My secret is that my head is hollow, filled with fluid, and has a little man floating around inside.
Obviously, I’m kidding. What this drawing represents is that it’s incredibly easy for me to feel overwhelmed and inundated by all the things I have to do – even if I really have very little to do. After more than two or three things, I start to feel like I’m drowning. That’s what that guy’s doing there. He’s drowning. This leads to anxiety, feeling depressed, agitation, and the occasional flash of frustrated anger.
Without searching too far for an example, we can take today. Today, I had a short list of things to do. Prepare my lessons, write a cover letter, fix a light, find something my wife lost, vacuum and dishes. That’s all. Probably could have done it all within a few hours. If only I could stay focused.
When the list is more than a couple things, I feel overwhelmed. If I try to focus on one of the things, my mind starts jumping to (and reminding me of) all the other things I have to do, bouncing around like a pinball. And telling myself how minor they are, how little time they’ll take, or how unimportant they are, doesn’t help. My brain starts telling me they’re all giant tasks, of high priority, and they all need to be done now! At that point, I start to shut down a bit, and it takes a lot of effort to hold on to one thing long enough to get it done.
Keeping with the drowning analogy, imagine a swimmer. Imagine also several buoys scattered about – the buoys are the days tasks. A normal swimmer could probably swim directly to the closest one, then the next closest one, until they’d reached all the buoys and accomplished their tasks. Now imagine the same swimmer, but in a typhoon. Welcome to my head.