My mind is the very essence of a love-hate relationship. As often as I wish I could just take a break from the constant noise going on, the worries, the doubts, the self-deprecating and obsessive thoughts, I cannot think of not having that aspect of myself.
While it’s a choice to do all I can to support my well-being and put the best version of myself forward, my mental health is ingrained in my genes. The misfiring neurotransmitters are always in action, and they in turn lead to swinging moods and less-than-fun behaviors and habits I could have less of, thank you very much.
But I’m grateful for my mind. My messed up, imperfect mind. I could wallow in my pitfalls and drag myself further down the hole of dispair, but why would I when I truly do have so much gratitude inside my skull?
My brain is something I literally and metaphorically couldn’t live without. This one brain has grown and matured, has allowed me to pursue my education and passions. I appreciate my ability to become engrossed in certain subjects, soaking in all the knowledge I can. I appreciate the ability and desire to learn and embody the student I hope to be beyond the classroom.
I’m so blessed to have a fully functioning mind that has inevitably made poor decisions, but has adapted from those to then forge a path I could only fathom but ended up solidifying into my life.
I’m grateful for the creative ideas that stir in my head that I can translate into text that others can read and share. I’m grateful for the random “Aha!” moments that can arise from mundane tasks but end up turning into a enthralling venture.
My brain is capable of taking in every physical sense to instill meaning in the world around me. I can voice my thoughts and opinions with others, even when my mind is hesitant. I can rationalize when it’s best to be the speaker or the listener. And my brain is capable of empathy, of supporting others and expressing a full range of emotions all part of the human experience.
No, my brain doesn’t operate like a well-oiled machine. Sometimes I don’t know why I do or feel certain things. My autopilot goes to criticism, to negativity, to isolation, to numbness, to a limited existence.
But I know others have different struggles, more difficulty learning and adapting, harder emotions to face, different talents in different areas. Some of us aren’t born with all five senses, or the right number of chromosomes. Some of us grow up in circumstances that hinder our mental health and development, inflicting lifelong damage.
We can choose to be angry with our weaknesses, our pasts, our diagnoses. Or we can choose to be grateful, for the lessons those negative points teach us, for the many gifts we do have, and for the ability we have to wake up in the morning and define what it means to make the most of our day and do our best.
Our brains are so complicated, a intricate web of nerves and consciousness. And they make us who we each uniquely are whilst still serving as a common thread. How twisted and beautiful that is.
What can you do today to show your brain some love? Perhaps a good night’s sleep, a crossword puzzle, or a simple affirmation that everything is okay.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie