“Shut up, brain!”
Does anyone else find themselves saying this a lot? I sure do. If there’s anything I love about myself it’s the fact that I’m very introspective & analytical. I can never stop thinking, thinking, thinking all the time. This is either a sign of intelligence or insanity or perhaps both; I’ve never been quite sure. In any case, this aspect of me is both my most loved & most hated attribute. I love being introspective & analytical because it makes me a good writer (how else do I makes sense of all the ideas dancing around non-stop in my brain?) & a good nurse (or at least I like to think so). It also makes me a good friend, a good wife, a good person.
On the other hand I hate it because it makes me anxious, prematurely “old,” & generally odd. It makes me the kind of person who doesn’t get invited to a lot of parties or bars. It makes me that weirdo who actually STRUGGLES with relaxing. Yes, I know, ridiculous, right? You know how many times in my life people have casually told me “Drink some wine. Have a beer. Just relax”? If I had a dollar for each of these occurrences, I’d be quite wealthy by now. But I don’t. If only these people understood what it was like to have that voice in your head that never shuts up, that even alcohol isn’t capable of silencing. That unrelenting thirst for knowledge, emotional depth, & intimacy & the never-ending curiosity that sends the mind reeling with endless questions, many of which will never have solid answers, at all hours of day & night. On rare occasions a glass of wine really is relaxing for me. But most of the time it just makes me pee a lot. Tonight is the latter unfortunately.
I’ve often said if I could change anything about myself, I would change the fact that I am such a “serious” person who truly does struggle with the ability to relax. I don’t even know how to really describe this phenomenon because it’s not that I don’t have fun or enjoy life. I certainly do. It’s just that there’s always that voice in my head that never STOPS. I’m not talking about hallucinations here. I’m just saying that I can never stop THINKING, THINKING, THINKING all the damn time about EVERYTHING. It’s really quite exhausting. There are times in my life like tonight where I think I’d trade everything I have to know what it’s like to just say “I’m not going to think about such & such right now” & actually do it. To look at a situation & not probe so far beneath the surface. To look at a baby & see only the wonderful side of motherhood instead of thinking too about all of the work it involves & how I’ll never be up to the task. Arghh.
In the end though it’s this analytical introspectiveness that defines me more than anything else. For better or worse, it’s what makes me who I am. And I know there is a place in the world for people like me. We’re needed just as much as anyone else, even if we’re never going to be the “life of the party” so to speak. I like to think it’s this highly analytical thinking that makes me appreciate the simple things in life so much: the beauty of a sunset, the sound of the breeze rustling through the trees, the way the frost makes everything look so magical in the mornings, the intensity of emotions that music (even, or perhaps especially, music without words) can incite. In any case, this is the hand I’ve been dealt & I’m going to play it the best I can.
So, brain, carry on; do what you do best: THINK about everything all the time. But just leave me with enough sanity to remember that I’m not alone & that life really is amazing. Thanks.
Great post. Not only is there a place for people like you, but there are others like you. So, take some solace in knowing you’re not alone. I bet you don’t sleep much either, huh? Once your brain is awake….it’s alive and humming and won’t slow down. At least, you enjoy life! 🙂
Thanks! I have always had trouble sleeping, even as a kid as young as 12. But I’ve been using lavender essential oil lately & that helps a lot. Also working night shift has actually been helpful b/c I have such a baseline level of fatigue that it seems to quiet the brain a little bit overall. Therapy helps me focus my thoughts & that helps w/ sleeping also
I can relate. That’s why I try to exercise everyday-to wear myself out! And isn’t writing like therapy? Maybe that’s why we do it…
I so agree! Writing is the BEST therapy. It’s a catharsis like none other.
I was recommended this blog through my cousin.
I’m now not sure whether or not this put up is written via him as
nobody else recognise such precise approximately my problem.
You are wonderful! Thanks!
I’m a female so I can’t be your male cousin but I am glad the post was helpful to you. You’re not alone.
Telling your brain to stop is self-immolation: because you have to use your brain to stop your brain! Please don’t do it!
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Hi. I just ran across your blog, i could have wrote this!! I’ve been dealing with Social Anxiety Disorder for as long as I can remember. My brain it’s always ON too!! I’ve always asked what is relaxing?? I am never able to just relax and enjoy time “off”. I’ve always said I don’t know what it is like to relax. As soon as I wake up my brain is running 100 mph, up until I finally fall asleep, after laying there and thinking about everything for hours!! I have thought about asking my doctor for some sleeping meds, but Idk, I don’t like to take medication that I don’t know about. I have been on Zoloft (50mg) for over a year, just had it upped last month to 100mg. It doesn’t seem to be working as well as it did when I first started taking it 😦 I’m going to share this page on Facebook. I have a group called Social Anxiety Singles Spot. Thank you for the insight!!
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I’m so glad you found this post helpful. I hope you will be able to find some medication or therapies that work for you. For me seeing my therapist about once a month (sometimes a little more or a little less) has made a tremendous difference, as has taking Prozac daily. I was very hesitant to try any medication but now I’m so glad I did. If you don’t feel better after a month or so on the increased Zoloft, maybe you could ask your doctor about trying a different medication. Best wishes to you!