Today, I am in love with proprioception, the sense of where my body is in space. Because in case you haven't figured it out by now, I am a Sensory Processing Disorder advocate and author, and I will literally never ever blog about another topic.
In the middle of a very humid, very warm, very hazy, very rainy, very blindingly cloudy and supremely white NYC spring (the epitome of uncomfortable and gross, IMHO), today emerged from the night with a bright azure blue sky and unseasonably crisp temperatures. The wind howled through our open windows. I peered out and down to the street, and watched people scurry past our door clad in coats. It used to be that each morning, I jumped into my Lululemons and scooted out to the gym without a second thought, eager to immerse myself - even if briefly and safely - in the world outside. Since my bold move away from medication and into sensory shutdown territory, it's been harder to engage with the noisy, bright, crowded, busy sphere outside of our apartment. Seeing and processing sight has been touch-and-go, making a walk outdoors nightmarish. Who doesn't love walking down the street when their brain can't properly interpret what it's seeing? I mean, really. I've had to lure myself outside with padded accolades and using my most gentle motherese (It's okay, beautiful, you can do this, I swear! Coo coo, my little shmoo! You should win an award for the triumph of the human spirit over the human brain! Look at you walk down the street like a boss!) and all of this for a five minute walk around the block - something most people don't think twice about. Oh SPD, you creature. So today, almost four weeks after officially going off those nasty benzos and after 27 days of feeling like a sensory stranger trapped in a wacky neurological jail, I cautiously stuck my face out from behind our building door. A rush of cold met my cheeks. MY CHEEKS! I had almost forgotten where my cheeks were, or that I even had cheeks. Cheeks mean that I have a body. Feeling my body means that I know where I am in space. I exist!
I suppose that this makes sense. If skin is our largest (sense) organ, and I seek tactile input, the act of having cool air blow against my skin will be especially soothing for me, allowing me to feel calmer and more connected to my body in space, or the following RachQuation©:
Relief, AKA Proprioception
This Theory of Rachitivity© is so supremely simple to construct, and yet so difficult to arrange with Mother Nature. It is why I feel as if I come alive in the fall after floundering against the excruciating moist heat of summer. I have vivid daydreams of moving somewhere in the world where it is always autumn - crisp, blue, sunny - a day not unlike today. (I should note that thanks to the weather, I made it further on my walk with less tools than I have in the past month. With my proprioceptive sense feeling more present, I was able to rely less on my iffy visual processing for guidance outdoors - it's amazing how the senses work together when they are indeed [finally and suddenly, even if temporarily] working!)
It's regaining the thing you thought you'd lost for good, if even for a few moments.