Brain problems

Mental health

It’s so predictable. Your brain will tell you in a thousand different ways all the reasons why it’s a great idea not to do something that is good for you.

Take writing this post now, for example. My brain is being super helpful this morning. Honestly, it’s really cheering me on, lobbing uplifting ditties such as ‘What’s the point?’ ‘You’re sick, just rest’ ‘It’s Sunday, who’s reading this, anyway?’ and the classic, old reliable ‘Just to do it tomorrow, instead.’

I’ve been following that ‘Do it tomorrow’ command like a mole who has lost its way home for most of my life. It is lethal. Willpower is a muscle that you must use otherwise it drowns, suffocates, dies… whatever way you want to put it. It is a recent revelation to me that you get things done by doing them.

It’s the quintessential move from the depressive mind: Fix it tomorrow. Before children, I used to spend hours in bed, not sleeping, but trying to fix my problems. By thinking about them. It’s called rumination. It sucks. You build crappy neural networks and highways, constantly reinforcing the bad stuff with really dodgy construction work. I was convinced that if I thought about things for long enough, I would find a solution.

Thoughts are so seductive. They really will have you believe that it’s to your benefit to sit and think about the same things, over and over again, until they are ‘solved’. That they can actually seduce you into putting off stuff to an eternal tomorrow is truly astonishing.

Sometimes I think thoughts and action are two such opposing states that one is death, the other is life.