If I ever figure out the human brain, my first act will be to install accurate error messages.
My stint with depression ended eight years ago and I still have to deal with intrusive and repetitive thoughts regularly. Maybe I am just more aware of them than I used to be, self-awareness is self-defence after all. But I know that people who lucked out in the brain department get them too: Have you ever dieted? Suddenly you think of all the things you want to eat and where to get them and how well you they’ll taste. And eventually willpower will run out and you give in. That’s a prime example of repetitive thoughts, here caused by the intentional self-starvation.
But here’s a neat trick I learned: Repetitive thoughts go away if you remove their cause,* even if it sometimes takes a while for them to peter out – thinking certain things can become a habit, too. But you CAN starve them out: I’ve beat most of the depression specific ones long time ago.
Carina learned to deal! +1 mental health!
And so my intrusive thoughts became particular specific and highly focused on my art. I kept having the same repetitive thought to restart ToC – something I really, really do not want to do. And after a month or two struggling with it, I learned that my desire is not to restart ToC, but to actually spent more time drawing, writing and developing the story itself and maybe do some world building. That’s it. I desire to write and draw more, because I did too little because of the new work.
Seriously. Brain. What the hell?
I almost toppled everything I reached so far, because I didn’t spent enough time on ToC and as opposed to a „draw and write more, plox, time’s been tight…“ I got a „ABORT, ABORT, RESTART, RESTART AND ALL WILL BE BETTER!“
I knew before that intrusive thoughts are a marker something is off, but would it kill my brain to actually report the underlying problem accurately instead of barking „You need to do this! You need to do this!“ at me? It’s annoying to be always vigilant so I can figure out what I really want.
* Which really, really sucks if root-cause of those intrusive thoughts is not something that can be dealt with straight away.