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My Irreparable Thought Machine

(Written by 15 year old me in 2015)

Sourced from: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/3-brain-technologies-to-watch-in-2018

Another day, another morning. The same routine, the same pattern, it's just a different day; everything's the same, oh, not to forget the thoughts. The same constant, repetitive thoughts. Always gnawing away at the back of your skull. It's like cancer: you can treat it, fight it off, but it never truly leaves the body, in this case, it's the mind. They're always there and they never truly leave your head, they won't... Not unless you listen to them, or take notice, maybe even act against, or upon them, or until you acknowledge them at the very least. Once they become the centre of your attention, it's merely impossible to get them away. Even if you manage to somehow remove them, they're only behind a window, and they will remain there, you can still see them, unless of course, you let them back in.


First off, you have to counteract the negative and sickening thoughts with a calming or oppositional thought, something that proves the bad thought wrong all together. This is called 'The Neutralising Process' this is probably the peak of the day, the feeling of relief when the thought is proved to be a lie, it's intoxicatingly satisfying! A sense of accomplishment, almost. You can finally continue the day, you can finally finish your revision for your maths exam, that piece of writing for english, which is the biggest piece of coursework for the year. Which, unfortunately you have already failed. The coursework deadline was met almost a week ago, and you never even handed yours in. You were always 'getting round to finishing it' even though you never had a single chance to start any of it. This, of course is because every second of every day you're fighting a constant battle in your head, which, sadly you can never win.


Now, at this point you take a step back, evaluate where your life will be in five, maybe ten years... All those wasted years in school, the coursework you could never hand in, the homework that you never started, the failed exams. People always telling you to "Sort it out" or "Work harder" and "focus!" some even saying that you're "thick" and "stupid" Then you break down, anxiety and stress consumes your body, and these little comments really dig deep into you, they bury themselves in, latch on. They start a little spark in your brain, you start to question your own intellect, your own thought process, how you think. You know for a fact that all of this that goes on in your head is extremely ridiculous, but whether you are able to cope with whatever it is that's happening in the endlessly thinking thought machine inside your skull or not, it makes no difference to the outcome, or the next load of thoughts that's sure to come your way.


You can't remove the thoughts, you can't change them, you can't reason with them, you can only let them be. But how can you? When they mess up everything in your life. Your relationships, doubting your love for someone undeniably close to you. Your friendships, most of them think you're silly. Your social life, you legitimately feel afraid to go outside, to do things, enjoy life. Your school work, never being able to concentrate enough to complete the work set. Even worse, your future. And what can you do? Nothing, except to put up with them, although...
The problem does not lie within the acceptance itself, it lies in whether you choose to accept them, and more importantly, how you accept them. Do you really want to? Is it better to accept the thoughts that pop into your head and let them be, or; to try and neutralise them, push them away, deny them, fight them. You might think the latter, though, from personal experience, I as an individual, prefer the former.


I suffer from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) So, what would the first thing that hurls it's way inside your head be? Constant cleaning? Hand washing? Everything being impeccably precise? Well, to be quite frank with you, I can say that you're very wrong, in fact, you couldn't be any more wrong. The whole belief that OCD is centred around preciseness is a very common, yet misleading view on what it really is. Most of the troubles, worries and symptoms do not happen in the line of sight of a bystander, friends or family, no... It all happens in the brain. It's all psychological, everything goes on in that lump of mass what we call 'the mind'.


Now... What is the mind? How does it work? Well, the first question would be quite an interesting essay on the functions and purposes of the human brain, though... That's sidetracking from what I'm actually getting at. As for the latter, unfortunately, I can't answer that, to be perfectly honest I don't think that anybody can. Sure there may be a scientific and logical explanation as to what actually happens in the brain, specifically how thoughts occur, and work; but you cannot see a thought can you? Only you can see the thought, only you can see what goes on inside your mind. In fact, you can't actually see it, it's not in front of you, is it? It's not visible. Your thoughts are just, well, there. Whizzing around like fireflies in a white room, that's how I see my brain, flies or orbs in a open space; however, you might see yours as something else, or you may not think of your brain in a specific way at all. You might just not even acknowledge what happens inside your mind. I wish I could do just that. Ok, just picture this... Soothing little lights, floating around, gently moving about the dark space, that doesn't actually seem to have any boundaries. Seems nice doesn't it? Then there's my side of the coin.


Chaos! Absolute chaos! There's buzzing, constant buzzing! Little orbs glaring a white light from each of their centre's. There goes one, then another, then another. You can't even seem to get a full and perfect glimpse of all the orbs. They're whizzing around your head too fast to make any sense of them. Each one, leaving a black scribble that you will soon have to go back to, have to recite, to retrace, to rethink... While you're doing this, there'll be another dozen for you to clear up and reconcile with once you've done with these. You cannot find the time to get to them all! It's impossible! Always mentally checking and retracing. Continuously going through them like you're sorting and organising through a box of blank pieces of paper. Why did I say that? Think about it, can you efficiently organise, sort, label and categorise BLANK pieces of paper? Nope, it's preposterous.


If I were to at least categorise the kind of thoughts I have, and deal with, I'd be at it for hours upon end. By now you're either looking at this piece of writing, and thinking "this all seems very overexaggerated or ridiculous" on the other hand, you may be still processing and trying to understand all the constant gibberish, I can see why you'd think that, no body can actually imagine what it's like in another person's head, that would be the same as peering into an empty room, looking for something in particular. I wouldn't class myself as a troubled individual though. I just see it as another trait that just makes me different from everybody else. I'm not saying I'm some sort of special snowflake, no, not at all. All I ask is that people educate themselves on this disorder, it's much more sinister and evil than just involuntarily cleaning and checking certain things. I should know, I live with it.


So... Now you know what it's like in my head, all day, everyday. It's mentally, even sometimes, physically exhausting. Stress, anger, anxiety, guilt, sadness. I quite possibly go through the entire emotional spectrum in an hour! Sometimes, I become so mentally drained, that my body does also, which would explain the lack of sleep, caffeine addiction, not forgetting the panic attacks. I can also never have a clear sense of judgement, I have difficulty in concentrating on one specific task. My ability to think logically can also be clouded at times. There's not a moment in the day that I can well and truly relax. Even when I'm stationary, I'm still extremely active in my head. I'll never win this battle, I'll never settle my head, I can't. This is my thought process, this is the machine I was given, and this is how I'm programmed, this is what I experience, this is my life. Yes, you could most probably empathise; but still, no one understands. No body actually realises what my head is like, what it is, what it does, how it works, and quite importantly, what goes on inside of it. The sad truth is that no human being on Earth, not even me, will ever be capable of understanding
 My Irreparable Thought Machine
. 

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