The human mind is one of the most fascinating concepts I have ever considered. With each element of your being controlled by something that resembles the functions of a computer, something so small as to fit within the confinements of your head is able to control your entire body; your every thought, memory, action, all controlled from one portable supercomputer.
I believe that the real wonder in it, though, exists in the idea that everyone has the same brand of supercomputer but each is still unique and almost entirely different. The parts of my brain that are more developed than the other parts are not necessarily the same parts that are more developed within yours. My brain makes up everything I am: my every memory, idea, thought, all stored within one place. You remember your route home without even having to think of it because your brain has engraved this memory so deep that it probably wouldn’t be forgotten even ten, twenty, or thirty years down the line.
But, of course, as comparable as your brain is to a computer it is not one. You do not possess the ability to open up a file explorer and shuffle your thoughts into more coherent structures or to delete unnecessary or damaging material; viruses. So what happens when your brain gets messy? What happens when you can feel the clutter and you’re not sure when, or even how, to clean it out?
This feeling of suffocation occurs to me often, and I’m not afraid to admit that it’s usually during the academic year. I feel as if I sometimes manage to trick my brain into believing I’m busy but, because I don’t actually have deadlines to meet, I cannot find the satisfaction in fulfilling my tasks and so it keeps alerting me that I have overdue assignments. I’m a visual type of person. I need to be able to see my to-do-list and check off the items as I complete them. My biggest organisational struggle is doing that mentally.
Likewise, there’s no “delete” button when it comes to the brain. I can’t simply choose to forget memories, feelings, or occasions, and I certainly cannot prevent my brain from alerting me to them as if they are some foreign object that’s threatening to penetrate the walls of my sanity because I don’t have the admin control here. I cannot forget because I do not choose what I remember or when I remember it. I cannot control, for the most part, the materials that I consume on a daily basis and what thoughts and memories they result in triggering because I am not the primary user of this computer; I am the output.
Sometimes these thoughts can become overwhelming; the ones in which I feel disconnected from my brain, as if I am an entirely different person. Likewise, I sometimes wish that my brain didn’t get stuck on a loop or glitch. I’m referring to, of course, the compulsive and obsessive behaviour that I can sometimes display: the necessity for certain things, in certain situations, to be completed an even number of times; the tracing of a word stuck on a loop in my mind; the obligation to, only sometimes, touch things with one hand, and then the other hand, but using the exact same part of the opposite hands. It makes little sense but the inability to complete such tasks when my brain demands me to do so can spiral me into a series of frustrated, agitated thoughts and actions.
The brain is the most complex thing that I can consider. It’s also the most amazing. Regardless, the lack of control that comes from trying to command it – and failing to – can also result in an overwhelming dissatisfaction. This can be portrayed in a number of devastating traits and disorders: anxiety, depression, autism, among others.
As a firm believer that the misconceptions regarding such disorders should be terminated, I have previously made attempts at educating my audience regarding them. But this time I’m taking a different approach. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. There’s only one way to find out.
This is an attempt at free writing. I have used a muse and written from it. It may not follow a logical structure or be written in great prose, but that is the beauty of just writing. If you found this post thought provoking in any way, please leave a comment down below or consider sharing or liking.