I’ve started reading more books again now that my mind is healing. It’s been so wonderful to actually be able to read and comprehend what is being communicated. Not only can I understand what I’m reading, I can also remember it.
During my sickest years, my brain was a chasm of hazy chaos where I couldn’t find anything. I couldn’t see my own thoughts clearly and new things that went into my brain often just got lost. It was a mess of disjointed thoughts and exaggerated feelings. My mind was like dirty clothes, toys and half-eaten food strewn all across a floor in a house that was in flames and thick with smoke.
Moving through a mind like that to formulate words and sentences took so much effort. Like moving through a swimming pool full of molasses. Everything was so slow, inefficient, confusing and volatile.
It feels so good to return to a mind that is buzzing with rational energy again. There’s clarity, logic and distinct thoughts. There’s appropriate emotions. Joy and sadness and anger and delight in just the right quantities to fit each situation.
I can see my own thoughts and understand other people’s thoughts. I can mix and match thoughts in an orderly way. I can learn new things and fit them into old knowledge. I can change my opinion about something. I can reconcile two perspectives that seem to contradict each other. I can evaluate whether my emotional responses are proportionate to a situation and adjust accordingly.
I finally feel like my mind is capable of observing and interpreting reality. It’s not that it does it perfectly… but it is now able to perceive reality and try to make sense of what actually exists. Rather than being so clouded that it cannot perceive anything or so confused that what it’s perceiving is not reality at all but something fabricated by a diseased brain.
The rational mind is such a beautiful thing! I’m not an exceptionally smart person but after living with an inflamed brain for so long experiencing a healthy mind is thrilling. I love learning and reasoning and discussing! I am so glad God made us to be rational creatures with beautiful minds.
So, if your beautiful mind has been hijacked by a dysfunctional brain please don’t despair. There is great hope. I met the diagnostic criteria for multiple different mental illnesses over the last 14 years of my life and came very close to literal insanity. After all, disturbing psychiatric changes were the very first signs of my illness. It started with dreadful night terrors when I was 10 years old and morphed into other forms of mental torment. My symptoms were all psychiatric until I started experiencing chronic pain and weight gain at age 18.
The good news is that treating the illness and avoiding mold has resolved my mental and psychiatric symptoms. They were never part of who I was. Though the symptoms made a deep impact on my psyche they were not me anymore than the raging physical pain was me.
I believe in my case it was the Lyme infection and mold toxins causing the inflammation in my brain. I can’t know for sure what it is in your case. But I urge you not to settle for a diagnosis that leaves no room for hope.
What if… by digging a little deeper you could identify a treatable cause? What if you didn’t have to live with crushing torment for the rest of your life? Would it not be worth exploring that question before you resign yourself to a lifetime of adjusting and switching medications?
I am not claiming that all mental suffering can be alleviated on this side of heaven or that every kind of brain injury can be reversed. However there is great potential for healing in our bodies and brains, and as my friend Sara Mattson likes to say, “Hope abounds.” Yes, it does. Hope abounds.
By the way, Brett and I made a beautiful PDF of my favorite resources for suffering souls. I created the content and he made it look fancy with his superduper graphic design skills. It’s available for free to my email subscribers. Click here to sign up and receive 5 Resources for the Suffering Soul.