Since I came into this world, you’ve always had my back.
You’ve instructed my heart to keep pumping blood through my veins, and made my lungs inhale mouthfuls of air. You’ve given me the power to memorise my ABCs, my times tables, and every single word to Reach by S Club 7. You’ve also given me the ability to tell my mother ‘I love you’ in three different languages.
You conjure up crazy alternate realities in the forms of dreams, where I can do anything and see anyone. Even if they are a little unusual at times. You organise my memories into neat little boxes that I can access whenever I want. And you’ve also given me the capacity to block out certain things I never want to remember again – which can be both a blessing and a curse.
But sometimes, you fail me. Sometimes, you aren’t able to provide me with the right things I need to be happy. I often wake up and my mind is foggy and heavy. I feel like I’m not enough, that my efforts are useless, and that ultimately, I’m a failure. On these days, I cannot quieten down the voices telling me that my friends are having more fun without me, that strangers want nothing to do with me, that I am a failure of a girlfriend.
Sometimes, I feel let down by you, brain, because there are times I feel like the walls are closing in on me, even though I know that I am safe. I feel like I can’t breathe, even though I know that there is plenty of oxygen to go around for everyone. There is no danger yet you make it feel like it is all around me.
I know that I shouldn’t blame you, that it’s not your fault that sometimes you simply don’t have enough serotonin to share. But I can’t help but wonder why you – why I – can’t be happy like everyone else.
We will get through this together, because this is a two-way relationship, as real as anything else. I pledge to help you, brain, if you promise to help me, too. I promise to give you less of a hard time for being how you are, to let you rest when you’re telling me you’ve had enough, to drink lots of water and get a full eight hours sleep.
I promise to read lots of books to nourish you with knowledge, to have intellectual conversations with others so that you are challenged, and go for a walk, or even a run, once in a while to force in that dopamine, so you don’t have to. I promise to laugh lots, and let myself cry when I need to.
Then maybe, just maybe, my dear brain, you can return the favour and make me feel more like myself again.