The Trouble with Thinking Too Much.

I’ve said before I think a lot.

I am capable of sitting for hours constructing an elaborate story in my mind, replaying a past experience, or planning for a future encounter. I think about things to the point of over thinking them. At times I obsess over a particular train of thought. It’s like my mind comes to a complete standstill and I cannot move forward because my mind just goes over the thought in an endless loop.

At other times, it can be hard to keep hold of a particular thought, my brain jumbles them all up and speeds along like a rapid. I’ll spend so much energy chasing my thoughts as they flit from one subject to another, never getting the chance to process them.

Whether I’m stuck in a loop, or struggling to catch up to my racing thoughts – I have great difficulty in switching off. My mind is never at peace or rest. And this makes it difficult to get to sleep and near impossible to stay asleep for any length of time. As a result I have a massive sleep debt built up, and once every few months I crash from exhaustion.

In the lead up to the crash I reach the worst part of the cycle: the nightmares. If I had bad dreams of the relatively harmless kind – like being caught in public naked, or not being able to answer any questions in an exam, or some other benign humiliation I could stand it.

But I have gut wrenching, graphically explicit, shocking and horror filled nightmares. In my dreams I’ve routinely watched myself impaled with a huge pine post, gutted, decapitated, mutilated and other horror upon horror of scenario. I don’t wake up where normal people wake up – at the implication that something is going to happen.

Not me.

I watch the action as it happens, no censorship, no stylisation – just straight up blood, guts and terror. And then I wake up when it’s all over. When there is no point in waking up because the horror is over.

When I mention this to people I get asked if I watch a lot of gory movies, or TV, or video games or whatever. They think that something I’ve watched triggers the nightmares, which for many it’s a valid conclusion. I don’t typically watch explicitly gory things – mainly because I’m really rather squeamish and would be more likely to throw up or pass out rather than get scared.

Actually I really don’t watch much in the way of television or movies at all. I read a lot of book because I can really go wild with my imagination – books don’t force detail on you in the same way that a film or television show does. You have a lot more creative licence to envision a scene when you read a book. But again I don’t read books that would cause me to visualise something graphically violent because my imagination is just too good and I’ll make myself ill.

No the nightmares seem to be a manifestation of far too much energy being expended in thinking. I think it’s my minds way of forcing a melt down – a way of shocking me to the point where I just cannot think any more and my mind finally gets some respite and can rest.

The cycle is almost clockwork – over time my thoughts pick up in the speed at which they travel, and bring on the agitation, causing me to have difficulty falling and staying asleep. Then a weeks worth of nightmares bringing the sleeplessness to a critical breaking point. Followed by the crash, where I just fall to bits, and need to sleep for 2 or 3 days straight. And then after short period of mental lethargy where my thoughts are slower and clearer it all starts up again.

Where am I right now? Getting closer to the nightmares. i don’t have any clarity of thought at the moment. I’ve had difficulty writing this post because I can’t think straight. Everything I wanted to write flits in and out of my head faster than I can type (which incidentally is reasonably fluent at around 58 wpm).

I can’t really remember what the original intent of this post was – I know it was something about my thoughts working overtime but the specifics of what I wanted to say eludes me. This is a real problem for me I’m constantly trapped in my mind – and me being me it has a visual representation to go with that thought. When I picture my mind – it is a massive library complete with one of the old school cataloguing systems of index cards. The index cards are the markers or place holders for the books – and they keep everything neat, orderly and easy to locate. In my minds library the “books” are actually the specific memories or pieces of information I have stored.

However when my mind is in the state it is now – the library isn’t orderly and quiet. It looks as if a tornado has ripped through it – things everywhere, nothing is stored where it should be. The index cards have been thrown around the room, and sometimes rewritten so they don’t reference the correct data. The books have blank pages, ripped pages, and have been put back on the wrong shelves; if they are even shelved at all.

My mind is a complete mess, nothing is where it should be, and I can’t find what I am looking for.

Down the Rabbit Hole

I have always felt like I was different from everyone. I know everyone has that feeling from time to time, but for me I feel like I am entirely out-of-place here where I am. I feel like I don’t belong – not in this space, not in this time, I just don’t feel like I fit in at all.

I never really have.

I mean I can assimilate reasonably well, I make a passable attempt at getting along with those around me. But in my heart I feel out-of-place, like I am on a completely different plane of existence. It might sound somewhat elitist or egotistical but I really do feel like I think and feel things so differently to people around me.

I thoroughly filter everything I say, so that I never reveal much of what goes on inside my head. I have so many thoughts and feelings but I only let people see maybe 5% of who I am – and that’s as much as even family and friends would see. I have always done it, ever since I was little.

In fact it’s gotten worse as I have become older – I put more distance between myself and others. It is so exhausting always putting my defences up, but I have been terribly hurt in the past so now I go to extremes to protect my real self.

I think a part of my problem is that I think and feel things so deeply. I have always had a habit of getting stuck inside my thoughts. I have a stellar imagination, and sometimes my thoughts get so loud and I get lost inside my head. I forget to vocalise things – doesn’t matter whether those things please me or bother me. So often someone wants to know what I truly think or feel, but I can’t seem to find the words to say. I know what I think, I know what I feel but I don’t know how to share.

And then there is that part of me that doesn’t want to share. I’m so convinced that I’ll never truly be understood, I just want to keep it all locked away. They are my thoughts and feelings. I don’t want to share them – I don’t want to risk letting them get trampled all over and destroyed. Because if someone destroys what’s in my mind then they destroy me.

When it comes to “who I am” – I value my mind above all else. Ego cogito, ergo sum: I am thinking, therefore I exist. Without my mind, and all of my thoughts, and all of my knowledge, and all of my wisdom – I don’t exist. I cease to be. I know it sounds paranoid and delusional, but I fear that if I share those parts of me, let someone actually see those things – then they will have the power to take them away from me and I will no longer be me.

My mind is my own secret garden – a secret garden I long to share with the one who would understand me entirely. But I’m so afraid he doesn’t really exist, that there is no one who would ever truly get me, and that I am completely and utterly alone. Even though I long for the one who would understand me – I won’t even let anyone close enough to try. Maybe I’m writing my own destiny of loneliness.

Sometimes I would like to just stop. Stop the noise in my head. Stop the constant stream of thought that leads me deeper down the rabbit hole and further into oblivion. But sometimes, just sometimes, I welcome oblivion.