Overthinking

I’ve always been a thinker, not comparable to one of the greats of history but I’d like to think at least some of the things I’ve come up with have decent substance. Every day for as long as I can remember I’ve been whisked away multiple times an hour to some relevant or obscure thought that occupies some part of my mind. This isn’t necessary a bad thing, I get all of my story ideas from these places and end up learning a lot however the problems associated with spending too much time in your own thoughts tend to cause trouble eventually.

The way my mind works is kind of like this; a thought comes up (usually out of nowhere) and it stays there, I can’t get rid of it. There’s no thinking about anything else, no talking about anything else, if I can’t get rid of it for too long my senses shut down and I’m consumed by it completely. I once spent three hours staring at my bedroom wall thinking about the paint, I couldn’t even move. The thought totally consumed me, before I knew it hours had passed and I’d accomplished nothing.

The main problem always comes down to the important things, I think it’s partly because of my anxiety.  For a normal person school should be stressful at times but not always. For example; that test tomorrow should be cause to panic, that four page paper due in three weeks that you have plenty of time to do and is only worth five points shouldn’t be too big of a deal.  For me that five point paper I have weeks to do would be just as stressful as the twenty minute test due to the way I fixate on things.

To a normal student that paper is just another assignment that carries a few points that will hardly effect their grade, to me it’s much more. I look at something like that and think about the possible effect it will have in twenty years. How could a five point paper effect you in twenty years? Well simply put if you do badly your grade would drop, if your grade drops you could fail, if you fail that class you might not be able to retake it, so you’ll probably end up not getting your degree which could set off a chain of events leading to you going nowhere in life and being miserable.

Being in my mind is like having five voices shouting all at once in your ears to worry about this or that, to remember something, and wondering about something completely unrelated. My mind either fixates on one thing to the point where I’m dizzy and physically sick or it overthinks on multiple things and the same time until all happiness and beauty is drained from everything and I shut down. Yesterday around noon I got onto some critical paperwork and over thought the whole thing so much I shut down, I spent the rest of the day unable to function, I couldn’t remember words, my eyes couldn’t focus, the simplest problems made no sense to me, I essentially wandered around as a zombie until about two hours ago when my thoughts finally started to normalize. Then of course I got to thinking about this very thing and can’t stop.

I’ve been thinking about how I overthink things ever since and now I’ve come to realize I can literally overthink overthinking. Nothing I try to get myself to stop works except for three things 1) violently shaking my head until it stops, 2) totally shutting myself down and giving myself something extremely small to fixate on as I stay perfectly still, and 3) telling myself simply to shut up.

If anyone’s still reading at this point you probably think I’m insane, I’m not, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’m a bit more than eccentric. It’s not normal to overthink everything and the ways to make it stop aren’t exactly normal either. I can’t shut down and stop functioning so my brain can get it’s act together, there’s no time for that. People started asking if I had Tourette’s  with all the head shaking (not to mention the whiplash), and my mom keeps yelling at me for telling myself to shut up all the time (not that I blame her, when you’re in a room that’s dead silent and someone starts tapping their head and grumbling/saying/(occasionally) shouting “shut up” it gets some looks.)

I’m not under the impression that  any of this is normal, in fact I think it’s borderline a mental disorder (in the days of asylums I’d have been locked up not doubt about it). So for anyone who’s read until this point (firstly thank you, I know this is a weird post), I don’t want you to think I’m some crazy person who thinks everything is normal. I’m not. I know none of this is normal and believe me I’m 98% sure I’m a certifiable headcase, I just had this overthinking thing in my head and had to do something with it before it took over too much, writing seems to be the only way to defiantly control it, a shame I can’t just write every time. I don’t know if there’s anyone else with this overthinking problem, I’m not delusional enough to think I’m some unique little flower and alone in this. I’m pretty curious about how other people think though, how they operate.

I haven’t exactly explained this very well, its hard to explain. The only person who has ever really come close to understanding my mental processing system is my mom and she’s had years of witnessing the process, effects, and reactions as well as spent countless hours talking about it with me. She says she couldn’t stand to live in my mind, that it gives her a headache just trying to think like me. My problem is simple, that I think too much. I think to much about the impossible, the unknown, and everything under the sun.

It’s a bit of a blessing and a curse, I learn because I have so many questions constantly being generated, but I also struggle to function and interact with people as an effect of being trapped in my mind. I can read a book, not miss a word and completely understand it while simultaneously singing and hitting the right notes and the right time. Only to later think so hard that I can’t walk straight afterwards and don’t comprehend basic English words. I could go on and on about this but I don’t think I could ever explain it properly, besides this is already over a thousand words and lets be honest, this is the internet and my post is ten paragraphs,  only about 5% of the people who start reading this will stay interested this long I’m sure. If you’ve stayed this long, thanks so much, I hope I didn’t bore you or weird you out too much.

Thanks again for reading,

-A

 

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