200315

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My mind is out of control, constantly spinning in the wildest of directions to far flung destinations that only the sickest souls will ever be unfortunate enough to visit. The thoughts form on their own, often with alarming lucidity. But since my head exists in such a volatile state, I can never fully catch up with it, I can’t hold on to it, and I can’t stop it.

The permanent chaos of my brain makes it extremely difficult to do “normal” things, like make rational decisions, form cogent opinions, maintain morals, uphold personal standards, understand other people’s beliefs, make wise choices, and say ‘no’ to things.

Decision-making, for me, can produce the most crippling anxiety. Full physical meltdowns, crying, screaming, ripping hair out over choosing a film to watch is not unheard of. I got very tearful last week because I couldn’t pick which book to read next – I felt like it was an all-or-nothing, life-changing decision. At least that’s what my head was telling me. But perhaps this is where I am going wrong.

My mental wellness has declined over the past decade. I used to be a very sensible and pragmatic individual, and possess the majority of the personality traits attributed to Aries: a very strong, independent leader, but often impulsive and reckless. Following my heart would get me into trouble, and I didn’t like to make mistakes – I always had to be right. Which means that I learned to listen to my head rather than my heart from a young age.

But now my head is unreliable. It is messed up to the point where I don’t know who I am – I can’t remember my reasons for disliking certain political parties, I just “know” that I don’t support them. I know that I’m a vegetarian (and have been for 14 years) but I don’t know why. I’m not sure if I believe in fad diets, if I care about global warming, if I like the idea of getting married. Sometimes I laugh at “get back in the kitchen” jokes, but sometimes I abhor them. I can’t remember who I am. So surely, since my brain is so unpredictable, when faced with a decision I should follow my heart.

But my heart is also damaged, immeasurably. My heart has been broken into too many pieces to count, and these pieces have been scattered all over town. Some pieces of my heart have been left to rot in places farther afield, hiding in churches, fields and markets across the continent, defeated. Tiny segments of my shattered heart float in the Atlantic and the Med, the freshwater lakes in which I have swum and the mountain springs from which I have drunk. Bits of my heart can be found at the bottom of your teacup. So if my heart is in pieces, which bit do I follow?

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