My Brain Is Not My Friend

This might be the lesson of 2017 so far for me. For the first 2-plus months of this year, my brain spent lots of time looking for reasons that the work situation was going to end my life. Now, my brain is torturing me over radio silence from Grey Area Guy. The story this morning is “but he said that even if we didn’t end up together (which was definitely not going to happen from his end, only if I met someone better while he was getting his poop in a group), we’d still be friends and in each others’ lives and he’d always have my back and what if that’s gone, too, because I definitely can’t take that, and what if he’s been slowly realizing that he didn’t like me as much as he thought he did after all and I should definitely have made it clear that I’d be easy to get along with about the stuff that doesn’t 100 percent overlap and…”

So exhausting.

Reading article after article from Facebook links of specious origin about whether he’s really feeling what he says he’s feeling and whether I should be running for my life. And no matter how often the articles come up saying that the signs are there that this is real and I can trust it, I never feel any better. Pick another daisy and do it again. Again. Again.

I do not control him. I do not want to. If he’s ghosting, I have to let it happen because I don’t want to prolong this if it’s not viable. There is no indication that he’s ghosting— there’s a legitimate situation that is going on longer than I’d like, but where, last time, he said he’d reach out and didn’t, this time, he warned me that things were going to be hectic for a stretch. It’s exactly what I said I needed from that (not that I said it to him). It’s actually good for me on several levels, just not on the level of the part of my brain that needs to torture me.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the role of fear in our lives. She talks about it in relation to creativity, but I think it works well, here, too. She talks about being kind to our fear, which is there to save our lives, but which treats writing a poem and being chased by a hungry tiger as equivalent activities. She says she thanks fear for saving her life, and welcomes it on her creative journey, but says it will sit in the back seat and make no decisions, not even about what radio station she and creativity listen to, as they travel.

That and what I’ve heard about meditation seem instructive here. It’s okay to have these thoughts, to notice them, to name them. It’s just not okay to let them lead me around.

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2 thoughts on “My Brain Is Not My Friend

  1. “You are calm, confident, assured, and assertive.” This was one of the affirmations I learned in Hypnobabies, and even still, repeating it and dwelling on it helps make it so.

    • I’ll try it. I remind myself often that I had a life I loved before this was a thing and I’ll have a life I’ll love even if it’s not a thing— that the worst case scenario is that I’ll know better and therefore do better, but this particular part of my brain likes perseverating, and if it’s not about this, it will be about something else.

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