tale. (or would i? this could be my ghost writing. O_O)
so, y’know, cause i’m such an expert (ha) i figured i could put some tips here for fellow flying spd peeps and their friends. because… y’know. just cause.
//sidenote that these work for me but they aren’t certified by a professional do your research and fly safe ty//
- know what’s happening. i tend to fly on the seat of my pants (MISTAKE), but to avoid all the stress that comes from overthinking, try to have everything planned out. put your docs in one place, and your sanity in another. know your flight, know what gate you need to board, try mentally checking in and going through security. it helps to have some idea of what it will be like before going through it.
- safe places people, safe spaces. people are scary, and so is the stuff they bring with them, so try to find a corner or a side that isn’t loud and doesn’t have someone lounging around. that’s kinda your breathing spot while you’re waiting for the plane.
- comfort objects!! you know those slime videos and the cracking clay stuff? they’re really satisfying for some reason, but they’re also… i dunno, calming? my figuring is because they occupy your senses and tune them down a bit. that’s something that you can sorta do. if you have a buddy, hug the buddy. eat something (nourishment + sense of taste = win) . do the whole fidgit spinner thing if it helps you. pull on a sleeve or a pillow– occupy your brain with safe things so you don’t freak.
- headphones are lifesavers. use them whenever you can. sensory muffs have really helped me in places like church and the mall and anywhere with people, and if you have a source of music, PLAY IT. blast the headphones. (also they seem to help with air pressure for me. i don’t know why.)
- know practices you can do to calm yourself down if you feel like panicking. isa wrote an amazing post about panic attacks, and they do help! don’t be afraid of feeling weird– if people knew, they would support, and if they thought it was weird, who cares? use them.
for traveling family members/ friendos:
- keep an eye on your friend. yup, they are capable of handling themselves, and yeah, you shouldn’t try to smother them with care, but do watch for when they may seem out of it/uncomfortable/zoned out/panicking.
- become a comfort object. sometimes you may need to hug someone to calm them down. HUG THEM. or if they just need to be talked into calmness, do it. “it’s okay, it’s okay” is cool, but sometimes it doesn’t work (because sometimes it’s not okay). things like “i’m here, i’m not leaving you” and “breathe” can help. 🙂
- if necessary, tell people to back off. people are naturally curious, which is cool, but the last thing someone with spd needs is a crowd trying to figure out what’s wrong with them. so, lovingly. shove them away. keep your friend in a quiet place, try to make them laugh, and watch their six. it’s a scary world out there.
another thing i’d like to mention is that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with needing help. kay? being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness, and a ton of times you will need to expose the soft, scared side of yourself that needs help and needs people to understand. i can only hope that these whacthamacallits can help you find that safe space and keep your sanity better than mine has been. XD
anyhoo, i have a couple of hours to rest, plan for nano (yay) collect my last will, and other mundane things before boarding a day-ish flight to the other side of the world. so.
get the headphones, drink water before and after the flight, and stay safe people.
~fall me on, from where you are, jo~