How The Others Live

Photo by Pouria Teymouri on

My husband is in the TikTok world far more often than I am and he shared a reel the other day where this kid was describing ADHD.  The kid said, “Wait, so you don’t have thoughts in your mind talking 24/7?  You don’t have intrusive thoughts?”  And the response was, “You have moments where there is NOTHING going through your mind?!”  It floored me.  First of all, my husband and I had a similar conversation a while ago and I essentially called him a liar because I didn’t understand the quiet of the mind.  It was almost the same conversation this TikTok kid was saying.  My husband and I have this thing about hawks so we had seen one and I asked him what he was thinking—he told me nothing.  I immediately spun into, “That’s impossible, you can’t be thinking NOTHING.  The mind doesn’t work like that, it’s always going.” Bless my husband for not getting into a larger argument with me because he left it at, “I don’t know, my mind doesn’t work like that.”     

I hadn’t thought of that conversation in a long time but I have been thinking about my mind and how it’s been fragmented, thoughts all over the place, not clear, easily distracted, constantly moving, etc. etc.  Then this little gem of a video shows up and it struck me immediately: Oh my gosh, there are people who literally don’t have thoughts constantly bombarding them.  My next thought was about how nice that would be.  Moments of quiet and the ability to process things going on around me differently, to not feel constantly attacked.  I mean, I’m learning to appreciate my anxiety on some level because I read an article about the dysfunction of anxiety and that it’s often the result of a dysregulated nervous system from exposure/trauma so the body is constantly heightened.  It’s just doing what it thinks it needs to do.  However, this TikTok video floored me because I was so ignorant to the possibility of another way.

I started thinking about my family and asking the question, “So you mean there are families that don’t live with crippling anxiety and guilt?”.  This is one of those steps in healing yourself that feels like an epiphany.  I can appreciate that my family did the best they could with what they had.  That’s how we all live.  We do the best we can until we know better.  Now I know better.  For a long time I wanted to be medicated but I was afraid it would dull the “creativity” in my mind.  I never understood that creativity was destructive and I’m more curious about the peace that comes with silence.  I’m more curious about what it feels like to not live heightened all the time.

So I’d like to thank TikTok for teaching me that there is another way and that I will always be learning and there is no end to the journey of things evolving and changing.  Ironic considering one of my main works was about conscious evolution and understanding how to make choices that move us forward.  Also ironic considering we talk about openness here and understanding other people’s minds work differently.  Regardless, the point IS to learn and evolve no matter the source.  We do function differently and we need to hear messages a few times in different ways sometimes.  That was my lightbulb moment.

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