Running From Your Brain

I thought about writing a post about a funny spam comment. The comment talked about some voodoo witch doctor who could make anything happen. But Randy told me if I posted a spam comment, bad things would happen. I’m not sure what because I glazed over when he started talking about Google and black lists. Kind of the way I do when he lectures me about tweeting at trump.

So, what is on my mind right now? Holy shit, so very much.

I do this thing when I’m writing about difficult subjects, I write “you” instead of “me”. I distance myself from the subject. The end product doesn’t always reflect the distancing because I often recognize what I’m doing, go back and collect what is mine, and I change the ‘you’s” to “me’s”.

This time, though, I think it’s fair to say “running from your brain”.

I know I’m not the only one who runs from their brain. So, this is yours, too.

In a little over a week, Randy and I will be hunkered down with our mountain friends in Tennessee. A week of not working and not readingsmokey mountains news. A week of spending time with friends and laughing until my our faces hurt.

I need this so bad.

I look back over shit I’ve written about anxiety over the years.Β  I examine who I am now and get discouraged as fuck because it feels like I’ve made no progress.

I haven’t managed to tame my anxiety or overcome my anxiety. I haven’t managed to make peace with my anxiety because it’s never leaving. I didn’t believe that I never would manage, though. I believedΒ  I would find enlightenment and would feel peace. My chest would rarely be tight and I would finally shake this stomach ache I’ve had since 1971.

That’s not happening. My brain is diligent in hitting all the anxiety talking points. Combine that with the absolute shit storm of news we get every single day and my anxiety gets power like it’s been bit by a radioactive spider.

Sometimes, I get so overloaded, I blow a fuse and all the anxiety melts away. For a little while.

Recently, I was getting my head around the fact that Bill Cosby can admit to drugging and raping women and walk free. And then, he announces that he’s going to give lectures on how to not get accused of sexual assault. Fucking really? That should be a short talk: Don’t be a fucking rapist. Then, I read a story that in North Carolina, a women cannot not rescind her consent to sex once the act has begun. Even if her partner gets violent.

I came home from work and ranted until I cried. When we’re pregnant, we become a host and are we give up our rights to our own bodies. In North Carolina, if we are in the act of sex, then we become a semen receptacle. That is our job until the man finishes. Until he finishes, the man has more right over our physical selves than we do.

I was so angry something popped and dissolved in my brain. Overload.

I am always afforded a few moments of clarity when overload happens. I see clearly how convoluted and ridiculous life is. I resolve to continue to fight for my rights as a human and for the rights of my sisters. I realize my job and health anxieties are manufactured and pale in comparison to the actual danger that is out there. I can put that fear away.

For maybe a day. Maybe, less.

It’s back already.

One more week of work and I can run away from all of this.

When I go to work in the morning, I drive south. I pick up work related fear along the way and by the time I am in my cubicle, I am bloated, loaded down, and exhausted.

We when drive south next week, the opposite will happen. As soon as the car is in motion, I can drown out the anxiety, and aside from a few zings, work fear goes away.Β Yeah, but what if something blows up and all the stores are down and hundreds of thousands of dollars of sales are lost? You will let down hundreds of people. Lose your job. Lose your house. Then what? All for a few days away. Is it really worth it?


I need to run from my brain for a few days. How about you?

I can’t be the only one who is feeling overwhelmed and disheartened. What do you do to get relief? I’m going to need your suggestions because once we get back from vacation, this shit is just going to flood back in.


Photo courtesy of Auk Ari.




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  • It’s pretty bad when you get relief from your anxiety only when the world has gone to such shit that you overdose on it. I’ve been tuning out, sometimes for days at a time. The world still turns without me digesting every bit of the news cycle. We all need breaks.

  • Misery loves company. Most people according to research do not use all their vacation days because of the work fears you mentioned. Wishing you a good vacation with lots of wonderful experiences you can then concur up once you are back to reality.

