If only I had a brain...
Updated: Oct 9, 2019
As I was walking along the high street recently, clutching my new prescription for Citalopram, I couldn't help but notice all the people around me. I wondered how many of these people had a brain like mine. Did that lady have a brain that whirred so much that it was almost too loud? That man over there, did he suffer from the 'What If...' syndrome, where the smallest of incidents manifest into something catastrophic. And those two ladies, chatting away, any panic attacks there? How about excessive worrying or constant self assessment to make sure that thing you said 5 years ago hadn't upset anyone?
What must it be like to have a 'normal', rational brain? To be able to just let things go, without the constant need to scrutinise every conversation and comment. Or carry the horrible, heavy feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach everyday. To close your eyes at night and know that the next time you open them will be when your morning alarm goes off and not at 1am, 2am or 3am to worry about things that aren't even worth worrying about and that you will forget all about by the time you have your morning cuppa.
But then I had to ask myself, would I be the same person if I didn't have anxiety? Now, I'm not saying that living with anxiety is an easy thing, far from it in fact, but have I had it for so long now that it's shaped the person I am? There are days when I feel like I am in a constant battle with myself, I tell myself these are things that people just would not worry about and yet I can't let it go. I know, deep down, that it's completely irrational but continually tell myself that by worrying about it I am actually preparing myself because, what if it actually did happened. At least now I'm ready for it, it's certainly not going to catch me off guard.
I go through life as a glass half empty person. Preparing myself for the worst in every situation so there are no surprises... I really don't like surprises. I work on solutions for problems that aren't there whilst encouraging my friends, family and work mates to 'stop stressing, life's too short'. And why should they all stress when I am doing enough for half the population. To top it off, I'm a people pleaser. To my own detriment I put other peoples needs and wants before mine so I'm not seen as a disappointment. It's exhausting!
There is a difference now, I'm dealing with it. I recognised that I needed that extra help and I talked. I reached out and talked to my friends, I talked to my husband, and most importantly I talked to my GP. Taking my medication has been a positive step in dealing with my issues, this little white pill may not be a miracle cure but it has calmed my overactive mind, I'm rested, I'm thinking clearly and most importantly, I'm sleeping.
So, whilst my brain may never be normal, it is getting better. I will always have good days and bad days but, right now, the good is out weighing the bad and the fog is clearing. I'm patching up the cracks and getting on with my life. My brain, my normal... for now!