When Thinking Hurts


I remember days when my brain worked like a manic assembly line, working, working, always working– and not in a good way.  Those days, I’d carve out time reserved for obsessions, for list-making, for mental reassurances.  Car rides were killer– especially those long stretches on boring I-90– and could throw me into panic mode.  At night, I’d lie awake in bed, drowning in circular thought.

And that was the thing: my mind was racing, but it never got anywhere.  Ten minutes or an hour or a week later, I’d still be chewing on the same things, exerting so much effort for no gain.

I was programmed.  When there was a moment, a pause, a hesitation, my head would fly to a dark place.  And then it would battle its way back out.  Over and over and over (and over and over and over and over and over …).  So useless, so fruitless, and so much energy spent, so much time wasted.

The by-products of OCD are not worth the efforts.

These days, my mind is still working hard– but in a good, healthy, productive way.  I listen to audiobooks while I get ready in the morning, in my car, while I exercise, as I fall asleep.  I let the wonder of literature engage my mind and thoughts, and it feels healthy, like solving a difficult puzzle or marveling at philosophy.  I write every day– blogging, poetry, my novel– and it’s like climbing a mountain.  My brain is a muscle, flexing and growing stronger.  My conversations with friends are deep and meaningful and far more important than just seeking out temporary comfort.  

When thinking hurts in a bad way, you need to re-wire your brain.

7 thoughts on “When Thinking Hurts

  1. I’m glad your thinking is not painful anymore! I’ve certainly been there and I know how tormenting it can be. I’m so grateful to not be living in that constant turmoil anymore.

  2. Jackie I just love to read your posts. Everyday you make me open my eyes wider and wonder! It is so great. Our brains are a muscle and we should never stop using them. Thank you for reminding me of that! I truly enjoy your stories. I will admit that sometimes it makes me sad that I knew you back then and never saw the pain you were going through. We spent so much time together as little girls! I am sorry I never noticed! And even though we are not as close as we once were, I feel so blessed that I have a person like you in my life. That I know you and get to learn and grow as a person because of you! Jackie Lea Sommers you are pretty awesome! Thank you for being you!

  3. Pingback: I think and think and think and … | Lights All Around

  4. Pingback: How I Fall Asleep | Lights All Around

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s