I’ll never forget the day I learned I had an incurable illness. I could walk you right into that giant hospital, take you to the exact examination room, and I could show you the exact spot I was standing in. They say some memories become etched in stone. It took me several years to realize that was bullshit.
Emotionally charged memories result in chemically eruptions in our neurotransmitters, which is the way neurons communicate with cells. Many times, these chemicals are imbalanced, leading to the creation of powerful and enduring fears and anxieties that are greatly intensified way past the actual injury. This is not to say that you are remembering incorrectly. Not at all. What I’m saying is the intensity of emotion should not be trusted.
Over time, memories degrade. Unless they continue to fire. Each time we dwell on a certain memory it receives new life, and it endures. The problem is the original memory was formed during a “fight or flight” period, meaning your brain went into overdrive to make absolutely sure it remembered all the really, really scary shit so it could use it against you later. Those of you who know me understand the way I feel about the Brain. It’s out to look out for numero uno – ITSELF.
Your Brain is not alive, no more than your liver or your spleen. Your Brain is a hunk of meat – two hunks of meat. In fact, your Brain is actually two very different brains split right down the middle, and it wants you to believe it’s in charge!
F**k the Brain. YOU exist in the Mind, which is consciousness, which is not an object that can or will ever be physically identified. You are you because you the MIND understands the machinery in which you exist.
What I’m trying to say is it’s perfectly okay to feel shitty, to feel enormous regret, shame, terror, discomfort, betrayal, insecurity, anger, sorrow, dismal depression… just know that it’s all just a really effed-up magic trick that lump of meat in your head is doing. You’re being held prisoner by chemicals. And there’s not a whole lot you can do to break.
There’s drugs, right? There’s always drugs. But even the best pharmaceuticals are bandaids meant to cover up all those screaming emotions. I say let ‘em out, let them scream. If the Boogie Man keeps sneaking up behind you it’s time to stop dead in your tracks, spin on your heels and grab him by the sack and say, “Up yours, man! I’m the one in charge.” And then watch him run squealing into the dark.
It takes practice. It takes hope. It takes friends. Because we NEED to remember so we don’t forget, so we don’t allow our Brain to set another trap. When we remember, when realize that all those emotions tied to that memory are just a shitty cocktail of cheaply made chemicals that little meat monster in our head is cooking up, that’s where we get to choose. Is this a horror? Or is it just a horror movie on Netflix.
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