My subconscious has gone AWOL


An arsehole. Image

Brain:    Good morning!

Me:        Ugh.

Brain:    What?

Me:        Why did you have to give me those dreams last night?

Brain:    Which ones? The one about the wedding, or the one about the unicorn?

Me:        You gave me dreams about weddings and unicorns?!

Brain:    Errrrm… No?

Me:        *side eye*

Brain:    That’s physically impossible.

Me:        I know; that’s why I’m telling you I’m doing it. Because I can’t actually look at you.

Brain:    Right.

Me:        You gave me this stupid dream where I was trying to convince a man to get back in contact with his young daughter. Every time I almost got them back together, something happened to ruin it.

Brain:    Yup.

Me:        So what was your point?

Brain:    I don’t understand dreams, I just give them to you.

Me:        Isn’t a dream supposed to be my subconscious trying to tell me things?

Brain:    Sure. But the subconscious isn’t here right now to answer your questions.

Me:        Where is it?

Brain:    I don’t know. I’m not your subconscious’ keeper, you know.

Me:        …

Brain:    …

Me:        Actually you quite literally are.

Brain:    …

Me:        Can you please take a message then?

Brain:    Sure, why not!?

Me:        Gee thanks.

Brain:    You’re welcome!

Me:        So there I was dreaming a confusing dream about a dude and his daughter, when you gave me a nightmare.

Brain:    I would never do that!

Me:        Liar. You did give me a nightmare. You made me dream about SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES. You bastard.

Brain:    That doesn’t sound like me. That was definitely your subconscious.

Me:        You made me dream about shopping for clothes AND IT WAS HORRIBLE.

Brain:    I wondered why you woke up sweating.

Me:        Why do you hate me?

Brain:    I don’t hate you. Maybe your subconscious hates you.

Me:        Well then please pass that message on to my subconscious when it comes back from wherever the hell it’s gone.

Brain:    You’re asking me to tell your subconscious that you hate it? That doesn’t sound healthy to me.

Me:        You started it.

Brain:    Your subconscious started it.

Me:        Bastard.

Brain:    That’s not very nice.

Me:        Arsehole.

Brain:    You seem to be a bit confused about anatomy.

Me:        Ugh.

Does your brain hate you too?

I’m linking up with Laugh Link again this week. Click on the button below to read some hilarious bits of bloggery. I dare you.


Conversations with my brain: And then my Basal Ganglia went on strike

Never. Ever.

Brain: Hi there.

Me: Hi Brain.

Brain: I heard you swear last night.

Me: I stubbed my toe. Too fucking right I swore.

Basal Ganglia: Excuse me. I think that was my fault.

Amygdala: No actually it was really my fault.

Brain: I think it happens when my upper and lower functions conflict. You know, language and emotion.

Me: Fuck me, how many of you guys are in there in my skull?!

(A lot of muttering).

Amygdala: You don’t want to know. But we’ve taken a vote and we’d you to stop smacking your head on the keyboard. And wearing tight hairbands.

Me: O… K…

Amygdala: It was my fault you swore when you stubbed your toe. I’m the part of your Limbic System that creates the fight or flight response.

Me: What the fuck is the Limbic System?

Basal Ganglia: Allow me, Amygdala. The Limbic System controls basic movement, memory and emotions.

Amygdala: And the Basal Ganglia manages impulse control and motor function.

Me: Oh really? So it was your fault I stubbed my toe in the first place.

Amygdala: Well, maybe, but moving right along. I’m always on the alert for when you hurt yourself.

Basal Ganglia: And then I step in and make you swear. I’m a bit of a hero, really.

Amygdala: I take that as the signal to throw you into your “fight” mode. We all gang up and flood your system with chemicals like adrenalin so you feel less pain.

Me: So swearing helps me feel less pain?

Basal Ganglia: Exactly. If you over-use swearing, though, the effects wear off.

Me: I find swearing useful when I’m not in pain, too.

Basal Ganglia: I know. We’ve been listening to you.

