I am terrible company. Not to other people, I hasten to add, I like to think that my friends and acquaintances at least partially enjoy being in my general vicinity. No, I’m referring to the company that I provide to my own self.
When I’m trying to go to sleep at night, my brain is that friend desperately trying to get me to stay out for one more drink (I mean that purely in a metaphorical sense, of course, I have never once been convinced to stay out for ‘one more drink’, or indeed any drinks at all, but from what I have gleaned through the anecdotes of my more outgoing friends, this is a fairly common social trope). I will toss and turn for hours, unable to turn off the nagging little voice preventing me from finding the peaceful slumber I so desire.
My brain knows exactly which songs I absolutely hate, and yet, inexplicably, it chooses to play them in a constant loop to the extent that it prevents me from concentrating on more important things.
My brain has a wealth of knowledge on a huge variety of topics, and yet, when I need to remember a particular piece of simple information, my brain chooses to duck out, leaving me floundering like an incompetent moron.
Aside from those rather annoying stunts it likes to pull on me, my brain also has a cruel, sadistic streak. It likes to tell me that I’m not good enough, and I have a nasty habit of believing it. At night, I lie there, and allow my brain to recall every time I’ve ever failed, all the times I’ve let people down, all the secrets that I’m most ashamed of, dating back to when I was just a small child. My brain doesn’t forgive, and it certainly doesn’t let me forget.
My brain’s not all bad, of course. I can stay distracted for hours with nothing but my own thoughts to entertain me. I can invent witty jokes, or fondly remember special memories. I’m blessed with very vivid dreams, and my brain allows me to relive moments with the people I’ve lost, and that’s something I’m very lucky to experience. Even if just for a few brief moments, in a dream, I can forget that some of my loved ones are dead, and I can chat to them, and hug them, and share love with them.
All in all, though, I do sometimes wish I could switch my brain off, at least for a little while. To just relax, without a constant stream of thoughts and memories rushing around my head. I can think a thousand different thoughts at once, whether I want to or not, and it’s mentally (and sometimes physically) exhausting. Even when my body is so tired that I’ve literally collapsed, my brain will still be going full steam ahead, making recuperation a rather lengthy and annoying process.
I’ve come to terms with it, it’s just who I am, and I’m glad that at least outwardly that I can showcase the best bits, and hide the worst, but I do sometimes wish that I could experience that luxury for myself.