Where IS My Mind?

“With your feet in the air and your head on the ground…”

Most of my day is spent in trying to avoid reality. Through the combined efforts of little sleep and little to stimulate my brain, I’ve successfully dodged true feelings and their accompanying pains for years. Through the added repressive means of modern technology and instant entertainment, I’ve created a virtual mindspace that is more alive than my physical one.

“Your head will collapse / But there’s nothing in it…”

Since entering the world of blogging; and, especially, the community of mental illness support, I’ve learned some terms for what I do: numbing, depersonalization, and (above all) disassociation.

“And you’ll ask yourself: Where is my mind?”

In the beginning, I entered the mind fog willingly. -So I thought. Depressed, repressed, lonely, and mind-numbingly bored at my day-to-day activities; I sought constant distraction.

“Try this trick and spin it…”

I thought numbing was better. In some ways, it was; it is. Because I felt nothing, I did not lash out in anger from the frustrations. Because I felt nothing, I could not feel disappointment. Because I felt nothing, I could not feel the crippling sadness.

“Where is my mind?”

Except that I still could.

“Where is my mind?”

As such, I have made various attempts to kind-of, sort-of climb out of my muddy hole. I read Brené Brown’s recommendations, followed her advice …and really offended a neighbor by being myself. I started counseling and some hormone therapy …then reverted back to old habits and dropped the hormones so that I wouldn’t accidentally birth a hermaphrodite.

Most of my days are spent in trying to avoid reality. On the rare occasions that I surface, life feels like the restaurant scene in “Sherlock Holmes” (2009). Unlike the genius that is Holmes, however; I do not note and absorb everyone’s mistresses, limps, or chalk spots. Instead, I feel overstimulated by emotions; in particular, everyone’s emotional reactions to me.

I also feel overwhelmed at the repetitive cycle of life, and the prospect of more of the same for the foreseeable future.

Do I want my mind awake? I’m not so sure. There doesn’t seem much to wake to. Hence, the continued withdrawal and disassociation.

“Where is my mind?” Somewhere inside. Probably.

Do you experience similar non-feelings? Have you, in the past, and now you do not? Is reality worth the cost?


On a happier note, here’s what I threw together this week:
Wednesday, March 20: Me and me debated who has it harder in “THE Battle of the Sexes.”

Thursday, March 21: “The Cure for Depression: Simply, Joy,” a suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, March 22: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Doug!

Saturday, March 23: Announced the 19th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Unrequited Love. PLEASE ENTER!
I also finally wrote up an entry for The Annual Bloggers Bash Competition, “Silent but Tardy.”

Sunday, March 24: “Farmer Henry,” a flash fiction piece for Carrot Ranch’s writing prompt.

Monday, March 25: An inspirational quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Tuesday, March 26: “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Seven.”

Wednesday, March 27: Today.

I also wrote stuff at my motherhood site; like “Pinterest Mom or Sane Parent?,” “A Very Unmerry Birthday to You,” and a funny quote about mothers.


*Credit to the Pixies’ amazing song, “Where Is My Mind?”

27 thoughts on “Where IS My Mind?

  1. I’ve been told by my ex-partner that I spend too much time absorbed in magazines, watching TV or reading so I guess that’s avoiding reality. But I’m fascinated by the world; I just have to spend more time in it 🙂 I do take anti-anxiety medication before bed which helps me sleep

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  2. When I block out feelings, I call it ‘robotting’ because the objective is to just get things done and not care. I’m not sure when it’s useful to quit this mode, though – I worry that my life will fall apart if I stop.

    Is that something you worried about before trying to feel again?

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  3. Life seems to have different stages. Growing up I was pathetically shy and introverted. Marriage and economic survival made me more aware of the world. I belonged to a very conservative Catholic organization for three years,in my early thirties, and took weekly spiritual direction from a priest. Like any organization they wanted members to recruit new members. When I told the priest I was too introverted to recruit he set weekly challenges for me. One such example was to go sit next to someone in the food court at a shopping centre and start a conversation.I guess the trick is to continually try different experiences and see what works for us. Keep on trucking Chelsea. Never give up.