Me: Don’t judge me, or those hairbands are only gonna get tighter, pal.

Basal Ganglia: You swear a lot. We get tired of having to work for you, you know.

Me: If swearing kicks me into “fight” mode, maybe I like that feeling. So when I want to add some strength and force to what I’m expressing, swearing works for me. But you’re always here controlling my impulse to over-swear, right?

Basal Ganglia: Well… not always…

Me: Come on, without you guys I’m just so much pointless flesh and bone. You’re the ones in charge, right?

Basal Ganglia: I think you’re putting us under too much pressure. There’s only so much we can take.

Me: I see everything clearly now. I wish you’d pay more attention to impulse control when I’ve swallowed most of a bottle of red but can still drive a keyboard and remember my credit card number.

Basal Ganglia: Do you seriously expect me to be controlling what you do 24 hours a day?

Me: Er… Yeah… isn’t that what you’re for? Isn’t that your job?

Basal Ganglia: Listen, mate, don’t oppress me. We brain regions have rights, you know. We do this work for you all the time and we don’t even get paid. Not one cent. I’m going on strike if we don’t get some time off!

Me: Well, tell me which one of you guys I can blame for insomnia and we can get that sorted out right now.

Amygdala: Right, who’s seen the Pineal Gland? Anyone? Hello?

(Crickets chirping). 

Me: Exactly.

My Basal Ganglia disagrees.
It’s absolutely necessary.


Did you know swearing serves a physiological purpose? 

How do you feel about swearing?

Conversations with my brain: Tarsiers on crack

Honestly Orificer I had no idea someone had spiked my cicada with crack. Image by Mike Belleme

Me:        “Tarsiers are SO CUTE.”
Brain:     “They look like they’re on speed. Or crack. Or like someone is shoving something unpleasant up a delicate orifice that only the most intimate and trusted of Tarsier partners would normally see.”
Me:        “They do look a bit surprised.”
Brain:     “I’m not surprised they look surprised. You’d be surprised too.”
Me:        “Tarsiers are gorgeous little carnivorous primates. They eat insects mainly but also birds, snakes etc. They’re nocturnal.”
Brain:     “If I looked like a mouse on PCP who had just received an unexpected anal incumberance I’d only come out in public at night too.”
Me:        sigh
Brain:     “What?”
Me:        “I’m trying to educate us here and all you can do is bring it down to… arse jokes.”
Brain:     “Yes.”
Me:        “Why? Why do you have to do that?”
Brain:     “Because that’s why you keep me around. And also because: arse.”
Me:        “Actually I keep you around because it’d be inconvenient if you weren’t here. What with all that keeping me alive, making sure I breathe and don’t die stuff. And that was an utterly crap answer.”
Brain:     “My job here is done.”
Me:        “Did you know that each of the Tarsier’s eyes are as big as its brain? What would you do if it was the same for us?”
Brain:     “I’d tell you to stay indoors during the day like the Tarsier does.”
Me:        “Oh, ARSEBISCUITS!”
Brain:     “Arsebiscuits the unexpectedly rear-ended Tarsier on drugs. Nice.”
Me:        Slams head down on desk.
Brain:     “Ouch.”

ERMAHGERD! A tiny carnivorous primate! Image from here.

Do you and your brain get along?

P.S. If you want to learn about Tarsiers, go here for some more serious information…

A love letter to my brain

Dear brain,

I love you.

It’s true, we’ve had our differences with ourself over the years. You’ve often let me down – sometimes horribly.

It’s taken me almost 44 years to fall in love with you, and it happened – unlike shampoo promises – overnight.

I’ve been finding things a bit tough the last few weeks. (See when I Lost My Shit). Things culminated in last Thursday’s Bingle.)

Last night I felt quite low. I’ve been trying to kick start you to get writing again but I was feeling seriously intimidated by my worldly, educated writer friends.

I remembered watching the radiant, charismatic Professor Karen R Brooks talking on film about her favourite books. I tried to picture myself answering the same questions the interviewer posed.

