Late Night Leaky Head

Remember Malcolm in the Middle?

Oh, come on.

You know, that show Bryan Cranston was on before he started cooking up his signature blue crystals?

Yeah, that’s the one.

Every time I have a night like last, it reminds me of this scene (watch the 18 second video. I’m going for impact here, folks):

I have long coveted this ability.

Some nights, sleep just does not come easy. Concerns, worries and anxiety float to the surface, like a hot lava lake bubbling away in the volcano’s cone.

But the volcano never explodes. It just festers, continually threatening the villages below. It never spills over, just presents a constant reminder that it’s here to torture me.

Thanks, volcano brain. Thanks for "brightening" my nights!

Thanks, volcano brain. Thanks for “brightening” my nights!

When I was still working, the worries were generally work related. “Gotta get orientation folders put together first thing in the morning,” or, “I forgot to look up The Dumpster’s vacation balance,” or maybe, “Better respond to The Cylon’s unemployment claim.”

I kept a pad of post-it notes on the night stand so when these things ran through my head, I could write them down. Then, I’d bring the post-its to work the following morning and address my sleepless concerns.

These days, the magma sputters and spits for different reasons.

No, I wasn’t thinking about the demons and White Walkers waiting for me In the Basement, In the Night.

I can’t even remember all of the crap running that ran through my mind. For the first hour of insomnia I dwelled the fact that I love cigarettes need to quit smoking.

Duh. I mean, I’m 31 years old, and have been smoking for almost 13 years. Every smoker knows they should quit. I know the money is costs me (seriously, I’ve done the calculations, and I’m so embarrassed that I won’t even put a dollar figure in this post). I know what it does to my body. I don’t need any more reminders. My volcano takes care of that, thanks.

Then I moved onto my health. After finding out two years ago that I’m BRCA2 positive, I’ve been doing all of the necessary screenings. MRI’s, mammograms, ultra sounds, biopsies, blah blah blah. Reason number 487 that I want to light up need to kick the tobacco. My family history combined with BRCA2+ statistics gives me a 70-80% chance of developing breast cancer in my life (the average woman has a 12% chance of developing the disease in their life time). Clearly I’ve already invited enough shit to this luau.

I’m not trying to elicit sympathy here… just trying to pry open the curtains a bit so you understand what goes on in my head.

These thoughts, this type of thinking, doesn’t go anywhere. Unlike tasks and details that can be addressed the following morning at work, these are issues I can’t just write down and deal with at dawn. And of course, thanks to the distractions provided by “Annaswasteoftimemachine,” I hardly dabble in these thoughts during normal waking hours.

Eventually, I got out of bed. Sometimes this works, other times it doesn’t. I grabbed a drink of water, went outside and had a smoke, in an effort to get my mind out of the infinite loop it was stuck in. If I have to get up, it’s because the volcano has transformed into a hamster. He (yeah, it’s a dude hamster I guess) keeps picking up speed until he loses his footing…

This is my brain once I've passed "volcano" stage.

This is my brain once I’ve passed “volcano” stage.

And when he falls off his wheel, I can finally get some sleep.

My conclusion? While I realize there are many folks who already have one, I propose the next step in human evolution be an “off-switch” for brains.

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