I keep having this experience in altered states. (Fully legal altered states, like breathwork, of course.) Here are a few ways I’d describe the experience:
- too many half formed thoughts, such that I can’t even follow one to know what the thought is
- imagine you’re talking with someone but they keep interrupting you insanely quickly, multiple times per word, with a short interjection. That, but in my mind.
- is this a result of anxiety?
- half formed critical thoughts that have the flavor of “I’m doing something wrong”
- the attention shredder
- buzzing cicadas in my mind
It’s distressing because:
- it’s disabling. I can’t do any other work or experience any other experience, because this mental noise is so loud.
- I feel alone in this, like nobody else knows what I mean or has this experience.
- it feels related to experiences in my regular life where I just can’t think of what to do, so maybe I refresh my phone or something, in a twitchy addictive way. Feels like my brain is just broken; like I’ve accidentally trained it to be so reactive that it keeps reacting to itself faster than I can even keep up.
- I’ve tried to do all the “normal things to do in distressing situations.” For example, calmly breathing through it, asking it what it wants, directing love and openness to it, surrendering to it, realizing it’s impermanent, leaving the room for a minute; they don’t seem to help.
There remains some hope, though:
- singing, especially low resonant songs, seems to help.
- getting absorbed in a song someone else is singing, especially a low resonant song, sometimes helps.
- lying on a heated bed seems to help.
- dancing or shaking sometimes helps. Sometimes I can still tune in to my body and see what it wants and do that.
One of my friends helped talk me through this, mostly realizing the “hope remains” section. I’m grateful for that. I’m still curious that it doesn’t seem a common thing outside of me, because it’s so common to me. Reader, let me know if this happens to you!
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