    • Most people in the UNITED STATES do not use their vacation days. People in other Western countries use theirs. Maybe that’s what comes with universal healthcare, paid parental leave and all that other shit they have: sense enough to go on vacation!

  • Gosh… I know the overload, the brain that can’t stop thinking and ruminating, though not the anxiety part. The sex/rape/misogyny got to me big time too. I fear for women in this world, as much as at any point in time.

    May your week away be a world of bliss and distractions and good company. And, thank you for being willing to give voice to all the bits and pieces of your life.

  • Michelle, I’ve had flashes of anxiety many times in my life but, somehow I’ve managed to pull away. Maybe the saying, ‘If if doesn’t kill me it makes me stronger’ is my motto. It helped to get some professional help along the way, too.
    Have a great vacation! Stay positive, even on the ride home!

    • I don’t see how i”m not the strongest person on the planet by now. haha. I have had professional help in the past. Talk therapy has never done it for me…but maybe I just never got the right person. I do have anti-anxiety medication and that helps a lot, but it makes me tired so I usually won’t take it at work..which is when I need it the most. sigh

  • Boy howdy do I relate – in 11 short days I’ll be loading ponies in my lil’ home-away-from-home to get away to NM for one blessed week…
    The checklist in my head is humming even though I realize there’s a grocery store 6 mi from camp, a small laundromat and a big feed store so I’ll be FINE even if I forget a few items.
    Another virtual friend advised me to tune out on social media, that’s a good suggestion too but I Can’t. Quite. Peel. My. Sticky. Fingers. Off. Keypad!!! right now… Seems weird but it both fuels and relieves my anxiety, also a distraction as I worry about my boy making his way in the world.

    • I SO MUCH UNDERSTAND! I will not be COMPLETELY away, but I will only have my phone and I don’t do much social media on my phone because I can’t see. haha. Well, I can, but it’s not comfortable.

  • Hey kiddo, you aren’t the only one…I think the world we are living in right now doesn’t give us much room for calm and peace…I feel like you on the work days and I am retired. I recently started meditating every morning before I even get out of bed…and it really has helped. Enjoy your vacation..

  • Well, owning and riding a horse is a great way to leave all else elsewhere and concentrate on the task at hand. Because of their size, you MUST stay in the moment when you are grooming or riding them. Plus, they are very intuitive and gentle souls at heart. And lastly, if you participate in jumping, let’s say, then the fear and anxiety you feel from the craziness of life is replaced by the fear and anxiety of getting over the jump! πŸ™‚ For a couple of hours a day, I find escape when I am with my little gingersnap, Bill. Have a wonderful vacation with your friends. Laughing until your face hurts sounds like so much fun!

  • A couple of days ago I was listening to the Hilarious World Of Depression podcast and thought of you since depression and anxiety seem intertwined, which is one of those fucked-up things nature has done to us. The host had invited people to call in and give their favorite songs. And I thought about how much music means to you, even when you’re arguing with Randy about it–maybe especially when you’re arguing with Randy about it.
    And I thought about how much just the right song popping up at random on my phone can make me feel better.
    I hope that does help.

  • I rescued a puppy from the local shelter, it’s a distraction anyway…she certainly doesn’t know or care who DT is or what stupid shit Cosby has to say.

  • Voodoo witch doctor…. tweeting at Trump.
    Shit, Randy, I DO those things, too…
    I pretty much had the same reaction as you did to the Cosby bullshit and the North Carolina ‘rape justification.’
    Michelle? I think it really is Trump’s fault that our anxiety is on constant ‘verge of overload.’ I woke up this morning dreaming of the last time the father dick abused one of my horses, and I was an adult when it happened πŸ™
    This is also the Summer Reading time at the library, so we have disappointed kids (some cry πŸ™ ) and controlling, non-participating parents and I feel like a picked scab at the end of the day.
    To be fair, I DO have some really cool kids and awesome parents, and that’s why we do it… just seems the ‘negative Nelly’s’ take the biggest … pieces of my soul.
    Like you said, “… make peace with my anxiety.” Which is a conundrum because ‘peace’ and ‘anxiety’ don’t go in a sentence together…
    My oldest son is having his first baby in August. I would like to go and spend a week with them. That would be VERY good for my anxiety, but I have a surgery scheduled for the week the baby is due.
    Good grief, there I go again πŸ™ Like somebody yanking a single bulb light chain…
    I am looking forward to your reports on Tennessee and Mountain Girl. I want you to have the best time and relax your ass off πŸ™‚ Those are some of your best postings and for a couple weeks after, you seem to come up with other fun/sarcastic/off the wall topics to post about.
    Not that I don’t delight in ALL your postings, I just feel for you when I can hear the raw edge you try so valiantly to cover up.
    You can do it!
    Get through this week!
    If you can, I can πŸ™‚

