Try something with me. Try to not think for ten seconds. Just ten seconds of absolutely zero thought.
Nope. Not possible. Our brains are can’t-stop won’t-stop machines. Constantly taking information in, filtering it, organizing it, and spitting it back out.
And most brains are pretty good at that. Mine, however, is super brokey.
I’ll be going about my day, normal as can be. And suddenly I’m overwhelmed with sadness. And my thoughts start swirling with really really negative visions. I’m stupid, and a failure, and I’ve never done anything important. Ever. My brains yells at me, saying I’m thinking such negative thoughts because I don’t try enough to control my thoughts. And there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop the madness.
My brain stops being a brain and turns into something else entirely. Something foreign and mean that just so happens to reside in my head.
So I plead with my brain. Please please please make all the thoughts stop.
And then……..the thoughts pick up steam. Swirling and swirling around, faster and faster. A tightness starts in my chest and moves up my throat. I take a deep breath. I take stock of where I am. I’m standing in the kitchen. That’s true. I’m wearing socks. Can I feel them? Yes. I can feel them. What else can I feel? Oh, I can feel my hands are cold. I should get a blanket. What do I see? I see that my dogs are staring at me. That’s really cute.
Slowly slowly I regain control. My brain slows, but the thoughts remain. The sticky residue of depression still lingering in my chest. And I know there is nothing I can do now. I’ve fought my best fight. I grab a blanket, cuddle up, and continue to keep my focus on my external realties. On what I can count, measure, see, and feel.
And maybe within a few hours, maybe days, the tightness releases my chest from its icy grip, and life starts looking up.
And sometimes, I emerge from my winter with a gusto, amazed at how I’ve changed from those dark periods.
I marvel at how every battle, while a total suck-fest, is growing somewhat easier.
I feel relief. I know it will be temporary, winter will return, and my mind will malfunction again.
But I know I have proof and evidence of better days. And that they will return.
So if you ever feel like your think-machine is fighting against you, maybe you could try this. Or look through Olaf Gifs, because that’s always a good time.
P.S. This is actually what I look like in the morning. Sorry I lied.