Mind Over Matter
 

I find it absolutely fascinating how the mind works in strange ways at times (at least mine does).  How a smell, a sound, a picture, or just a conversation can send your mind off into a spiral of moods, thoughts or remembrances.

I am amazed how the mind can take a happy event and before you know it – manage to send it off on to a complete tangent.

A short while ago my 9 year old grand-daughter went fishing with family friends and caught her first fish.  Not only did she catch two fish, but they were the largest of the ones caught!  She was so excited.  Then to make it even more exciting, the fish were cleaned and barbecued and she had the thrill of eating the fish she had caught.

I think that I was just as excited watching the look on her face as she was.  She showed that she had the makings of a great fisher – every time she told the story - the fish got bigger and bigger!

Later I thought about the times my brother and I had gone fishing with my Dad as youngsters in England and the fun we had.  We mostly brought home the fish caught from the fish shop on the way home but we had a great time.

Then the tangent!

I was getting dressed the next morning and I looked at myself in the mirror as I dried myself off from the shower.  I saw how much weight and fat I had put on since I started on Epilim (Depakote).  How white I looked, as I am too embarrassed to go swimming in Summer now that I have this waistline.  In fact as I looked, I felt that I should be called ‘Moby Dick’ after Melville’s great white whale.

Then I went on to the struggle to do up my pants as I got ready to go out – the suits and other trousers in my wardrobe that I no longer fit. From there the thoughts go into the ‘Never’ cycle.  “I’ll never fit into these clothes again –I’ll never lose this weight!”  Or, “I’ll never look reasonable again, see how ugly I look!”  I’m pretty sure you know what I mean.

That one little good incident had triggered me into a mini cycle of feeling down and sorry for myself and about myself.  Or, should I say I let my mind take me down that irrational slide for a while again! 

Sometimes I go the other way too!  Last night I was watching the TV at home with my family and there was a comment on the news about something that was so insignificant that I can’t even think what it was, and it struck me as being funny for some reason.  And the more I thought about it, the funnier it got.  I started grinning, then smiling, then laughing until I got out of breath from laughing so much!  I just couldn’t stop.

For the next couple of hours whenever my mind wandered back to the item, I just broke into laughter again until finally I was banished from the room so everyone else could have some peace.

My father used to have a different slant on the phrase ‘Mind over matter’.  It was – ‘With my mind it really doesn’t matter!’

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of my mind.

 

Graham Brown

10 October 2005

 

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