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    1. Thanks, Len.

      Funny you should mention severe introversion like that; as a child, I felt so shy I would cry when trying to talk to people. Most act surprised to learn that I’m shy, now.

      I’ll keep on trucking. 🚚 🙂

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  4. Dear Chelsea, I’m spinning! This is a powerful post and the answers to your questions can be debilitating if one spends too much time thinking about them. (Yes, yes, no – still do, and sadly I don’t know, leaning towards no.) I personally find these thoughts and feelings (non-feelings) never go away, (currently they protect me) that’s just me and they haven’t faded away yet. 😦 Not sure if I want them to, that is another topic entirely. Thankfully I have a dark and twisted sense of humor! Wishing you a fantastic weekend inside and out. 🙂 ~ Mia

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    1. Same here, Mia, often with the humor as well.
      I recognize mine as unhealthy at this point because I’ve gotten to a no-feeling and no-thinking state.

      I want some of my brain back, yet shrink from feeling again…

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      1. Chelsea, you’ve made me laugh, in such a good way, thank you. It’s been pointed out to me that I’m completely unhealthy, while I disagree and digress, I’m still breathing, ha! Balance is a constant struggle and I wish you great success with no-feeling, feeling and no-thinking, thinking. Please be kind to yourself, there is no absolute and there is no perfect flowchart to get from here to there. 😉

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  5. It doesn’t seem possible to own the feelings-and-dreams generator sections of the mind in the sense of being them in full awareness. What does one mean when they say, “I think this about that; I feel this about that; I am feeling happy, sad, etc….” Holmes might say that whenever anyone says I or I or I, it is their conscious ego separated from the rest which appears to operate independently as if another person, like a twin perhaps but nevertheless separate. So when we speak to someone, we’re speaking to someone of two minds. We might say something perfectly logical and neutral to the conscious person we think we’re talking to, but if the nuance of a word or of a body language cue, or tone-cue of a word expression triggers a response from the other mind who is listening, it can send up an emotional message that the “I” may take on like the whisper in the ear from a twin. But in explaining this Holmes gets splashed in the face with wine. I don’t know, isn’t disassociation the usual strategy. Can someone be of one mind? And if someone is alone, don’t they need at least the companionship of the other mind? And in meditation or sleep, the ego (I) is told to be quiet so the other mind can show itself. But that seems like a display from someone else that we watch passively and except for lucid dreams we don’t during the experience think that we created it. If we dream that we’re walking down a particular street, we don’t think that we created it anymore than when awake we think we’ve created the same street that we’re walking down. But one of them must belong to us. No?

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    1. Oh my heck. This is perfect.

      I suppose, as a person afflicted by an authentic nature and the desire for such authenticity in real life, I am sent reeling at the duplicity (as you note). That duplicity is the others AND myself; myself being the more central one and the one to which I turn negative criticisms and reprimands.

      This would also explain the duality of advice in “being yourself” yet noticing that, no, others do not like me for being me. They like a safer version, again as you said.


      1. All those little slogans (there are more elegant terms for it nowadays) are never completely true and very infuriating. One of the worst ones is “You can do anything you want if you try hard enough…”. A few parameters needed here. Look, a three foot tall person can not legitimately play on a Professional Basketball Team as a paid player in a regular tournament ever, no matter how hard they try, and a “special” league doesn’t count, nor does cheating with walking on stilts or something… It’s like really bad art: it can’t legitimately sell and be praised unless it has a good publicist, or was created by an elephant or chimp or one-year-old child, or maybe a cat. But you can’t really say that any Adult can make great art. It’s all along the lines of “The Emperor Has No Clothes” story. There has to be something of value on the canvas. OK, yeah, I’m just jealous of the people who are able to capitalize on gimmicks and stunts. Bitter… Yeah, that’s it: I need a Bitters product line to sell in liquor stores….next to the shelf for Lotion Potion Number 9.

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  6. I really get this. I the brain often goes into hyper mode when Im with people. So many different trains of thought. Like you not leading to a Sherlock deduction, more like it gets stuck in a loop and almost grinds to a halt. Wonderful post.

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