Brains – my brain, your brain, Chris Kattan’s brain – fascinate me. How, why and when they are able to do all that they do – it overwhelms my own brain just thinking about it.
I often joke that I have “bad brains,” using that term superficially and lightheartedly and in no way trying to make light of others’ mental health issues. I’m just poking fun at my own.
The picture above illustrates one of my personal manifestations of Bad Brains: the ability to block myself into incredible mental corners and behind tremendous imagined obstacles.
I bet you’ve got this too, maybe not constantly, maybe not even regularly – but I’d put money on the fact that your brain has bent itself out of shape in these sorts of ways from time to time.
But we of the Bad Brains forget the flip side of this – the Very Important First Part of the quote above: We have the ability to think ourselves out of these corners and around these obstacles. Is it usually harder to un-think our thinking? You bet your sweet shiny ass it is. But can it be done? Oh fuck yes.
Here’s a reminder, written as much for myself as it is for others, on how to find the exits in the unproductive mazes that our brains get lost in:
- Speak. Use your words. Out loud. Even if you don’t have words yet. Just keep spitting out words until you find some. Eventually, you’ll even find the right ones. Just talk. Even if no one is listening (the universe is listening, by the way. And it’s not as weird as it sounds). When thoughts sit inside your brain, they just rot inside of your head-holes. Let them flow out of your mouth.
- Go somewhere else. Physically remove yourself from the space you are in. Go in another room. Concentrate on your steps to the other place. When you get there, observe the new place. Ah, these ceiling tiles are a slightly less-depressing shade of beige! The carpet tiles have a perpendicular pattern! Ideally, though, go outside and get some fresh goddamned air. Just five minutes. Fuck, even less than that can work sometimes. Unless you’re adjacent to, I don’t know, a large coal-fed fire – breathe deeply. Open your eyes wide. Look at nature-things, not people-things.
- Make human contact. Oh no she didn’t! Listen, y’all. I’m a High-Grade, Super-Octane, Level 34, Double Platinum People Avoider. So I KNOW this ain’t for everybody. But – and you’re gonna have to take my word for it here, I know – make human contact. Like, when you’re standing outside and breathing fresh air, look at another human being (uh, maybe don’t stare). That’s the bare minimum that your innate social human nature requires. Depending on your emotional circumstances, feel free to step it up a notch or two: Maybe make eye contact, maybe smile, maybe nod, maybe say hello. If the out-loud talking and the fresh air have taken hold, maybe – gasp! – call someone. But human contact guys. It’s hard sometimes but it’s worth it. that’swhatshesaidthat’swhatshesaid.
- Take care of yourself. I’m one of those people who cringe at the overuse of the term “self care.” To me, it’s not to be taken lightly. It’s not “hey girls! Let’s go shopping and get frappe manis!” I’m talking basic. human. needs. Are you cold? Put on warm socks. Are you warm? Roll up your sleeves. Have you showered yet today? How about a quick teeth brushing? Maybe run some floss between them pearly off-whites! I know, I know. These are some pretty basic-sounding things. I’m not even implying that you’ve reached the point where hygiene becomes an afterthought. I’m just saying – regardless of your circumstances, you can’t help but feel a bit better when your body temperature is regulated and you’ve run a comb through your hair or re-tied your ponytail.
Honestly? I think one of the most important things you can do it remember that it ain’t just you. You are not alone. Your brains really aren’t all bad. Hell, even if amoebas are chomping through your gray matter – there’s some good Swiss cheese left around the holes, right?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to spend some time thinking about just what the hell a frappe-mani would entail.