Without warning, something is just TOO MUCH
Last updated: October 2020
For well over a week in April, it poured down rain in Athens. You know the phrase “buckets of rain”? That’s what it was like. One Wednesday, I was at my friend’s business downtown and he was attempting to sop up puddles of rainwater at least 1” deep in his basement retail space. (I have always felt sympathy for people in situations like that, but now that I am also a business owner I really feel for folks who must deal with that particular pickle.) My sneakers, socks, and toes were completely wet within seconds of my going outside.
I parked just two blocks from my optometrist’s office, so I wasn’t too worried about my lack of umbrella. I would just dash from the car to the parking machine and then to my eye appointment, lickety-split. Right? I felt pretty chill about the whole thing.
I was wrong to feel calm about this: the parking machine wouldn’t accept my change. (It’s the kind where you put in money and it spits out a ticket you have to display on your dashboard. I put the same four quarters in again and again, getting soaked in the deluge, until finally it worked.) Then I kept pressing the wrong button on the car remote so I could put the parking ticket on the dashboard. Then I had to lock the car back and run down to my appointment. By the time I walked into the eye care center, I was dripping like crazy.
My morning up until then had been pretty smooth. Even the rain and my soaking clothes were okay.
I pulled my soaked hair back in a messy bun as I sifted through my bag to make sure nothing important had gotten wet. I wrote a couple of notes in my notebook, scratched through items on my to-do list, and generally felt pretty good about life.
Then, suddenly, with no warning, I could not stand to have this dang ponytail holder anywhere near my head. The loose bun, which had been comfortable, suddenly was TOO MUCH. I yanked it out somewhat ferociously, feeling immediate relief and release of tension. I have a sneaking suspicion I confused the woman sitting near me.
This experience made me think back to other times in my recent life where a particular sensory stimulus was suddenly just TOO MUCH TO HANDLE. For instance, the volume of the radio in the car: I can be driving along and enjoying the music when, with no warning and in the middle of a song that’s been on for two minutes already, it’s just too loud.
Maybe the person you’ve been seeing wears the same deodorant every single date, but one evening, seemingly out of the blue, you just can’t stand it one second longer.
Maybe the overhead fluorescent lighting in your office is generally soul-sucking but one fateful minute becomes completely intolerable.
We talk a lot on this website about how migraineurs tend to have heightened senses in general, and in particular during migraine episodes. I thought I’d turn to you to ask if you’ve ever have been in a situation when, with little to no warning, your body and brain just can’t handle a particular type of sensory input any longer.
Have you ever had a moment when suddenly something is just too much to take? Please share your experience in the comments below!
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