Friday, April 27, 2012

Brainpower is overrated

Okay, so here's the weird thing: I don't know what to do when there's nothing to worry about. My dad had his first heart attack when I was 13. On that sunny February day in 1984, something in my brain clicked on and it appears as thought I'm powerless to turn it off. I worried about him endlessly, right up until the night he died when I cried myself to sleep before I even knew he was dying in his.

I worried all through my tragically flawed pregnancies (and with good reason, as it turns out), and I worried during the endless hours I waited for doctors and tests results at the fertility clinic. I worried about the work I wasn't doing and the money I wasn't making because I was trying to make live babies. And then I worried some more about my dad.

Then the time for having babies came to an end. Then my dad died.

And now there's this peace that I can't seem to find a way to properly embrace, no matter how much I want to. There's peace and there's work and there's this lovely, quiet life waiting here for me - and all my brain wants to do is latch onto another problem and get to frettin'.

Who knew peace was this problematic?

So I've turned inward and I've started worrying about myself. I've worried myself all the way into a scorching case of acid reflux - which is, apparently, what happens when your brain is frantic to find something to do with itself after 27 years of hardcore worrying.

Eventually your body rolls its eyes, sighs resignedly, and gives Brain something real to fret about just to shut it the hell up.

On a related note, I hate Dr. Google. He will tell you you're dying almost every time. Doesn't matter if you have a gunshot wound to the head or a stubbed toe, Dr. Google will kill you either way.

I don't actually think I'm dying (mostly). And as of last week I'm on medication that will, with luck, see the symptoms improving soon.  I'm also working to adjust my diet (which means cutting out all my go-to comfort foods, naturally), and losing weight is penciled in on my calendar somewhere...

But still, I'm annoyed with myself and my all-powerful brain that seems to take such great pleasure in thwarting me at every turn.

I bet if I went back to the beginning of this blog and read it straight through, I'd find dozens of instances where I begged for peace - for things to be calm and normal and quiet.

And they are. Just not in my head.



erica said...

This sounds very familiar to me. Peace isn't easy to reach, but I hope you are able to forge a path to it. And if/when you do, you should write about how you did it!

Pipsylou said...

OH MY GOSH! I heard a quote the other day: Dying is's comedy that's hard.

I feel the SAME way!!!!!! I only know how to live when I'm going from one crisis to the next.

It's so strange.

Illanare said...

What Erica said!

Pamela said...

I have a theory about this...worrying is primal -- as in going back to earliest humans. I think we're hardwired to worry -- about having enough food, about large predators, etc. It's no wonder we get uneasy when things are peaceful. I read somewhere that we should set aside 10 minutes each day to worry our brains out. Then, mission accomplished, we can check the box and go about the rest of our day.

loribeth said...

I understand this. Seems like I can always find something to latch onto to worry about, no matter how silly it might seem. After losing Katie & stepping down from ttc, health worries took over my life, big time. Including digestive problems -- was diagnosed with gallstones, but decided they weren't THAT much of a bother & still have them -- a few dietary adjustments & some de-stressing (including yoga classes -- must get back to those...!) worked wonders, it seems...! Enjoy the peace -- you've earned it & then some. (((hugs)))

Mali said...

I'm a worrier too - worry about my mother, worry about me, worry about my health, worry about what someone meant when they said "xxx yyy zzz."

I find having a project that I can worry about in a positive way is good for my brain when it won't slow down and stop planning/thinking/worrying.

Occasionally I give myself a good talking too - telling myself that worrying only makes me feel horrible and achieves little else. As a result I have managed to reduce my worrying - but not eliminate it all together. (Which isn't a bad thing, as I find a bit of worrying helps me work through problems/issues and prepare well for things.)

Catherine said...

Having a peaceful life and feeling peace aren't necessarily the same. I personally am having issues with the "what next" question. Is this it? Are all the "big" things done? Is this day-to-day-until-I-die what I worked so hard for? I am beginning to understand the mid-life crisis as a concept.