Stupid Scumbag Brain

I just had an accident.

Not that kind of accident, you goofs. This kind of accident:


Butterfingers Petrilli attacks again.

I was trying to get the kitty food box from its place atop the fridge and I dropped it. After losing control of the box, I repeatedly tried to grab it again while in the air and of course ended up hurting my fingertips. Gaaaaaah


At least one member of the household was happy. Miss Lucy was enjoying herself greatly

All in all, not a big deal, right? I mean, you scoop the food back into the container and that’s it. Kitty doesn’t even care her food was on the floor, after all.

Well, yes. Only that while I was sucking on my fingertips to make the pain stop, my scumbag brain decided to remind me that this is exactly why I can’t work in a lab anymore. The breaking of expensive lab equipment, the screwing up of reactions that use ridiculously highly priced reagents…. and all of a sudden, all I wanted to do was sit in a corner and cry.

Even as I type these words, my hands are all shaky, and the anxiety levels are high.

Writing [typing] seems to have a soothing effect so I’ll continue to do it despite the tremors.

The food container broke and there isn’t duct tape here (of course, the Canadian in me thinks of duct tape first of all) so I used a shoelace from one of Sid‘s old college steel-toe boots to fix it.

It’s holding so far but as you can see, the damage is extensive

So yeah. Stupid anxiety. Stupid scumbag brain. Stupid Mental Illness.

This is perhaps why “normal” people have such a hard time understanding our trials. Why and how something so unimportant as dropping the kitty food container can act as a trigger that sends me into a full anxiety episode?

But I am so sad and still all I want to do is curl in bed and cry.

I miss the lab. I miss academia. I miss my research.

I certainly didn’t expect to be 45 and broke, relying only on my meager monthly disability cheque. I expected to be a full time professor, having a very rewarding – intellectually and otherwise, career in science.

Stop it, stupid scumbag brain.

Go to hell.

I have a good life. I am loved. I am safe. Nothing else matters.

I hate you, beautiful brain of mine

25 thoughts on “Stupid Scumbag Brain

  1. Cate Reddell says:

    Why is it always the little things that trip us up? And then become so much bigger things? If I was there I’d be giving you a big hug, but as a substitute can you please ask Miss Lucy to give you a big cuddle. I can’t see she could complain as she got a wonderful gift today… dinner for a week on the floor. What more can a cat want? <3

  2. Natalya says:

    Miss Lucy is cute :) I am sorry your mishap caused a painful memory for you. You may not be where you once expected to be but I bet Miss Lucy doesn’t mind ;) Hope you’re feeling a bit better soon.

    P.S. LOL, the duct tape. I would have thought of that too. The Dollar Store sells it if you don’t mind shopping there (I know some people don’t like it).

  3. freddy says:

    As frustrating as that disconnect between our mind and body can be, it’s in a way fascinating. Not in the moment, of course. Not that you need to be told that, SSG!

  4. Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA says:

    Oh sweetie, I’m so sorry you’re feeling bad. I so relate to your grief at losing your profession to this broken brain disease. As you know, I deal with the same issues, and at times the pain of grief is unbearable. Enough to make dropping a kitty food box the drop that causes the cauldron of hot tears to spill over all our efforts to keep it together. Tears run down my cheeks as I write this, in sympathy with your situation. Big hugs from me…and here’s some duct tape. Wish it could fix us too…..

    • Summer Solstice Girl says:

      aaaaaaaaaaaaw don’t cry! (although I would have done the same, had this been your post… but you know what I mean). I knew you would relate! so hard at times. But I do find great comfort in knowing that I am safe and loved. Really, it could be a lot worse :)

  5. ntexas99 says:

    I’m one of those people who have tried (TRIED) to remind myself not to send myself negative messages, such as “why are you always so clumsy” or “why is it that if you make a choice, even when the chances are 50/50, you always seem to choose the wrong direction” or “why does something that would be easy for someone else always have to be so hard for me” etc etc etc. These kind of messages run through my brain every day, and back when I was in therapy, my therapist made a point to remind me of the one grain of untruth that is laced through and through in those kind of thoughts … the word “always”.

    Read them again … yep, the word always is there. When we get whammied by a trigger event (word, phrase, smell, sound) and we are immediately reminded of our shortcomings or perceived failures, we immediately move directly into the always zone. Always is sometimes disguised as the word “again”, but essentially, it’s the same idea.

    Even though it isn’t true at all, we reinforce the idea by throwing in that word always, or again, and that just strengthens the argument, and then, the next time we get triggered, there it is, Again. Always. Even though we have conveniently managed to forget all the hundreds of times we’ve done something smoothly or with finesse or even with panache, or at the very least, normally or successfully. Nope. We tend to focus on the (false) always, and we are crushed and broken, all over again.

    I hear you. A simple accident becomes a full-tilt meltdown. Again. :-)

    • Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA says:

      What a great insight, thank you. I’d like to add one that I learned in DBT: “never.” It’s part of the black-and-white thinking that “always” gets me into trouble: I “always” fuck things up, I “never” do anything right. It’s a script I learned from my mother, and although I do recognize these things in retrospect, I haven’t yet learned to deprogram my way-back-there baby-brain (meaning that these things were learned as a baby, some of the first words I learned and very hard to un-learn). So I’m working on learning to recognize them as soon as they raise their ugly heads, and say to myself, “yep, there goes another one,” just as I would if a fly or a spider got into my space. Working on it.

      • ntexas99 says:

        appreciate the response … I’ve just recently discovered Canvas of the Mind, which brought me to your blog, and I look forward to exploring a bit more. I find what you write to be written from an authentic point of view, and as someone who appreciates the truth, it will surely be interesting to cross paths with you again.

          • ntexas99 says:

            Okay, it took my brain a while to figure out that you are not the Summer Solstice Girl, but rather, a completely different entity (person) who commented on SSG’s blog. Thankfully, my muddled brain managed to track the bread crumbs back to your blog (and I’ve followed and added you to my blogroll as well). Please excuse the confusion. It happens often.


            • Summer Solstice Girl says:

              @ntexas99: hey! Thanks for your comments! Yes, Laura is my sister from another mother… or something like that. Her blog is awesome too so please check it out if you have the chance.

              I hope my replies to you comments don’t get all messed up. It is all very visually complicated.

              Again, thanks for visiting and for your kind words. I’ll try to go visit your blog soon as well :)

            • Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA says:

              Ah…no problem. I’m confused myself, most of the time. In fact, it’s my usual operating condition. Thank you for adding me. I’m pretty sure I followed you too, and if I didn’t I will. Ain’t this mental health blogosphere a wonderful thing :)

    • Summer Solstice Girl says:

      Yes! I have to constantly remind myself of that. It is “always” this or “always” that. UGH. Or the other one: I’m SO stupid! I have to remind myself that no, I am not in fact stupid at all and that accidents can happen to any one

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