Until you heal the wounds of your past, you are going to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex; But eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, Stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories and make peace with them.
My random unsubstantiated hypothesis of the day: the popularity of "stim" videos, fidget toys, and other things like that is a warning sign that something's Deeply Wrong with our world.
Don't freak out. I am autistic. These things are not bad. However, can we just...take a second to notice how weird it is that there are entire social media accounts full of 10-second videos of things making crunching noises, people squishing slime in their hands, and objects clacking together, and that enjoying them is mainstream and normal?
It seems that nowadays, almost everyone exhibits sensory-seeking behavior, when just a decade ago, the idea of anyone having "sensory needs" was mostly obscure. It is a mainstream Thing to "crave" certain textures or repetitive sounds.
What's even weirder, is that it's not just that "stim" content is mainstream; the way everything on the internet is filmed seems to look more like "stim" content. TikToks frequently have a sensory-detail-oriented style that is highly unusual in older online content, honing in on the tactile, visual and auditory characteristics of whatever it's showing, whether that's an eye shadow palette or a cabin in a forest.
When an "influencer" markets their makeup brand, they film videos that almost...highlight that it's a physical substance that can be smudged and smeared around. Online models don't just wear clothes they're advertising, they run their hands over them and make the fabric swish and ripple.
I think this can be seen as a symptom of something wrong with the physical world we live in. I think that almost everyone is chronically understimulated.
Spending time alone in the forest has convinced me of this. The sensory world of a forest is not only much richer than any indoor environment, it is abundant with the sorts of sensations that people seem to "crave" chronically, and the more I've noticed and specifically focused on this, the more I've noticed that the "modern" human's surroundings are incredibly flat in what they offer to the senses.
First of all, forests are constantly permeated with a very soft wash of background noise that is now often absent in the indoor world. The sound of wind through trees has a physiological effect you can FEEL. It's always been a Thing that people are relaxed by white noise, which leads to us being put at ease by the ambient hum of air conditioning units, refrigerators and fans. But now, technology has become much more silent, and it's not at all out of place to hypothesize that environments without "ambient" white noise are detrimental to us.
Furthermore, a forest's ambience is full of rhythmic and melodic elements, whereas "indoor" sounds are often harsh, flat and irregular.
Secondly: the crunch. This is actually one of the most notably missing aspects of the indoor sensory world. Humans, when given access to crunchable things, will crunch them. And in a forest, crunchy things are everywhere. Bark, twigs and dry leaves have crisp and brittle qualities that only a few man-made objects have, and they are different with every type of plant and tree.
Most humans aren't in a lot of contact with things that are "destroyable" either, things you can toy with and tear to little bits in your hands. I think virtually everyone has restlessly torn up a scrap of paper or split a blade of grass with their thumbnail; it's a cliche. And since fidget toys in classrooms are becoming a subject of debate, I think it pays to remember that the vast majority of your ancestors learned everything they knew with a thousand "fidget toys" within arm's reach.
And there is of course mud, and clay, and dirt, and wet sand. I'm 100% serious, squishing mud and clay is vital to the human brain. Why do you think Play-Doh is such a staple elementary school toy. Why do you think mud is the universal cliche thing kids play in for fun. It's such a common "stim" category for a reason.
I could go on and on. It's insane how unstimulating most environments humans spend time in are. And this definitely contributes to ecological illiteracy, because people aren't prepared to comprehend how detailed the natural world is. There are dozens of species of fireflies in the United States, and thousands of species of moths. If you don't put herbicides on your lawn, there are likely at least 20 species of plant in a single square meter of it. I've counted at least 15 species of grass alone in my yard.
Would it be overreach to suggest that some vital perceptive abilities are just not fully developing in today's human? Like. I had to TEACH myself to be able, literally able, to perceive details of living things that were below a certain size, even though my eyes could detect those details, because I just wasn't accustomed to paying attention to things that small. I think something...happens when almost all the objects you interact with daily are human-made.
The people that think ADHD is caused by kids' brains being exposed to "too much stuff" by Electronic Devices...do not go outside, because spending a few minutes in a natural environment has more stimuli in it than a few hours of That Damn Phone.
A patch of tree bark the size of my phone's screen has more going on than my phone can display. When you start photographing lots of living organisms, you run into the strange and brain-shifting reality that your electronic device literally cannot create and store images big enough to show everything you, in real life, may notice about that organism.