My favourite books? Umm. Doctor Who when I was a kid. Sara Douglass and some other fantasy writers whose names I can never remember. Some great books I’ve read. That I can’t remember. A book I read last week. No, can’t remember who it was by. It was about… something.

My answers wouldn’t be erudite, witty, full of wonderful examples of timeless classics and newly found wonders of the literary world, because I have a dysfunctional memory. How then, can I ever be a writer?

My darling brain, you have, at any given moment, at least four subjects of thought happening. Let’s call them tracks. Sometimes it’s more like eight tracks, but not in a cool-alternative-look-at-my-retro-stereo kind of way.

In a holy-god-how-can-I-keep-everything-in-my-head-at-once-and-not-have-a-melt-down kind of way.

And then I have a meltdown.

You’re filled with any number of internal conversations at once at any given time. Like now:

  • Trying to focus on this post so that it doesn’t suck too much.

  • Lamenting the tiny missing diamond in your ring.

  • Wondering when you’ll get to see the next Game of Thrones episode and whether Tyrion will be in it and OMG WHY DID THEY TAKE THE KHALISI’S DRAGONS?

  • On the alert for the sound of thumping feet as The Child comes storming in to demand food/drink/cuddles/help with Paper Mario on the Wii. (Ah yes here he comes. Writing about him must cast a Summon Sprog spell).

  • Considering whether to wash clothes, given the craptastic Melbourne weather.

(And don’t think I didn’t notice that you made me open up the GoT Wiki to have browse in the middle of writing this post. Yes I know you needed to check the spelling of Khalisi but that doesn’t take 20 minutes.)

No wonder you go a bit funny when I add external conversations to these multiple internal ones. No wonder you often start one conversation and skip tracks during and end with a completely different conversation, giving everyone the shits confusing all and sundry.

Brain, you can’t learn in-depth information. You’ve made me a dilettante.

Or maybe a fairly rubbish polymath.

A half-arsed Renaissance Woman.

I know a little about a hell of a lot. Look up Jill of All Trades in the dictionary, my picture would be there. If I’d remembered to send it to them.

Looking back I see a lifetime of Anxiety Disorder and depression. You, my brain, have been on high alert in case you forget something for as long as I can remember.

I see difficulties with the most mundane domestic crap. I see the light, noise, frenetic activity of Saturday morning grocery shopping. I see the stress of keeping all those balls in the air while having four internal conversations, two external ones, filtering out all the other conversations around you and remembering to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I come home cranky, overstimulated and exhausted. Yay for weekends.

So here’s the deal. I forgive you for the challenges you’ve given me over the years.

The way you’ve left me feeling like an idiot, somehow different to everyone else. Somehow sub-standard.

Somehow not in the SMART PERSONS’ CLUB.

Somehow unable to do basic stuff everyone else finds easy.

I forgive you for being a disappointment compared to my highly educated, intelligent and spectacularly qualified family.

I forgive you because finally, I get it.

In the middle of the night, I had an epiphany. I realised that, well, actually, you’re mybrain. My answers to those literary questions would be crap because I can’t remember anything. But they’d be my crap, in my voice. With a little dose of batshit crazy self-deprecating humour in there.

If I come across as a scattered, batshit crazy person instead of an intellectual, professional, intelligent individual, so what? Maybe THAT’S my brand. THAT’S my voice. Batshit crazy person with no memory.

A while ago I wrote about being truthful (and warts).

My truth is scattered across a canvas of chaos, anxiety, and unhealthy doses of Shiraz.

And that’s OK, because a four track mind has to be better than half-track one, right?

Brain, I love you because of all the things you do that make me different. I love my batshit crazy, convoluted, crowded internal landscape, and I’m going to embrace it.

I love you because you finally found my – our – voice. I don’t have to compare myself with anyone else anymore, I’m free. Free to be my dippy, hopeless, forgetful self.

I get YOU.

Which means I get me.



PS – I tried to find photos for batshit and crazy but Microsoft clipart let me down. I think that’s discriminatory. I blame the Republicans.

Have you told your brain you love it lately?