Brainweasels   Leave a comment

Today, my brainweasels are racing around their corral, screaming.

I should explain: a brainweasel is an insidious thought that races its way through my mind and inserts itself into every other thought I have.  They’re voracious, like actual weasels, and fast-moving, and not afraid of charging in, kicking ass, and taking names.  My own brainweasels are (usually) a product of Depression brain, with occasional bits of genetic material from the Social Anxiety Monster, but I know brainweasels can come from multiple sources, and I also know that other people have them.

Anyway, today mine are racing around their corral, screaming.  This is because I scooped them all up this morning and shut them in; I really don’t want to deal with them today since I’ve got so much to do.  I suspect, though, that at least one has gotten out and is on the loose since I’ve getting occasional flashes of things I only think when I am deep in the pit and numb to outside influence.  It’s not so much that I can’t ignore it and focus on what I need to do, but it is slightly distracting.

Although, a friend of mine just handed me a virtual padlock, and it seems to be working to keep the weasels where they need to be.  Visualization, Thou Art Priceless…in many instances.

The messages carried by my mental mustilidae (thanks for the phrasing, oh fabulous frog!) tend to be related to self-worth and and pretty easy to identify as weaselry.  The sheer volume of them, though, makes it pretty difficult to ignore…and therein lies the rub.  Weaselry wants to be noticed; it wants me to pay attention to it, and to get all caught up in the nonsense it is spewing so it can multiply and take over my waking mind until I can focus on nothing but what it has to tell me.  Quite frankly, it’s exhausting, and I’ve got shit to do!

And so, I fight.  I fight the brainweasels with medication – they’re much less of a problem with Paxil riding shotgun.  I fight them with techniques my therapist taught me – I watch the weaselry hang in the air for a moment before turning my attention to other, more relevant, thoughts; I write them out so I can see how they look on screen/paper.  I fight them with my relationships with other people – my husband, my son, my partners, and my friends all think I am amazing and love me (look – no qualifiers or self-deprecation!).  I fight them in myriad ways, some of which I am not even sure I can reliably identify…because the other option is to stagnate, crawl into my hole, and become what the brainweasels want me to be.  And, I’m stubborn enough, and enough of a control freak, to be more resentful of their attempts at control than apathetic about them…and that’s probably the secret, really.

You see, the work I’ve done on myself means I’ve got that tiny spark inside that says I’m worth something, even when things are at their worst.  Even when the world comes crashing down around me, and everything is wrong, and nothing is fair…I have that spark that keeps me going.  Dr. Barb helped me find that spark, and nurture it, and taught me what to do so it doesn’t go out…and I can’t let it die now, knowing everything that went into making it bloom.  So, I can let the brainweasels run a bit, knowing that I’ll notice when they get to be too much and that I’ll somehow be able to corral them again.

And, if I somehow can’t, then I’ll ask for help.  Action is preferable to stagnation, after all.


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