'My Brain' vs 'Me'

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by TwoBrokenMirrors, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. TwoBrokenMirrors

    TwoBrokenMirrors onion hydration

    This is something me and my boyfriend noticed while we were idly chatting about our various mental weasels. We both have a tendency to personify our brains as some kind of separate entity from our 'selves'- 'my brain is being a dick', 'my brain thinks that', 'my brain wants'. It's invariably negative-we both have a definite feeling on frequent occasions that 'we' know that we don't have to feel bad about something, or be anxious, or misgender someone, but 'our brains' are forcing us to be or do so anyway. I've also noticed that there are times when something negative occurs in my brainspace, but it doesn't feel right to attribute it to 'my brain' because it feels like the motivation for doing it is also attributable to 'me'. I had a great example of that while we were initially discussing it, but of course now I've forgotten it entirely.
    I've seen Seebs do the same thing, and other people who've written in also, but it doesn't seem to be entirely universal? We did wonder if it was mostly something that people with mental illnesses did, and that more neurotypical people were less likely to do it- or maybe, I've just started wondering, it's something of a function of realising that you have a mental illness and trying to separate it from the part of you that's not entirely fucked over. I've seen one of my other friends do it a bit, but not another, and of course I forgot to actually ask him if he did do it and I just hadn't seen or he didn't express it in words.
    So I suppose I am collecting anecdata. I do love me some anecdata.
  2. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    Probably most common to people with something neurodivergent going on. Something about the wording reminds me of people talking about thinking with their libido, all "I know I shouldn't, but my dick wants." Most of the time we differentiate when we notice a disharmony within ourselves.
    • Like x 3
  3. TwoBrokenMirrors

    TwoBrokenMirrors onion hydration

    That's pretty much what I thought, yeah. I suppose I'm just curious about how widespread it is. x3
  4. rorleuaisen

    rorleuaisen Frozen Dreamer

    Yep, I totally do it too. It is for all things that are not logical to me like "my brain thinks that these two seperate things are totally the same!" And my logic center goes, "but they aren't..." And my brain responds. "But they are and you just can't see it! Trala la la laaa~!". It is also for extreme emotions that don't seem to make sense, like all my social anxiety things.

    Also if you just want numbers, you should be able to create a poll when you make a thread.
    • Like x 1
  5. TwoBrokenMirrors

    TwoBrokenMirrors onion hydration

    Sounds familiar!
    I might make a poll later. I'm not entirely certain what I'm trying to achieve with this thread other than 'I like hearing other people's stories about this kind of thing'.
  6. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    I do that, although I sometimes call it brainweasels. As in, my brain is fine, but the weasels are messing it up.
    • Like x 2
  7. Petra

    Petra space case

    I do tend to talk about how 'my brain' is fucking with me or when 'my brain' is hard on me or when I'm having a bad brain day. More as it relates to my depression than my autism, though - I consider my autism part of my self, but not my depression, if that makes sense?
    • Like x 3
  8. Acey

    Acey hand extended, waiting for a shake

    I'm more or less the same, and I think it makes perfect sense. While autism is a disorder, it also has fundamental effects on who you are--it's part of what makes you you, if you have it, and I personally view it as inextricable from me. That's part of why I'm not huge on the whole concept of curing it; if I weren't autistic, I would likely be a very different person as a whole, and while it'd probably improve my life in some ways, it'd also fuck with some of the parts of myself that I actually like.

    Things like depression are different. They do affect who you are in a way, but like...they're less fundamental to your basic personality and such? Like, I'm bipolar, and I view it as a nuisance at the best and torture at the worst.

    Basically, "autistic" is A Thing I Am; "bipolar" is A Thing I Have.

    Anyway, back to the brain thing. I tend to do the same thing, and as others have said, it's never a positive thing. For me, it's generally an issue of irrational/disordered thought, or moodiness over things I probably should care a lot less about, or whatever.
    • Like x 6
  9. TwoBrokenMirrors

