Battle in my Brain


All of my mornings begin in much the same way. I attempt to ignore the alarm by incorporating it into whatever dream sequence may be ongoing, I raise my arm and open one eye just enough to make out the alarm notice on the face of my watch, I curse the alarm and tap “stop” before drawing my arm back beneath the covers.

Then I lie there for a few more moments processing the reality of morning, finally throw back the covers, sit up and swing my legs out over the edge of the bed. I ask Alexa to turn on the bedside lamp, get frustrated when she says she doesn’t understand (most likely because I wake up rather mumbly), repeat myself more clearly and ask her to also turn off the fan.

I feed the dogs, brew a cup of coffee, and let the dogs out. While waiting for the dogs, I do a quick email check on my phone, pop into Facebook and Twitter briefly, and review the top headlines in the news. After the dogs come in, I make my way to my desk.

Most of the time my brain has been energized at this point by something I saw/read while waiting for the dogs: a news story, a post, a tweet, an email alert… and I find myself with very strong thoughts that spur a running dialogue in my head.  I try to capture it in a document, but often lose sight of the conversation or I’ll begin a search to validate a particular thought or angle.

I very much like to support my arguments with verifiable facts, and I like to be as thorough as possible when I’m working on a news-related piece. Granted, they are opinionated, but even opinion needs to be supported by fact. Those pieces don’t come to this blog, they go elsewhere. This blog is primarily personal.

Anyway, the point being, in the process of working to fully support my opinions, I often find myself spiraling down rabbit holes and chasing so many different aspects of things that I end up with too many angles for my original intent, multiple article concepts, and a breadth of information too wide to be immediately workable.

My brain is a busy room–loud and noisy. Multiple voices all fighting to be heard but coming through as a mess of static and unending buzz. I struggle to pick out a single conversation and stick with it. Each one seems to trigger five others. It’s a grudge match–each side of each argument battling to win its place on the page. Each getting increasingly louder as they try to talk over the other.

It’s an angry, disorganized mob of thoughts running rampant. Almost terrorizing… until I can’t take it anymore and I run from the room to the safety of mindless fodder the likes of puzzle games on my phone or familiar goofy comedy shows/movies on the TV. Those tend to be the quickest and easiest ways to stomp out the battle in my brain and force all the noise to settle down.

After a bit of mindlessness, which can range from a few minutes to a few hours or days even, I return to that room. It will be quieter, calmer. No more shouting, no more fighting, but still a mess. Thoughts strewn about everywhere, having been suddenly dropped when the crash occurred.

I will stand in the doorway surveying the aftermath. Then carefully step inside to scavenge the space for things I can use, treading lightly and moving with certain purpose so as not to wake them all up again.

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