Teach My Brain to Fight

4am in Washington, DC.

I can’t get to sleep. My brain is slowly twisting its gears away. I’m thinking about thinking. I’m afraid of things that have already happened, discovering things that I wasn’t scared of at the time, but now realize I should have been. This is anxiety. Uh.

So I’m thinking about anxiety, and trying to understand it so I can get rid of it and get some stupid sleep. From an evolutionary standpoint, it’s pretty clear what it is. We all have that fight or flight instinct. Mine is just triggered very easily and lingers very long. And I get nervous. I guess that means I systematically choose flight.

This is really awful the more I think about it, and such a weak part of my character. I get nervous talking to people. That means my brain begins to feel threatened and responds accordingly. So I get nervous? That’s a terrible response! In the wild that means I’m submitting. I’m letting my opponent know that I am no threat to his or her desire to eat, live, and create offspring. That’s so weak.

I don’t want to be weak. I want to be seen as a threat. I don’t want to actually be a threat. I just don’t want to be so easily dismissed as a threat just because of a physiological response I can hardly control. Because, in truth, I guess maybe I can control it. Maybe this isn’t instinctual, maybe it’s a learned response. Maybe I can teach my brain to fight. Flying is just… so weak.

Okay, I’m gonna try to sleep now.


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