Extreme Overwhelm

It seems to me that every time I experience overwhelm somethings are different about the state but somethings are the same. I also find there are different degrees of overwhelm and I wish I had words to separate and categorise those different degrees or stages.
Before the overwhelm there is stimulation building up to over-stimulation becoming arousal and over-arousal. Then the overwhelm hits me, like walking into a wall.
At the moment I am going through (rather feels like being stuck in, to be honest…) an intense state of overwhelm. One of the heavy ones that affects everything; my energy levels, my experience of pain in my body, my way of thinking, my memory, my concentration, my ability to speak coherently, my emotions, the way I sense things.
These states are odd and I used to think them to be deep depressions. It seemed to me that the only reason I didn’t go catatonic, was because of my high level of self-control.  Somehow with the self-control I would stay able to make myself do a minimum of things during the day; even if it is just to eat, bathe or listen to an audio-book. Now I find it helpful to think of this as extreme overwhelm rather than a depression and I know that if I gently look after myself, wait for time to do its trick, I will slowly move into a more meaningful way of being again.
The horror of the extreme overwhelm (and what used to make me think it was depression) is the deadness inside – nothing matters, nothing feels meaningful or worth doing. If I indeed am even able to think of something to do. Or say. It is like a dark-grey woolly fog with no sense of up or down, no ground or gravity, no directions, no life. I still sense things intensely; my hands touching each other in my lap, the shouts from children playing, my breathing, the colours of flowers. It almost feels like I have become this super-detached mindfulness-master – the moments are prolonged, the sensations intensified and yet I feel nothing inside, nothing is awakened by these sensations. There is just the experiences of that moment. And then the next. And then the one after that. But none of it matters to me, it is just the world, life passing by and I might as well be dead for all I know.
It is a sad state. And when I feel something it is this sadness. Deep, existential, painful grief. Grieving for myself, for the state I am in. Grieving for the world, for human kind, for the conflicts going on everywhere, the abuse, the violence, the ignorance. All the fear everywhere. So much grief it is impossible to bear and the fog sweeps over me again, like a tortoise I withdraw into my shell and resign to not living for a while. Just gently surviving, waiting.

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