What’s with these sleepless nights? “The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to” F Scott Fitzgerald said that. These are the kind of things you start looking up when you can’t sleep. When you have work in 3 hours and you know you should be in bed but all you can do is sit up, often in silence just trying to make sense of something. For a long time now i’ve felt like there is an unwelcome structure in my head, like a dam or a Trump-style wall designed to prevent all the good from flowing into the conscious part of my brain.
Psychologists always talk about the unconscious and the subconscious, and at times like these, when I’m awake at such an unreasonable hour, I really feel like my brain is keeping something from me.
This isn’t the only time when I’ve felt like there’s some privileged information my brain refuses to share. It enjoys keeping secrets. Psychologists might argue that this is the brain’s way of protecting itself, but if that’s true why do the negative thoughts have a terrible habit of falling through the cracks, while the good ones get detained?
I should be a paranoiac to suggest my brain is conspiring against me, but i’ve always felt like there is some basic component in me that’s corrupted or simply not there.
Lately I’ve become quieter and less comfortable around people. I had what I thought was approaching my first panic-attack the other day just talking casually with my boss from work. But it’s not just colleagues whom I feel nervous around anymore. Even family and friends make me clam up. I repeatedly second-guess every thought that pops into my head and instead of just saying what’s on my mind, I need time to think and rehearse.
Yet somehow i’m always suprised and a little disappointed with what comes out of my mouth. As soon as i’ve finished my sentence, my brain is there to evaluate my response and usually it isn’t even close to what I was trying to communicate. Conversation just seems to happen in spite of me.
I’ve developed the odd habit of giving myself mental pep-talks that tell me to relax, with mixed results. Whatever gets you through the day, I guess.
The strange thing is that I still have the trust of the people around me even when I don’t trust myself. When I feel like a disappointment or I make a fool of myself, these people are still there to reassure me. My work friends tell me i’m a “good guy”my friends agree and my family always support everything I say, even if I think I don’t deserve it.
Maybe i’m just over-thinking it, but this is the kind of rhetoric that spews out on sleepless nights like this one. When the mind betrays you and floods the head with malicious thoughts of questionable origins.