Appetites in Overthinking

How wild is your headspace? Do you hear the same growls and pangs in your head as in your stomach? I’m not asking these questions to pique your interest. The asks are selfish.  It’s so I feel less alone, less isolated in my own overthinking. My brain is ravenous. It binges on words, engulfs entire concepts and refuses to release until everything has teeth marks on them.

I am an overthinker. It makes my head heavy, and when I stand still, the weight of my own thought conquers me. I capsize beneath the gravity of invisible matter. They aren’t grandiose or something to marvel at. The only thing exquisite about my thoughts is the multitude of them and how I believe every last musing.
I overthink everything. Overthinking isn’t necessarily unhealthy but believing every frazzled notion is. Believing overwraught thoughts is the equivalent of consuming a parasite and expecting it to nourish you.

And maybe these ideations have a point. Perhaps they’re right, but only because I’ve defined things wrong. I constantly feel like I don’t belong. But perhaps belonging is a narrative I’ve penned in the wrong language. Isn’t belonging people who check in on you when you’re scarce? Isn’t belonging those who love you providing space when you need that? And if belonging isn’t connecting with people as your best and worst self in that moment, I don’t know what it is. I thought belonging was a clique. I mused it was an impenetrable group of friends who are all friends with each-other—a bonded continent of similarity. My community is not that. My community is a stellar plum sky. I am the common factor sewing constellations out of unattached stars.

I struggle with being loved. UGH—I hate writing that. My fingers graze the delete button. But the need to be loved, to feel that and hear it and know that we are howls through everyone. It is universal. Yet, there’s an associated shame to it—like we are needy for craving the juiciest, richest aspect of life. Don’t we all deserve that? And yes, I mean infrared romantic love. But I also mean familial love. I mean my mom texting me that she made banana cake because it’s how she says she misses me. It’s my little sisters admitting they can’t imagine the trajectory of their lives without me as a force. I mean we all deserve friends who give us all the soft when we’re trying to be stone. We deserve friends who we can fail and be met with compassion. We deserve communities and mentors who challenge us without penalty. Life owes you nothing. But I hope you dare to want things. We deserve good things. I deserve good things. I’ve never struggled so much to type a sentence in my life as that one.

My head is an Amazonian warground. It is a Hobbesian State of nature ruled by my dogged thoughts, and at times, it feels carnivorous inside my own head. But i am not my overthinking. I am not my mind’s perverse way of trying to protect me—mulling through every possible and impossible situation. It’s trying its best to keep me safe.

We aren’t our worst thoughts. We’re all a little insecure and scared, but most people, for the most part, are just doing the best they can. It never serves us to fall victim to caricatures drawn from a remark, an interaction, a situation that had nothing to do with us, yet we exaggerate our importance in the situation enough to create a belief around it.

We yield the divine right to celebrate our beings, but be aware that our purpose resounds with the purpose of others. We aren’t walking this alone, even when it feels like we are. So when I peel myself from my bed, when I shrink into every fear that I am all too much, I remind myself that I am this way because the world needs someone this way. I’m not this way for me. My survival is a vessel for others to do the same. So the thoughts don’t win. The failed scenarios my mind syndicates are not my magnum opus. They are the tabloids to my poetry, chatter not verse.

It’s midnight. My thoughts are restless as my body begs for sleep. I will stave off a new host of notions tomorrow. And I will hear them. Overthinking is a noisy brat in constant search of attention. But I won’t digest every toxic thought. I have to allow those empty calories to reach their expiration date and disappear without consuming the parasite. Because nourishment exists. Connection is how we all get full (whatever that is—music, sports, art, tech innovations, languages). Being vulnerable and uncomfortable and open—that’s the emotional buffet. You just have to be willing to eat what’s good for us and not the first thing our head serves us.

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