This is an interesting thing that happened to me several months ago. It is actually the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me.
The Noise Inside My Head
My brain was on full speed ahead for decades. It ran all day through ideas, thoughts, pictures, memories and any other place it could go. It also ran all night. It was like standing in a small room with no windows or doors and hundreds of people constantly yelling things at me. It was enough to drive anyone crazy.
No medication I took ever touched the noise level. I tried a lot. It was never muffled, lessened, softened or in any way affected. I never thought much about it though because it had always been that way. I couldn’t remember a time when my brain wasn’t noisy.
If I was not multitasking I couldn’t do anything. Too many things were vying for my attention. In order for me to focus on any one thing I had to do at least three things simultaneously.
To work I would have to watch TV and talk to my mother. By distracting those parts of my brain I was able to focus fairly well on the tasks required by my employment.
To listen to speakers, webinars, seminars, meetings, etc., I would have to have something for my hands to do. This would free my ears and the listening part of my brain. If I don’t have something for my hands to do I cannot hear you.
To speak was interesting. If I spoke at the speed of my brain I would have to speak shorthand. (I never mastered this, but my son did.) Often, by the time I got to the middle of what I was saying my brain was off somewhere else and I couldn’t remember the point I was trying to make. Again, if my hands were busy, I could talk.
I Gave Up Sleep For Lent
For years I was unable to get to sleep much before 2 a.m. Why? Because my brain would not shut up! It just went on and on and on and on and on….
I could be absolutely exhausted and falling asleep in front of the TV but as soon as I climb into bed my brain starts running around the track:
- What happened
- Why did it happen
- When did it happen
- Why did it frustrate me
- Should I cut my hair
- Why hasn’t my daughter called me
- Did I water the lawn
- What do I need to do tomorrow
- Why am I still awake
- What time is it
- I was sleepy before I laid down
- The dog needs a bath
- I need to call the doctor because….
- Have I talked to so-and-so
On it goes throughout the night. When I do finally fall asleep, I’m up every couple of hours. Why? I’ve no clue but I’m mad and grumpy. Can I go back to sleep? No, my stupid brain is running again. SHUT UP!!!!!!!
Genious is Exhausting
My brain constantly looks at things from different angles, view points, etc. I can usually find a better way to do something. I consume large quantities of new words. I can create a mental 3-D image of anything that I read about and rotate it to see it from all angles. I can see a picture of just about any crochet project and recreate it. The problem is that I cannot get my brain to stop long enough to complete an idea or mental image. When I do get a firm grip on an idea or thought I hang on to it with a death grip and then it is like hanging on to the leash of a large dog that is running away. I’ve got it, but now what do I do with it. When I do complete a project I often cannot remember how I did it.
Must – Be – Organized
Because my brain was in constant chaos everything around me had to be organized. I became obsessive-complusive about how my cupboards, closets and drawers were organized. I worked through carefully planned routines and unexpected changes often caused panic attacks. I had even created plans B-Z should anything happen to my normal routine. As long as I knew how to react in any given situation and had already planned my actions I could deal with just about anything. Surprise and uncertainty were overwhelming and I could not cope.
I was on five different medications. Lamictal for the bipolar rollercoaster, Zoloft for depression, Seroquel to help me sleep, Clonazepam for anxiety and Meclizine to help me deal with the side affects of the first four. Did they help? Yes, maybe, sort-of. My rollercoaster became smaller. My depression became easier to ignor. I was drunk, not anxious. I was sleeping, but not resting. I wasn’t always nauseous and vomiting but I still couldn’t eat. I had peanut butter for brains, no energy and was constantly hungry. My brain, on the other hand, was still as fast and noisy as ever.
I stopped taking the seroquel to sleep because it didn’t really help and made me ravenously hungry and terribly lethargic. Hello 60 pounds. I stopped taking the meclizine because I refused to take a medication simply because my other medications made me sick.
Nature, Science and a Good Idea
Then I was introduced to Eleviv. It is a natural product lowers the stress hormone cortisal. It has many benefits, but the only thing that I care about is what it did for me.
Whithin 4 days I was in bed and asleep before midnight. I slept all night and was actually feeling rested when I woke in the morning.
Within 3 weeks I was no longer having anxiety problems. Good-bye nasty Clonazepam, hangover and peanut butter brains.
Within 9 months a miracle happend. I was having a stressful day at work that included disagreements with my boss and conversations with human resources. The resolution was less than satisfactory and I was sitting in my familyroom feeling very frustrated. This is when I noticed it. The absolutely quiet. Of course it was quiet, I was the only one home. This was different though. Then I realized what it was. My brain was quiet. You know the kind of quiet I’m talking about. That quiet at the end of a very long, busy and noisy day. That sigh of relief moment. I sat there in shocked amazement.
I don’t think I will ever be able to put into words how it feels, after more than thirty years of noise, to have quiet. The best I can come up with is unbelievably amazing. Life has never been the same. It is so much more.