When I was at my worst with my depression, often it felt like my brain was whizzing stuff past so fast, I couldn’t capture a thought long enough to process it. It eventually stopped and it had been a good four months since I last had this happen.
Until recently. It started again with a rather significant thought that I had to deal with. Since then, the “whizzing brain” this has been happening again, and it can be quite hard to get to sleep with your mind like that, because normal brain functioning is that you have a thought, your brain processes it, then files it away.
Because everything was flying by so fast, my brain couldn’t grab onto a thought to process it. Its a bit like a carousel malfunctioning and going at the fastest speed it could, and you can’t get on or off it.
I’ve never really discussed this here, because it has been hard to explain, but once I started counselling, then I started having “sorting” dreams. Mostly they were putting things into order, like I would have hundreds of tea towels, and I would have to sort them out into colour, then put them away accordingly… see a co-relation here?
And then, suddenly, I got to sleep one night, without the carousel on speed. And another night… and another, until you don’t even realise you miss it.
Until you suddenly find yourself confronted by a truth so astoundingly obvious, but painful. And then the ‘carousel on speed’ is back.
I tearfully talked to my husband about this, and he told me that he thinks of it as his brain defragging. You know when your computer is running so slow, and you do a disk clean up and then a defrag? Well he (and I) have both learnt new thinking processes and practices, so our brains have been having a “disk cleanup” and then, because we have lots of excess – but gappy – spaces left, our brain has to defrag to sort all the information and reprocess it into a nice neat order.
It was a light bulb moment for me, and I loved the analogy – of course its like a defrag!
So the that night, I went to bed, absolutely exhausted. By 9pm, I had to turn my light out because I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I woke up at 1am and promptly fell back asleep. I woke up at 5:30am, and thought I would just lie there until the alarm went off. I finally looked at the clock at 7:10am and freaked out. I’d slept through the alarm. But it wasn’t only me – all three of us slept through the alarm.
But between 5:30 and 7:10am, I had a dream – a goodie.
We have this advertisement on telly with this guy “Bam and the dirt is gone!” is the catchline, but the guy is really in your face. My dream was about this circus like outfit, that went from house to house, and the ringmaster was a woman who told everyone she could solve their problems and make them all popular. Then this guy (the easy off bam-in-your-face guy) would fix people, and give them really flash clothes to wear and completely outrageous hair dos (talking beehives to such EXTREME heights!), but when it came to my turn, I told them that I liked the way I was, and I didn’t need to change anything.
They tried to convince me, that I was insignificant, that I was nothing without their help, but I kept arguing with them.
I woke up – relieved. But also realising, that in a way, this is like my sorting dream. I didn’t need to be perfect, I liked the way I was, I didn’t need to be popular. My brain had disk cleanup-ed and defragged in one foul swoop.
Amazing how the brain works sometimes, isn’t it.