Shut Up, Brain! Part 2

**Today’s post is a follow-up to this post from about 6 months ago.  It will make more sense if you read that one first:

When I was in second grade, maybe first, a magician came to perform at my school.  I remember sitting in the back row with my best friend trying to figure out how he did all of his tricks.  We couldn’t just sit back & enjoy the show like all the other kids.  No, we had to analyze every trick & try to figure out how this “magic” worked.  Weird, I know.

But that’s just the way my brain has always worked.

brainI rarely take anything at face value.  I’m always analyzing things & trying to figure out the WHY behind everything.  This includes both scientific & philosophical matters.  Even as a kid, as I’ve said, I was like this.  I guess that is why the “magic” of childhood has never been very nostalgic for me . . . because I never really experienced life that way.  I’ve always been logical, practical, & inquisitive.  I was the kid who figured out Santa Claus wasn’t real & probably told as many people as would listen.  I’m sure this made me a real pain in the ass at times . . . and probably still does on occasion.

Sometimes I wish I could just forget about all of the hard things I see in life.  Part of being analytical is feeling things very deeply, even things that don’t directly affect me.  I like to think this makes me a good, compassionate nurse (& friend, wife, etc), but it also means I go home & worry about my patients more than perhaps is healthy.  When I see people my own age who are really sick, I can’t just go home & drink some wine & forget about it.  Trust me, I wish I could.  But instead I find myself thinking about how unfair life is & running through all the philosophical ramifications behind the difficult scenarios I witness every day of my life.

I’ve talked to my therapist about these things & she says the key to managing my anxiety about all these things is in finding balance.  Finding that balance between caring for people & trying to makes sense of life but being able to let go.  But letting go isn’t easy for me.  When I see problems, I want to fix them.  When I see someone struggling, I want to comfort them.  I constantly feel the need to be useful & accomplish something with my life.  As you might imagine,  this makes relaxing very difficult.  Is it any wonder I have almost 200 hours of vacation time saved up?  (Don’t worry, I’m using quite a lot of that time for our vacation this Fall, & I’ve even requested a day off here & there for some concerts I’m attending over the next few months.)

Anxiety mental health symbol isolated on white. Mental disorder icon design

I have no idea why I’m writing all of this.  It feels very disjointed & illogical, frankly.  (Ironic, I know.)  It probably sounds pathetic & ridiculous & possibly even a little arrogant.  I just know that my mind is a flurry of activity right now, & it’s really hard not to compare myself to others who seem to be so much more at ease about life.  Between my own bouts with sickness over the past month (nothing serious but unpleasant & physically exhausting just the same), some difficult situations at work on top of  finishing up my clinical ladder project, & worrying about one of my best friends who has been fighting her own demons lately, it’s just been a rough month.  For the first time in at least six months, I really feel like my anxiety has gotten the better of me at times.  I guess it’s an accomplishment to have kept it controlled for so long.

But every time it raises its ugly head it’s just a reminder that this brain I’ve been given isn’t an easy one to calm.

And sometimes I just wish I didn’t think so damn much.

*Ok, this last cartoon is purely for laughs.  It made me smile because it’s so perfect for me.  social anxiety party


  1. Pingback: Slaying the Anxiety Monster | athicketofmusings

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