The Pictures in My Head/The Monsters Under My Bed


I think you saw me confronting my fear, it
Went up with a bottle and went down with the beer and
I think you ought to stay away from here
There are ghosts in the walls and they
Crawl in your head through your ear.

Do you know the difference between imagination and reality? That is, do you know what is a product of your cognitive faculties and what is real? They say that perception is reality but that statement that says more about the beholder than the one being beheld in my opinion. I have been asking myself these questions a lot lately. Nevermind the circumstances because it’s really not the point, is it?

My brain has been on overdrive this last week. So much so that it has impacted my ability to sleep which then impairs my ability to function during the day. Mental health professionals would call this “catastrophic thinking”. I just cannot get my mind away from all the ways things can go wrong and how it would affect me. The scary part is that there is a little touch of reality to all of the things I think of in that they could happen, they have some grounding in reality. These are things that are often plausible but not probable but a mind that knows no creative boundaries thinks of everything whether it wants to or not. This is the boat I’m in.

Especially at night.

Nighttime is when the shadows dance on the walls and the monsters crawl out from under my bed and into my head through my ear. When I close my eyes I see nightmares when I’m wide awake and they’re so real that it messes with my emotional states. The people are real and I see scenario after scenario where the ending is sad or I am left alone. One time I even imagined myself checking into the local psych ward as a result of the story I was telling myself involuntarily. It plays on my fears, my insecurities and my neuroses until I can’t stand it anymore and I open my eyes. They’re still there most of the time but it can be distracting enough to break it all up for a short time.

I’m so tired.

As I said, my mind has not allowed me to rest much this last week or so. One might wonder why I don’t try and control these thoughts or try and interrupt this treacherous flow of cognitive falsities. Believe me, I’ve tried. But it’s the other side of a double-edged sword I’ve discovered. The creative part of me that lets me put words down on paper, tell stories and write poetry is part of the same creative force that destroys me and gets me so strung out that I have to fight off panic attacks. My mind is in constant motion and, up until a few weeks ago, I was operating on 14-16 hour days where I was constantly engaged in something. Now that my days are about 12 hours long I have to wonder if my brain just isn’t acclimated to the lack of stimulation. It has to be something. Because I’ve spent nights trying to tell my brain to shut up so I can sleep.

And it keeps going… and going… and going.

What I don’t understand is why the lack of rest hasn’t wrestled this problem to the ground. I can function on 4-6 hours of sleep but I rarely wake up rested anymore. I feel like I’m running in my sleep and tripping over my own feet in the process. The morning feels like my face ground into asphalt and my body in a wreck, my mind so jostled from the impact that it doesn’t recognize more sleep is needed and I’m instantly wide awake. I have no motivation right now, no drive. I feel like my mind has rebelled, can’t be contained by the boundaries of my skull. At night all my anxiety, fear and insecurity is trapped in a dark room with me and as soon as they are released they bounce off the walls until they eventually come back to me.

Sometimes, I wish my brain would leave me alone.

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