I have different sorts of stimming, basically every strong emotion has a set of sensory habits associated with it for me. There is happy stimming like the flappy hands hop hop hop of walking into a comic book store or used book store, sadness stims that comfort me when I am down, maintenance life stims that just become part of my daily landscape half of those I would probably not even be able to name, and anxiety stimming… I’m sure there are even more of them that I don’t have a name for or have not thought about right at this moment.
This is about one way that I personally anxiety stim.
It always starts out half craving and half nervous twist in the back of my mind. The hunger builds an unfulfillment anxiety fire in the pit of my stomach. As I ease down into the near scaldingly hot bath I’ve drawn, a soothing wave envelops me…for a heartbeat
Sometimes the heartbeat stretches out into a minute
It never lasts, the anxiety starts to build again sooner rather than later. A nerve jangling energy in my feet and calves, a bone deep itch that pushes into the bottoms of my feet, pointing my toes, stiffening my legs, propelling me up and out of the hot water.
For a moment
Until the cycle reverses, the need building to be covered with steaming hot water again.
That single breath of relief until the need to push myself up and out of the water takes over.
Over and over
Layering moments of anxiety and relief like an elaborate pastry dough
Eventually the water grows cool
I am no longer magnetized
*bonus rough draft written in the actual bath with toddler art additions