It’s been happening for so long that you can’t remember when exactly you started feeling this way. You can’t pinpoint the first time that it has made you think less of yourself, but yet here you are constantly filled with self-doubt. You constantly wonder if people truly care for you. You take the words people say and you analyze them so much that the meaning is twisted. You can’t control your mind and its tendency to overthink.
Like cancer, if overthinking could be graded; you’d probably be on the last stage. You overthink when the things go wrong, you overthink when the things go right. You overthink when there are things to think about, you overthink when there is nothing at all.
You sit in a room and can’t focus. You’re thinking of a million different things, none relating to what’s happening in the room. You go out in public with your friends and everything is going fine until someone looks in your direction. You start feeling like they’re judging you or they know something that someone’s hiding from you. You overthink the smallest things. But all alone at night, it’s the worst.
All those nights you’ve spent huddled under your blanket, crying your eyes to sleep only to wake up next morning with puffy eyes and a fake smile. All those tears you’ve shed on prayer mats and gazing out of car windows while the wind blows your hair. All the pain you’ve caused yourself by simply thinking and all the opportunities you’ve let go because you thought too much! All your moments of uncertainty when you ALMOST did something. All your acts of bravery, so well thought and meticulously planned. All your insecurities, vulnerabilities and fears and all your faith, fulfilments and triumphs!
All of this makes you, you!
And in spite of this, your disease is your paradox. It gives you wings and it holds you back in heavy chains. You’re tied to your fears; yet your fear makes you fly. You think too much! But that is not just because you’re afraid.
You think too much, because you ARE too much! You feel too much. You hate small talk and superficial connections, because you dig deeper. You hardly hold eye contact, but three seconds are enough for you to swim right up to the rock bottom of someone’s eyes and know their soul without knowing their story.
You mirror what others feel, because you’re a mirror yourself. Open, pure, incapable of hiding yourself. Yet you try to hide. You cover yourself in layers of humour, laughter, gibberish and undying chatter that basically gives nothing away.
You not only overthink, but you also over protect yourself. And no, you don’t protect your body, your life. You wouldn’t care if a speedy bus hit you tomorrow, you wouldn’t care if an accident occurs. You protect your soul. You know how very shattering attachment can be; so you detach. You run away, you hide, you underplay! And then one day, you burst like an overfilled balloon.
But even then, you burst on paper. You burst in solitude. You cry yourself to sleep under a blanket and repeat the same cycle over and over again! You do not get out. You do not scream. You just let your pain reverberate and echo within your body and let it mix with your blood and hold tight till your restless body comes back to normal again.
You meticulously plan your decisions, manipulations and lies. You see, you foresee, you over-see, you assume. You use permutations and combinations and think of all probabilities possible. The math of your life is perfect, but hardly depended on facts. You just keep on hypothesising and hardly ever are successful in proving them. You simply hide behind your excuses. You sleep with one eye open and you refuse to hold all the hands that extend to hold you when you’re falling apart.
You’re exhausting! But hey! Do you understand you’re exhaustive too? You cannot go around giving and refuse to receive anything. You can’t waste your energies in thinking so much that you have none left when you actually have to do something. You have to learn to be spontaneous in a few situations. You have to stop being in denial of your feelings, fears and attachments. You have to heal yourself and let your spirit be the antidote to your overthinking mind.
You’ve got to prioritise. You’ve got to balance. You have to take the risks. Because how else will you ever have an experience?
I’m not saying everything is going to be alright So let it be. Don’t beat yourself up for doing something that felt right in the moment. Sometimes, the horizons are bigger than the consequences. Sometimes, the experience is bigger than the right and wrong. But if I know you well, you’ll probably put excess thought in whether your situation settles into these exceptions.
You’re funny, crazy. But hell, you’re strong. You can be presented with mountains one after another and you’d never fail to touch the pinnacle. Even with all the baggage, all those thoughts, you do not stop moving ahead. So imagine! If you shed what’s unnecessary, if you leave the insecurities on the base camp, how speedy would the Everest be!
In the end, we are all mere humans, trying to save ourselves, minimising the damage to our souls and holding uptight. You may never stop overthinking after all, but hey, you can ensure it doesn’t deprive you from happiness in order to avoid pain! And if it is a compulsion to think, then why not think about chosing happiness every single time?
This is a letter to you and I. I hope it gets better for us.
The saner you.