    TwoBrokenMirrors onion hydration

    Makes sense! I find it interesting though. I'm probably somewhere on the spectrum, but I'm not formally diagnosed (it's taken this long for any psych professional to actually admit it's a possibility if you don't count my secondary school counsellor) and the way everyone talks I'm sort of on the very edge of the spectrum anyway. As such I'm constantly fighting the feeling of 'you're just being a poser, faking for attention, you're not really autistic' if I try and think or speak as an autistic person, and I don't think I have the same acceptance of the traits that I see in people like you and Seebs who view autism as an essential part of themselves. So when I talk about 'my brain' being a dick, it is sometimes linked to autism symptoms.
    Writing this here as though I am actually an autistic person is very difficult because I keep wanting to pepper it with disclaimers that I might not be and probably aren't and you shouldn't listen to me when I say I am, pft.
  10. rorleuaisen

    rorleuaisen Frozen Dreamer

    Oh! Just wanted to add that I don't always use it in a negative way. Sometimes it's just things that don't have a clear explanation. Like "this song makes my brain happy". I like it, but don't know why.
    • Like x 2
  11. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    For me, I can´t quite say depression is something I have, instead of am. I suspect this is highly subjective, but depression affects how I feel and relate to things so deeply that yes, if it went away I would most likely be a different person. The thing is in the case of depression I think I might want to be this different person who doesn´t have depression. (But it makes the idea of therapy kind of frightening.)
  12. TwoBrokenMirrors

    TwoBrokenMirrors onion hydration

    I think I might be coming at this from a slightly different angle but I get you. The idea that getting better will somehow remove or change a fundamental part of you is something that certainly used to scare me a whole lot. Lately it's been scaring me less, though, I think because I can kind of see how I can fill the gap that's left with something better and nicer and more fun and healthier. Before, and when I get bad, I can't see how the hole left by removing the brainweasels can be filled by anything, and I have enough trouble with my own identity that it's absolutely terrifying.
  13. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    Major changes to identity are terrifying, period.
  14. rorleuaisen

    rorleuaisen Frozen Dreamer

    @littlemissCodeless That's pretty much how I feel. I occasionally have very temporary dips even further down the depression hole, but I always come back to my constant bleh existance. Like when I'm actually happy(I blame the forum), it feels kinda surreal and I feel spontaneous and reckless. And it's kinda scary.
    • Like x 1
  15. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    Yeah, I actually prefer contentment to happyness. It feels stabler, less likely to result in a crash.
  16. TwoBrokenMirrors

    TwoBrokenMirrors onion hydration

    What I realised at some point was while I enjoy being happy what I really just want is stability. Emotional stability mostly. The ability to be happy and sad and angry and everything else without being afraid that they'll take over and go to extremes and break things.
    • Like x 1
  17. Starcrossedsky

    Starcrossedsky Burn and Refine

    Echoing all the folks upthread who made mention of "yes I do it, and more often around my depression than my autism." Specifically I tend to augh stupid brain regarding motivation a lot.

    The only time I do it re: autism most of the time is with social interaction, because that's the only place where I really feel that it screws me up/actually functions as a disability. So, yeah.
  18. jpronghorn

    jpronghorn Member

    I have seen a similar distinction in part of the new age/mystical community--between your "aware" self and your "habitual" self. I think Gurdjieff/Ouspensky used that distinction a lot.

    In the Illuminatus! trilogy, the habitual self is called "the robot". Hagbard Celine has a teaching question: Who is the one more trustworthy than all the buddhas and sages ? The answer is yourself, or rather, your robot self, which just goes on and on in its mechanical way. both smart and stupid like computers are both smart and stupid.
    • Like x 2
  19. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    For what it's worth, I thought like that too before I had meds/therapy. I'm not (and probably won't ever be) totally not-depressed but I'm in a good place mentally these days and I've found it a much less fundamental change than I was afraid. I still feel like 'me', just me without all the shit bogging me down every second. Kinda like how you feel when you've been pulling a couple all-nighters and maybe have the flu vs how you feel when things are good.

    As for the "my brain" thing, I feel like for me it's a distancing thing? Like, it's easier to fight the thought "my brain hates me and wants me to die," than "I hate myself and want to die" if that makes sense. It's just some weird thing that's happening, not something you particularly have to act on.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  20. Acey

    Acey hand extended, waiting for a shake

    I've been in therapy most of my life, but during the periods in my life where I've been off my meds/out of therapy/whatever, I've noticed. I don't notice a difference in The Fundamental Acey, but I notice that I feel a lot better when I'm getting help (be it medication or therapy) than when I'm not.

    And frankly, I personally feel less like myself when I'm in an especially pronounced depressive state. And granted, that could be because I've been getting help for various brainweird since I was a kid, but at the same time, I prefer Medicated And Therapy'd!Acey to Unmedicated And Untherapy'd!Acey.
    • Like x 1
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