Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Too Much Input?

Image Courtesy of [marin] /

Yesterday, I wrote a different kind of clutter in Saying Bye to Clutter.  I called it mind clutter.  The idea of mind clutter being a part of this technological world is not strange at all.  We are connected to the world-wide web, the television, and loads of reading material.  We have jobs, families, and house work to do.  We are constantly barraged by a cacophony of advertisement, telling us what we need to have or not have.  The buzz seems incessant, this unceasing world of shoulds and desires.  It is overwhelming, and we do not even know it.

Today, I turned off the television, but not forever;  however, I almost wonder if I should.  Immediately, I felt calmer without the noise coming into the room.  Can you identify with this?

Adrienne Dellwo has written an excellent article on Sensory Overload in Fibromyalgia.  Much of what is said for FMS seems to be true in CFS too.  In fact, it can make one wonder if it is the same illness;  however, I know I had the symptoms of FMS long before I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  When you look at sensory overload, it is comparable to other conditions that also are affected by too much input, such as Autism or ADD.  Focus is lost when you have too much information coming in.  

Causes of sensory overload could be:

  • bright lights
  • flashing lights
  • noise
  • crowds
  • chaos at home or what feels like chaos too you
  • busy stores with the noises, the shelves filled to the brim, the bright lights
  • multi-tasking, such as watching television and using your computer at the same time
  • working in a busy office with constant demands on your time and attention 
  • riding in a car and feeling the constant jiggle and hum of being on the road
  • situations that are out of the ordinary, such as having visitors or repairmen coming to your home
  • hearing the multiple sounds at a sports event

Image Courtesy of [Stuart Miles]

I am sure there are more you could name, but this is just a sample of what might set off an anxiety attack or even brain fog.  Moreover, too much sensory overload is physically draining. It is important for you to know when it is time to turn it off, lower the volume, or leave the area.  Give yourself a chance to recover.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what you do not do at times, because you use the noise to shut out the loneliness of being ill.  I can say this, because I have experienced it.  I have been using some of my energy on things that are not far from the things I want to achieve.  In fact, I used to spend more time meditating and also accomplishing more in the house and my life.  This tells me it is time for reassessment.  

Do you find yourself constantly filling your brain with the diversions available today, but not using your body?  Wow! I just got dizzy, because I am having a minor panic attack here.  I think I just hit the nail on the head for me.  I realize there are times that one is absolutely unable to do anything other than sit, eat, sleep, take a bath, and minor daily tasks.  However, are there also times you don't make the effort for one reason or another? 
Maybe, you are undisciplined?  
  • or stuck in a rut? 
  • or mesmerized by the constant sight and sound on the television or computer?
  • or burying your loneliness and frustration by covering them up?
Perhaps, your life is well-balanced and able to do everything in moderation. However, not everyone is able to say that.  It is so easy to slip and not even realize what is happening.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (NASB) 1 Corinthians 10:31).

I memorized this verse years ago, but sometimes I forget to apply it to my life.  But it is so applicable.  Moderation and balance in our lives is necessary -- even more so in having medical conditions that have so many annoying symptoms.

1 Corinthians 6:12 says, “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything (ESV).

Image Courtesy of [anankkml] 

Whether you believe all the Bible is true, as I do, you must see the wisdom in these statements.  Moderation is the opposite of too much input.  It is the opposite of excess.  Moderation in all things helps to promote balance in our lives.  May you and I find this, even though we may slip at times.  Be ready to say, "Stop!  I need to look at my situation." 
That's what I am doing right now.  This is part of finding balance.

Thinking of you, 



  1. Stated so well, Deborah.... hard for others to understand at times but know it sets off other "triggers" of my generalized dystonia if I don't catch it right away. That's SO Much for posting this understanding is the big 1st step. Have shared with 2 of the dystonia & neuropahty FB communities I've joined as well as my FB friends!

  2. Sheila, thank you for letting me know. I was wondering if I had said too much, perhaps, sounding critical. I certainly do not mean it that way. Sometimes, it is like walking a balance beam -- lean too much one way and I am having to climb back up.


It's always lovely hearing from you. xoxo, Deborah