I’ve been tagged by the intimidatingly badass Ida at Around the Ward in 80 Days to write a letter to my brain. This is doing the rounds, and seems quite an appropriate way to follow up from my ‘Dear Depression’ post, so let’s crack on, shall we?
Although you and I are constantly talking, it seems as though it’s been a while since either of us really listened. Actually, scratch that. Since you really listened. I don’t know why I’m separating you and I, given that we are one and the same. I, my thoughts, feelings, memories, personality, live inside you, and you live inside my physical body. It’s a strange relationship.
The reason why it’s easier to address you as something ‘other’ to me is to do with what you’ve been up to, and how you’ve been making me feel. How I’ve been making me feel. This is already getting confusing.
I suppose it isn’t really anyone’s fault, neither yours nor mine. We’ve just been trying to cope, but we learned to do so in some ways that, and I hate to break this to you, have turned out to be, well, not very helpful. I know that in a strange way, we were just trying to protect each other.
Brain, you’ve given me some great things. I can write well enough. I can remember lyrics to far, far too many songs. I can understand and empathise with others. I’m really quite good at remembering birthdays. I have a desire to grow and learn, although the other pesky parts of you tell me that I cannot.
These pesky parts have been having somewhat of a party these last few years. They’d had a few in the past, but now it’s as though they’ve grown up and moved out, dragging me along to their endless binges of tomfoolery. I’ve been listening to them for too long, quietly keeping me in my place. It’s as though you and I are exasperated, worn out parents no longer able, or perhaps willing, to control the chaos.
I want to let you know, though, that although we’re tired and confused, we’re both still here. We need to speak to each other, over and beyond the other noises. They can shout as much as they like, these wayward parts and their firmly embedded pathways, but eventually their voices will strain. They’ll realise they need a sit down. Someone might call the police with a noise complaint. Then we can calmly come in, restore order, clean up the mess and pick up the pieces.
We won’t want to, of course. It’ll be scary to be left to our own devices, and I’m sure we’ll cave in and join an after party or two along the way.
It’s our turn now, though, Brain. You and I. The bits that time forgot. The parts of you that keep me moving, keep me alive. The parts of me, living within you, that know the loud, brash voices of depression and anxiety can’t last forever. Together we can reel them in, give them water and a blanket to rest on. Sweep up the streamers they left behind, and keep things a little more organised.
Much like grown up children, they’ll never really leave. They’ll always be a part of us, but it’s time we took back a bit of control.
You’ve had a lot going on, Brain. The arguments between them and us, the dark clouds of confusion over who’s really in charge. You’ve put up with a lot, like a kindly landlady too willing to overlook the destruction. I’m in your corner, though, as long as you’re in mine.
Pick up that mop, will you, and let’s get to work.
Your old mate Lindsay.