      • Dammit anyway.
        Being right is highly overrated…
        Sometimes, I just wanna be loved… and to sleep at night πŸ™‚
        (And realistically, my personal success rate at getting through the week is probably only 97.5%… I’ve left a few bodies in my wake… πŸ˜‰

  • I can see how easy it is to get overloaded with thought when there is so much CRAZY going on in the world. On the other hand, that scene from Tennessee is beautiful!

  • I can relate. I can relate. I can relate. Seriously, I feel like I need to run away for a while…my hair is falling out and my ears are ringing so badly I keep thinking every electronic device in the area is going to explode..oh, it’s just me. I hope you find some peace and quiet in Tennessee and that you’re able to recharge and bring some of that peace home with you.

  • Oh my! Yes, I see what you mean! We are sort of sharing a brain today! For what it’s worth, I’ve heard that 90 percent of what we worry about never happens the way we project it will. So there’s that.
    Have a fun trip!

  • I agree with all the other posts on here. Take what you can from each one of them.
    I have found that “creative visualization” helps me with some of my issues. Have you ever watched “Witches of Eastwick” where at the end they make their “husband” shrink down to nothing and pop out of existence? That is my newest trick. I close my eyes, visualize whatever or whomever is giving me the most anxiety (you know the one where your brain holds onto it like a pitbull on a porkchop (I love pibbles – this is just a metaphor)) and I start to shrink it. I mean really watch it get smaller and smaller all the while telling myself I don’t want it in my thoughts anymore, and then I let it go pop! right out of existence. And that sh*t works. Try it. (Also look into “cord cutting”. Google it πŸ˜‰ )
    Oh – and BTW – I am totally jealous that you get to go down to Tennessee for the eclipse!!! How friggin’ cool is that?!!?
    Be safe, have fun, and live, love and laugh!

  • Well, that’s it then. I know now that you are my twin or soul mate or whatever it is when you find someone else who is not you but could very well be you. Enjoy those few days. It’s not easy to keep those what-ifs silenced when we’re gettingreadytravelingarrivingstayingheadingback but at least the scenery will be different, right? πŸ™‚

  • Run as fast as you can! Don’t look back until time forces you to come home.
    I hit overload as well. I never know when it will hit it just does. All of a sudden then my answer to everything becomes “fuck it” and not even that angry kind of fuck it just a “eh fuck it”. I do whatever I feel like and ignore everything else. My logical brain flies out of the window.
    Reality always returns too soon though. Usually my fuck it mode (unless I’m on vacation) lasts 1 or 2 days.

  • I relate. I have GAD, and I need to lobotomize myself sometimes. Obsessing over projects, exercising vigorously, and getting lost in a book are my go-to ways. But I still have moment of great agitation and despair. Hugs to you. One day at a time. And cyber hugs. (Yes, the Cosby thing is infuriating. Really? Psychotic behavior there. Sheesh.)

  • I go to therapy. With a therapist who specializes in treating people who are overcoming trauma from sexual abuse and narrcisistic abuse.

    Puppies, walks, friends, deep breaths, and all that are helpful adjuncts, but the major changes I’ve made in my life have been from therapy. I strongly encourage people with life altering anxiety to research the hell out therapists and find someone with the back ground and training to help your brain deal with the shit you’ve endured.

