Brain Fights

Some days, I get really tired of my own brain.

Like today: I got a great sleep last night, so I should be well rested and alert. But I’m not. I’m tired and dragging and my concentration sucks.

And the irony? It’s probably because I have two deadlines coming up, and the slightly elevated stress level is actually making my thinking abilities worse, just when I need them most. I love, love, love the work I get to do! It’s my favourite thing ever, this knitting. Knitting keeps me sane and relaxed. But mix in a time crunch and a little anxiety about getting it Just Right, and suddenly it doesn’t seem as fun any more.

So. I have to trick my brain into thinking all is well, that there is no stress, and that these deadlines are actually wonderful opportunities for me to get paid for doing what I love. Isn’t that great, Brain? Aren’t you very, very happy about all this?

I am almost convinced now, says Brain. But remember that we have a doctor’s appointment today, and we have to leave in thirty minutes? So what’s the point of my getting all involved in heavy thinking if I’ll just have to quit soon, anyway?

Darn that Brain of mine. It’s just so reasonably unreasonable. We are not friends today. We are fighting. Because I really must get this work done.

And this is what my life is like almost every day. I battle against my limitations and resent that they exist. I am smart, damn it! But I don’t have the resources to really get things done. I imagine other, completely healthy people, out there living up to their full potentials while I’m stuck here fighting with my senses on overload and my inability to cope with even the lowest levels of stress.

On days like today, when I’m feeling overwhelmed and tired and discouraged, I have to remind myself of all my coping strategies: Drink lots of water. Eat something. Use the light therapy. Take deep breaths. Let all the unnecessaries fade away for a while and just focus on one thing. Tomorrow is a new day, and limits are a human reality that everyone has to face. I will get my things done, and it will be fine. And I’m allowed to say no at any time. I have that power.

My Brain is still fighting with me as I write these things, calling out in a muffled voice from the back of my mind, You can’t say no to anything! Are you insane? You have commitments that matter! Don’t kid yourself! Get things done! Get to work! Stop procrastinating with this writing and get back to work!

And I’m listening to it a little, but now I can hear other voices, my sanity speaking up: It’s all going to be okay. Your Brain works in weird ways, and remember that when you’ve gone along with the weird meanderings in the past, allowing the interruptions like the need to write, you can then focus better on what needs to be done. Just get it all out, and then you’ll be able to carry on. You’re okay.

That’s my new Scanner voice speaking up, actually. Did you know that some peoples’ brains can’t stick with only one thing, but need to jump around from interest to interest? We’re called, alternately, Scanners, multipotentialites, multipods, Puttylike… It’s a whole thing. There are books. Finding this out about myself has been enormously helpful because now, instead of forcing myself to try to focus on what’s not really working for me, I can allow myself to meander a bit. And if I trust myself — including my weirdo Brain that annoys the crap out of me — I always return to what I need to work on, with renewed focus and energy, after a break.

I do sometimes feel like it’s an uphill battle trying to integrate what I know about multipotentialites, HSP’s, SAD, introversion, and creativity. But I do think it’s all helping me cope better than I used to, so that gives me hope.

And now that I’ve written about it, I’ve reminded myself of the most important thing for my productivity: that it’s okay to be me. Now I can take a deep breath of relief and get back to work. After my doctor’s appointment, of course. 😉