Monday, February 26, 2018

My Brain Loves Me

It's true. My brain loves me.
And at its very core, the responsibility of my brain is to keep me alive.
I try to distract it by remembering the words to every single Neil Diamond song. But my brain has more important things to do. It keeps my heart beating, my pancreas processing glucose, my eyes seeing the word, my temp at a 98.5.
My brain loves me.
It also loves routine and muscle memory. My brain tells my foot to step on the brake when it sees a red light. In my sleepy state, my brain tells my index finger where the snooze button is. It tells my voice to say hello when answering a phone.
47 years of this life, my brain and I are pretty connected.
I like to think of how my brain would react when tested. How it would process the perfect snarky comment, the best response in a meeting, the perfect reaction when being flipped off on I-25. But so many times this brain I love and that loves me lets me down. Maybe it's caught off guard; it didn't anticipate a middle finger in the exit lane or that really tough question in a meeting. My brain likes routine.
There is nothing routine about a traumatic situation. Our brain hates it. The amygdala hijacks all rational thought. We search for something routine, something we can relate to; in a traumatic situation, there is nothing. Our brain, whose purpose is to love us and keep that heart beating, makes decisions we would not usually make, we rage, we puke, we freeze, we faint.
Our brave, our first responders, our doctors, nurses, our military, spend their lives training to respond in these very worst situations. And sometimes even their brain has no place for a trauma. With Samantha, our interactions with medical teams involved input from us. Their brain needed a place to process and trauma offers no chance to process.
My point....and I do have that if your brain is lucky enough to not have a history of processing trauma, assuming heroic actions from your brain that loves you and just wants to protect you is silly. And disrespectful to your brain....your brain that loves you so.

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