The way my brain works is weird. I guess that’s a simplistic way to put it. I’m not sure about other people’s brains, but I know a whole lot about mine. It goes and goes and goes. I remember as a child and a teenager thinking constantly. Thoughts were always going on in there. I believed that that’s the way people were. They just thought and thought. But, most people don’t think as much or as often as I do. It’s been a part of what sets me apart from other people and I accept that…sometimes. Thinking is exhausting, but it’s what I do I guess, a lot in fact. The trouble comes when the thoughts are repetitive. When I’m obsessing about something or someone that’s when I resent how much I’m thinking. I want the thoughts to leave me alone so I can sleep or at least just function. When you’re always thinking, it’s not possible to do anything else BUT think.
To the people around you, you appear quiet, possibly withdrawn, but you’re so wrapped up in your own head that you can’t engage with them. I’ve had friends and family ask me if I was still “here?” Obviously, I didn’t disappear from the room, but my mind was clearly somewhere else. I’m sitting here typing this and feeling like I’m about to float away. Why? Because I’ve been thinking too much as usual. Overthinkers understand other overthinkers but people who don’t do this don’t quite get it. I can recognize an overthinker/over-analyzer a mile away. But, as far as someone who doesn’t have that trait, they might not understand it. For example, one reason why a couple might go to counseling is that one of them is an overthinker and the other one is laid back and doesn’t obsess about things. Then the therapist has the awesome job of trying to explain to the person who has a non-obsessive brain how the overthinker thinks. But, the overthinker can’t let that happen entirely and interrupts the therapist multiple times because they want to make sure they’re understood. That’s how that goes.
Obsessing is something I do. I get attached to a thought and I cannot let go of it. It’s part of having OCD, and it sucks. But, the thing is I don’t realize I’m doing it until I’m doing it. And by the time I get to the point where I recognize I’m involved in an obsessive thought loop, it’s too late. There’s no turning back from that. I have to keep working on that thought until there’s a resolution. I don’t know when I’m going to learn this but, thinking about something 100 times isn’t going to solve the problem. In fact, doing that is only going to make the problem feel amplified or worse. I wish I could get that point across to my brain, but unfortunately, my brain is not on board with that plan.
So, what about you? Are you an overthinker like me? Or are you able to blow things off?