I was sat in the doctors waiting room the other day and was actually treated to my noisy brain. There are days where I enjoy my noisy brain, and that day was one of them.
My brain is always noisy, all of the time, the only time it’s ever quiet is when the meds I take to go to sleep kick in. It’s not even that it’s just overactive, it’s that it’s completely grating. It’s like someone pressed play on 5 cassette players (Showing my age!) all at once, sometimes I can’t even make out what it’s on about, kind of like when you’re in a busy coffee shop, you hear the chatter, and if you try to concentrate and decipher all the conversations happening all at the same time, you only end up catching single words, and putting them together makes no sense.
Taking my “go to sleep” meds is usually such a relief, “Ahhh quiet at last”. Especially if my noisy brain has been going on about horrible stuff all day. It’s always completely exhausting when that happens, and anything can set it all off. A bad dream, something someone said, an anniversary, or anything that causes me to think in a negative way. Problem is though, I can’t just think different, I don’t have any control over it. It just happens. When someone first told me they had the power to think differently, it completely baffled me. I was 25 at the time and had only ever known the uncontrollable intrusive thoughts.
The only control I have? Well, I can try and keep busy, until I exhaust myself, and I certainly cannot relax, sitting still and relaxing, well that’s when it’s at it’s loudest, like when I was in the doctors waiting room. I’ve sat and “watched” movies, only to realise I had stopped paying attention half way through and had been in my own head for the entire second half of the movie without even realising. This is why I play Xbox games a lot, and why I mention them so much on my blog. The whole loud explosions and gun fire along with hand eye co-ordination is a little break from my head, plus I don’t have to expend physical energy, which would make me exhausted and make everything worse.
However much it’s freaking horrible when it’s bad, when my brain is completely full of good stuff, songs, ideas, I am super creative. I enjoy the conversations I have with my head, and my brain, for a while, becomes my best friend. It’s actually really funny in there sometimes! I sit by myself enjoying it, and accidentally laughing out loud on public transport is a great way to identify yourself as the crazy person on the bus. I have struggled with taking a lot of medications because I hate when I lose my good brain, medications do not discriminate, they may take the bad, but they’ll take the good crazy too. My good brain makes me smart, I have an ability to make connections with all the different information in my brain, I used to be able to do physics equations in my head, I super surprise myself at my art ability and so on. What I do now, while taking meds, is okay, but it’s not as great as before. However, I have to take them, I just couldn’t live with the bad brain stuff, which unfortunately happens more times than the good brain and I was needing too much treatment from the mental health teams.
I think the key to making my bad brain better is to ignore the crap out of it. However, the bad stuff is so hard to ignore. It’s like 5 people following you around all day, everyday telling you how god darn awful you are at everything. Even though you might know that the bad stuff it’s saying its false, for instance, now, one of the loudest is how I’m a bad mum because I have mental health problems. I know I’m a good mum, my little one is awesome, I love her, and everyone around me, even impartial people like social services tell me I’m good at what I do. My mental health nurse practically reassures me every single appointment I have with her. There’s always that worry though, that I’m not good enough, and that’s all it takes for the bad brain stuff to take over. If someone says something at you so many times, you start to believe it. My natural instinct is to fight, to tell it off, but it makes it worse.
In my eating disorder recovery, I learnt that my ED thoughts might always be there, because they are still there now and in a way, I felt like I was failing at my recovery because they still existed. I tried, in the beginning, so hard to fight them, I gave it everything I’ve got, but it didn’t go away. It struggled harder to make me listen, so instead I started ignoring the crap out of it. I pretended it didn’t exist, I still do, some days it’s hard to ignore, but I do, and it’s working. It’s working so good, this is the longest time I’ve been eating healthy (Well, I wouldn’t call it healthy per se, unless you think lots of pizza is healthy in which case, *high five* pizza is so awesome), and also, I’ve faced crazy hurdles like my medications causing weight gain. Before recovery, I would have totally just had to not eat to deal with it. I’ve just kept eating, it’s pretty amazing really, I never thought I would be able to do that.
Maybe one day the other thoughts will be the same and I’ll be able to ignore them too. Until then, here’s me in the doctors office enjoying the good stuff in my brain.
(Note: I’ve been playing Mass Effect again, you just need to know that before you see this haha).
(Comic drawn on Affinity Designer and Pixelmator for Mac…
Song lyrics:- “Here we go” by the complete genius Jon Brion
“Zombie” by the Cranberries
Quotes:- Atoms, Richard Feynman
N7, Commander Shepard)
Categories: Mental health comics