Life in Retrograde

I spent much of last month losing my mind.

No need for alarm. I didn’t have any depressive relapses. I did, however, notice changes in my cognitive functions. I forgot things. In the middle of speaking, I’d lose train of thought, pausing to reach words lost in my hazy mind. I overlooked details at work; leaving important people off emails, coming to meetings frazzled and disorganized. My comprehension skills were slow—barely existent on my worst days.

The highlight of my brain haze: One morning at work, after popping Motrin to alleviate cramps, I watched myself dump an open Motrin bottle top-down into my purse, spilling pills everywhere.

My friends had theories. They asked what weighed on my mind. “Nothing more than usual,” I answered, as I’ve never not had a hyperactive brain. A former nurse friend thought it was mental exhaustion. After years of overthinking, my brain was laying its burdens down. My BFF weighed in on my dilemma with “I think you’re just growing out of your child prodigy brain and becoming normal.” I don’t know what scared me more: my brain giving out or losing my whip smart, special snowflake identity.

Of course, I found a workable theory based on astrology. I’ve referenced how this year of my life will be heavily Mercury-influenced, but I overlooked the impact of Mercury being in retrograde on my solar return. In layman’s terms: my #MagicYear could potentially be one of miscommunication, disrupted plans, and scattered thinking.

Remember when I wrote this?

The more astrologically savvy I become, I appreciate retrograde periods as a time to be more patient and mindful. We worship convenience so much that we’re offended by delays. Mercury Retrograde is a nice reminder that the Universe doesn’t give a damn about our to do lists.

It’s always awesome when your words boomerang and smack you in the face, isn’t it?

I get it. Before I can make magic, I have to clear the clutter. The brain haze forced me to question my habits and how I allocate mental energy. [Brooding over the past and fretting about the future are at the top of the waste pile.] So, I’m doing retrograde things. Reconsidering my thought patterns. Spending time in silence. Developing patience with myself. Making lists and checking them twice. Becoming mindful of giving a fuck when it’s not my turn. I’ve been at this for two weeks and I’m already back to typing and speaking in coherent sentences. I guess that means I’m on the right track.

Author’s Notes:
1. While researching ways to manage my thoughts, I came across a great cognitive behavioral therapy app called What’s Up. It has helpful information as well as tools and exercises to manage stress, depression, anxiety, and self-esteem.

2. I *almost* committed to writing here every day for #NaNoWriMo. Then I remembered the black binder with my marked-up manuscript sitting in the backseat of my car. Finishing the last project I started should take priority over starting another project I won’t finish, huh?

Okay, okay. I’ll get back to work this week, guys. I really mean it.