Chaos & The Quiet: Prose About Sensory Overload and Recovery | Eve Reiland

Note: This is prose about experiencing Sensory Integration Disorder. 

(Originally published  FEBRUARY 2, 2016 on

I stand here barefoot on carpet, 
the fiber of comfort and home pressed into my soles.
My roommate,
The Quiet, stands with me.

We watch branches and leaves swing through a wet window.

The Quiet doesn’t echo the cacophony in my mind.
Instead it’s a friend and wraps me in a swathe of emptiness
like a blanket.
It provides comfort in fear,
and its silence feels like a threadbare and button-eyed love
hugged fierce in the dark.

It comforts more than honeyed chamomile
and says absolutely nothing when I need it the most.


The Quiet is never jealous when I return home.
It doesn’t chide that I stink of Chaos
and then shame me for where I’ve been.

solitude is always offered
and I’m reminded this is where I belong.
No matter what, I can always be here
and seek peace from the constant crackle of the storm.

Oh, but I love to be drunk with Chaos.
It’s scented with Life.
Rebellion of The Quiet can be delicious and decadent.
The body-high incredible when saturated with voice,
intoxicated with vibration
and drenched in indiscriminate light.

And that’s not enough.
My skin seeks what it can’t always have, human touch.
It need be nothing more grandiose than a pressed-cheek hello
and honest hug.
Even a sincere handshake will do — that brief, warm connection to real life.
A moment of humanity.

13173572_10153512102272823_9102319555509720775_oFuck, I’m alive. To hell with The Quiet and bring on the noise.
I fight Chaos. I fight pain.
I rage against the invisible and stand emboldened again

Welcome me into the world.
Your bumping, thumping, chiming, beeping, clicking
noise-dominated world.

I want to hear your chatter, songs, and curse.
Light me up with a message flash, photosnap, headlight swerve,
blinking streaking electronic billboard,
streetlight and spotlight.
Share with me the synchronicity of community.

I want to know your vibe and feel your heart.
Let’s dance. Let’s play. Let’s read our words.
Smack the table. Ring the bell. Roar and applause.
Conversation overlapping conversation.

It doesn’t matter that the commotion shorts my wiring.
Like an addict, my brain’s dependent and I need more.
More of you. More of this. Give me decadence.

Give me decadence until my head explodes
and knees smack the floor
Let’s overindulge until I Shake, Rattle and Hum
a staccato inconsistent to tunes Bono has sung.

13227709_10153541231177823_2055571706238663984_oLet me feel alive completely — this one moment
full. sensory. integration.
I’m going to do this until Chaos and rebellion fry my mind.

Even then, I’ll be unapologetic when
Writhe and Agony arrive.
With my unrepentant soul spent,
I will seek The Quiet, my mistress of Silence,
to love me healthy
so I can flirt with Chaos again.

‪#‎weareworthy‬ ‪#‎middlefinger2stigma‬





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