“Good luck keeping the brain at bay,” my friend said, as a goodnight txt. I’d been trying to explain how I was doing. I’d told him earlier that I was struggling.
I tried to explain that what I’m facing feels way, way bigger than I am. It’s not about a mood or fleeting problem–it’s more about whether the world is an ok place to be, whether I can trust my own self, what family is, and how to heal from things that happened to me that don’t seem possible to heal from.
My mom’s death is the worst thing that ever happened to me, and it brings with it a constellation of problems that are very stark. It opened boxes that I can’t close.
I can get therapy, journal, talk about it, self-care, do workbooks, make art therapeutically, spend time in nature, open up to Ming, rest, exercise, dance, sing….
But if I have some unhelpful coping strategies that are almost 40 years old, and I can’t figure out how to stop doing them, or even imagine life without them, I seem to have a task that’s not possible to complete. I feel like an unstoppable force met up with an immovable object.
I don’t feel like my brain is against me or I need to pacify, ignore, or discipline it. My brain is my darling treasure, like a sweet brilliant baby sleeping in my head, who’s always wanting what’s best for me. Giving me cool ideas with its baby dreams.
I love my brain. I value its connections, mass, quirks, behaviors. I’m not mad at it in the least.
Some things about it can be challenging, but it does a lot for me, and I’ll take the quirks any day, in trade for the goodness I find–a great memory, buried treasure like a sunken treasure chest of luminous jewels, great capacity for new ideas, or a cool skill I didn’t even know I had. I’m 43 years old and still learning about it.
Thank you for your kind goodnight wish, friend. Maybe I didn’t understand right or was too literal.
Yeah, I was thinking about bays also. Keeping my brain at bay. Would it like that, my brain swimming around with the sealions. Don’t get hit by a boat, dreamy baby manatee treasure brain, with skinny cartoon arms.
Apropos to nothing, I liked this photo I saw on facebook. Kinda cool how a good sign can be a meme unto itself! My favorite part is the “take all the time you need with this.” Thanks, sign lady. I will.