    You fucking deserve to put this load down.

    • I would LOVE to do that..but I’ve not had much luck with therapy in the past. Although, one that specializes in narcissism might be helpful. Unfortunately, my health insurance doesn’t cover mental health at all.

  • My friend Sara had something running from her brain. It turned out to be an aneurysm, and she got the staples from the surgery out Monday. She’s a very lucky girl, in that all of her limbs still move like limbs are supposed to. She’s not too wild about the haircut yet, but she’ll probably grow into it.
    So are the cats getting along yet? And what are they gonna do while you’re gone?
    When my mental circuits fry and yelling and throwing things start seeming like attractive options I usually distract myself with music or life activities like walking, cooking, cleaning, or plotting my revenge- I mean researching the subject that’s bothering me.
    This week my Beats By Dre earbuds that were my birthday present croaked off, so I spent $30 on a pair of dual-driver Smiphee E1’s (I had never heard of them either, but my DJ friend Raven found and ordered them for me) and now I’m going back and listening to all of the music that sounds really good again through them. It sort of reminds me of when I was in high school and got my first pair of Sennheiser headphones. My mom really liked those headphones because she wasn’t as fond of Led Zeppelin and Yes really loud as I was, and as she put it “all I have to do to find you is follow the cord…”
    I hope your vacation brings you all of the vital force recharging you need to carry you through the coming months with your coping abilities intact, and what the hell, I hope you don’t even need to deploy those coping abilities all that much.

  • I loved this. I think you’re brave, and your words are beautiful. Our brains do need a break. We are not our thoughts. We are the soul underneath witnessing them. I came undone with anxiety a few years back. Meditation and spiritual practice have helped me travel away from my head into my heart and find a spaciousness with an expanded capacity to hold all the paradox. With so much heartache around us, we need a way to hold the joy and suffering.

  • Michelle, I can’t imagine not feeling anxious in this world. What you describe are the symptoms of being a thinking, feeling, sensitive human being. I’m afraid there’s no escape for any of us. All you can do is remove yourself from the media as much as possible. These problems won’t go away… at least in the near future. So concentrate on the beauty of life, which never goes away.

  • I have pretty much quit watching the news. If I want to know if something crazy happened in the world someone will tweet about it or someone will post on FB. I can’t deal with the steady diet of the nightly news. I do watch CBS Sunday Morning but if it gets to morose over something I mute it. I just believe the outcome of the Cosby thing was expected. He has too much money and he is “too beloved”. I don’t “belove” him but apparently there are some that do. I hadn’t heard anything about the woman who couldn’t stop the guy. I am sure that happens all the time but doesn’t make it right. The crazy dude in the White House, who knows what he is going to do. Probably not much, I expect him to be impeached…let’s see, what time is it….? Your mission is to go to Tenn, breath in the mountain air, laugh until your sides hurt or you pee your pants which ever comes first and turn all the damn media off. We can all handle the world until you get back!

  • I go for long ass walks at dawn on Nantasket Beach. I sit on the seawall across the street from me, cuppa coffee in hand and wait for the sun to peek up over the horzon. I snuggle up with my cat. I paint. I go to the Y and elliptical my sweet ta-tas off. There are days when doing all that isn’t enough.

    When that happens, I go to the bookstore and spend too much. And then I eat cake. CAKE!

  • I am in the woods now and, obviously, not totally disconnected. But two very good adventures today: kayaking in the rain, and then hiking in the rain. As soon as we come inside the sun comes out. I guarantee if I go outside right now the rain will start. Both of these adventures mean reduction of anxiety, because you can only do the thing you are doing. I love this.
    Can we go to Big Bone Lick?
    Can we go to Big Bone Lick?
    Can we go to Big Bone Lick?
    Can we go to Big Bone Lick?
    Can we go…

  • I’ve been more upset by events in the past few months than ever before in my life. I am afraid for my daughter’s future with the craziness of laws that are introduced and it feels like we as women are slowly being stripped of our humanity and rights. Sometimes I have to ask myself if I’m being paranoid or melodramatic, but news reports and things that are going on are just making me a basket case. The anger I feel towards people who think these things are no big deal is making it very hard for me to continue relationships that I have valued. I’m just ranting and venting because it’s comforting to know that there are others who recognize the absurdity (because I’m surrounded by people who do not), but I can relate to what you’ve written so very much. I hope that you have a wonderful week away from the insanity.

