My Stupid Brain

As many of you will know I am mentally ill, I am not ashamed and I really can’t be fucked hiding it, whether online or on one of my rare forays into the real world I am happy to talk about it. There is of course a great deal of misunderstanding surrounding this topic, but that’s perfectly okay, the human brain is a complicated thing and its flaws can manifest themselves in a thousand different ways. Despite what tacky Halloween costumes and shit horror films would have you believe, not all us ‘mental’ folk look the same, feel the same or act the same.

Something happened to me today that I don’t think many of you would associate with mental illness, I certainly wouldn’t have before it parked itself in my brain and refused to leave. So in the interests of sharing and maybe even educating I’m going to tell you about it.

You should be aware that I am, and have been for some time, incapable of feeling emotion, no love, no grief, no compassion and crucially for this tale no want. I do not ‘want’ anything. The thing about not wanting anything is that it make buying things really fucking tricky, I can buy stuff that I need, like food, but after that I’m struggling. Clothes in particular are a real pain, my stupid brain’s thought process seems to be ‘you already have a t-shirt, why would you get another one?’ A normal brain would of course override that but mine frequently gets stuck. I should probably ask some sort of mental health professional about this but I think it boils down to most purchases being emotional on some level or another, and when you don’t have emotions you can see where the difficulty lies.

Anyway, armed with that background info on to today.

I recently won some high street vouchers for being fucking great at my job or something like that, and knowing that I could really do with some new clothes I wandered into town. Trousers were the priority, and I saw a pair that would do the required job of covering my legs and fastening around my waist, I took them to the checkout and after dazzling the young girl serving me with my natural wit and charm I exchanged my vouchers for the trousers. Success. I should have gone home right then.

Wandering around the shopping centre I foolishly allowed myself to become emboldened by my resounding victory over my stupid brain in the trouser shop. ‘hmm… I could probably do with a new jumper.’ This was never going to end well.

Before I knew it I was in a shop that appeared to sell jumpers, I’m not sure how to express this so I’ll just let my thought process guide you through it.

I pick up the first one I see

‘this one looks nice, quite plain but I like plain, not sure it’ll be warm enough though’

I put it back and move on

‘this one looks warm but it’s £6 more than that other one, I already have one like this’

I move on again

‘this one is on offer but it has a pattern, I’m not sure I’m a pattern on my jumper kind of guy’

I move on again

‘ah this one looks warm, it’s plain and it’s cheap, I am definitely getting this one’

I walk toward the till area, jumper in hand

‘actually I have one a bit like this at home…..’

I turn around and put the jumper back, I see the clearance section and head in that direction

‘ooh this would look good and it’s 2 for £30′

I pick up two long sleeved things and again stride toward the till

‘but will they be warm enough?’

I’m in fucking trouble now, again I get within touching distance of the till only to be foiled once more by my stupid brain

This idiotic dance continues for about 10 minutes until……

‘huh, there’s like 3 security guys all of a sudden, seems a bit weird I’m pretty much the only customer I wonder what’s going on’

The security guards move toward me

‘ahhh that’s what’s happening, I came in for a jumper and I’m going to leave with a criminal record, I should probably go home now’

I made it home, my trousers seem fine, could really do with a jumper though. Stupid brain.

If you’d like to say hello on twitter that’d be nice https://twitter.com/AllorNothingMag

10 comments

  1. AislingAineMam · · Reply

    I hope any professional involved in your care will read this, engage empathy and assist you in developing strategies to address this challenge you struggle with.
    You’re brain may function differently on an emotional level however does that mean you can’t retrain it to respond in a way that would make life easier for you? Just asking? Cheers again for sharing this. As a MH practioner your blog makes me stop and think as well as reflect on my interactions with folk in my working life. Always a good thing IMO. Cheers. Hope you find a jumper it’s bloody cold out there. :)

    1. Cheers as always for commenting, I’m not sure if I my brain can be retrained or if that would even be a good thing, this might be the least bad option for me at the moment. If my writing in any way helps you with your life and/or your life then that’s all I can really ask for.

  2. max hodge · · Reply

    Great article, Ally. You’re writing always brings a smile to my face regardless of the topic. You have a great approach and style to everything you write about, truly refreshing in a world of generic blogs and rehashed articles. Hope your well, mate.

    1. Cheers Max, very kind of you mate. Yeah I’m fine (except for the whole jumper fiasco obviously) we’ll need to get a beer soon, it’s been too long.

      1. max hodge · ·

        Yeah, definitely. Back quite frequently at the moment so we’ll get something arranged!

  3. Nice Jumper

  4. Hi,
    not to scare you but in a way I think I am you. The flat (or complete lack of) emotions especially here, the not really wantng anything, which is actually quite terrifying when in your 20s. Also get the jist that your evident sense of humour helps cope a bit better with everything in general, certainly helps me tick along just about, even if year by year it becomes a bit more like just complaining about stuff rather than actual jokes.
    As well as the humour a bit of awareness of depression in general via a university module helped, which was then linked to the possible benefits of exercise. Now the take it or leave it (wont say advice as that’s a bit high on the wankyometer) question. Do you do any sport? Or its horribly chore-like cousin exercise? If not really I recommend just trying something and seeing if it helps soothe the mind. From reading other posts you talk about weight so maybe exercise is already a part of your life. Throwing it out there anyway, like Peter Odemwingie sat in your comments section car-park, take it or leave it.

    1. Ha, not scary at all. There certainly seem to be some similarities between us, and the exercise thing is something I feel very strongly about, I’m reluctant to recommend it to people because it sounds like it shouldn’t work but few things give me as much pleasure and make me feel as good as lifting weight (for example).

  5. another question, do people talk to you or ask you to do something and a couple of hours later you have no idea what they said due to being in a constant state of sort of listening (listening because you know you have to, but not properly, and not because you’re a dick but because you just don’t really care)?

    1. Yeah that happens to me as well, spend a lot of time jut kinda drifting through the day and it’s hard to remember what’s actually happened.

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