I have coined a new term, just for myself – meltdown hangover.
I don't have frequent meltdowns. I am grateful about that, because they are draining and scary and always leaves me with this hangover. The ones I do have are always in private, and it is not something I am ready to share much about, it is too personal. And somewhat embarrassing.
But what I can share is how I feel afterwards. I think drugged would be a good word to describe it. My brain feel slow and foggy, I am more clumsy, and I feel exhausted – everything is an effort and I have to concentrate to keep moving and doing what I am supposed to do. Sometimes it feels like my hearing is affected, and there is almost always a lingering headache. It would be easier just to sleep in a silent and dark room until I feel better. Trouble with that is – the hangover often lasts for at least a day.
This may be one of the reasons why I hate crying. Crying needs to be controlled, because if for some reason I am already feeling overwhelmed or have sensory overload, crying can easily escalate into a meltdown. One preventative measure is staying around people. I cannot lose control in front of others, so that helps me stay calmer. Deep breaths, concentrating hard on something else, furiously cleaning something or digging in the garden, it all helps.
You might ask why keep the lid on all these intense feelings? After all, a good cry is supposed to help you release stress and feel better. Unfortunately I do not experience it like that. Losing control is very scary for me, and I do not feel better afterwards.