    • I am so sorry you are going through that. Most of my relationships are intact. I am mostly surrounded by like minded people. I appreciate that so very much.

  • This may not come as a surprise to you, but I LITERALLY run away from my brain. I find running puts me into a very zen state and my brain does other things besides being anxious (plus the endorphins kinda keep the zen state going for a couple hours or so afterward).

    (and yah, all that shit you mentioned really sux… how can people be so hideous to other humans? How can the GOVERNMENT be so hideous to humans?)

  • I relate to this post so much. I can’t watch the news anymore, or log on to Facebook, because everything makes me want to just curl up and die. A vacation sounds nice.

    The best ways I’ve found to cope and silence the horror is to do basically what you’re doing: disconnect. I don’t check the news or Facebook or Twitter or anything where people might be talking about bad things. My computer becomes a tool for writing and playing video games. My phone isn’t for contacting the outside world, but a way to take pictures of my breakfast/my cat/my makeup or to listen to music. Maybe if I’m feeling strong enough, I’ll go for a walk or go to the mall or get out of the house.

  • I don’t suffer from Anxiety, but I do suffer from Depression. I have no “fixes” to offer you, because Being Booked For Work is the ONE thing that helps me.

    I haven’t consumed major news from a traditional news outlet for probably 20 years now. I do spend all day on Twitter, though, easily, so if I read past the 140 characters, I’ll get more info than I care to. So, yeah. Cosby and NC and Texas and that stupid-ass MOTHERFUCKER that the stupid-ass MOTHERFUCKING IDIOTS in this Godforsaken country put in the highest office in our nation… All Very Anger-Inducing. And prior to the election cycle, I can honestly say that I had little-to-no symptoms of the Rage I feel daily now. … {Unless I book a day of work nowadays, in which case, I don’t have time for Twitter, which means I can totally zen out for the day}.

    I love Twitter, but sometimes I have to force myself to only play games on my phone, and only check/write blogposts and/or update my accounts in Quicken on my laptop. Like today. I was feeling pretty lousy until I closed Twitter. Still don’t feel 100% better, but I’m not angry, at least.

    Have a fantabulous vacay! Laugh enough for our faces to hurt, too! πŸ™‚

  • Hi Michelle,
    I agree that disconnecting from the electronic world really helps, and finding peace within can be as simple as noticing something- anything, in fact- in nature, distracts us long enough to give our brains a holiday.
    Enjoy your holiday! πŸ™‚

  • I hear you about anxiety – today I was about a 7 out of 10 – 10 being HELP!!!

    Today wasn’t the best day, but all and all I do think my new meds are working which is a blessing, and I seem to have much more energy all of a sudden.

    I have been meditating 10 minutes a day, taking gajilions of pro-biotic thingeys, and as my son would say ‘getting things done and taking names!” I am currently learning French (because, hello, Canadian), and Croatian because my daughter married a Croat and she now lives there. I need to be able to say something to those grandbabies that I am sure will arrive one day.
    Have a wonderful vacation – and sing some songs for me – and listen to songs – and just be grateful to have such a delicious place to run away to.

    • I probably won’t do much singing because I suck. haha. But I will have a good time. I can’t wait. I am glad your meds are kicking in! I have tried so many things and they all make me feel worse. Except xanax, I can take that when it’s super bad but I hate taking it because it makes me sleepy.

  • I run hide in my favorite fictional worlds. Usually the Beauty and the Beast TV show from the 80s. Lots of very literate fan fiction there. Also, I watch Star Trek, including the excellent Star Trek Continues web series.

By Michelle


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